Marc Webb Discusses His New Take with 'The Amazing Spider-Man'
Ever since 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb got attached to direct Sony's reboot of Spider-Man back in early 2010, he hasn't been able to talk much at all about the project. But now that he's finished shooting and they're poised to make quite a splash at Comic-Con this weekend, he's finally able to speak and it's Hero Complex who has the first interview with Webb on all things The Amazing Spider-Man. He doesn't talk about the villains much, but does explain how he tried to differentiate this film from the others, as well as his biggest comic book inspirations for his Spider-Man, played this time by Andrew Garfield.
Truthfully, it's best to jump right into this, as Webb gives some fantastic quotes. Plus it's a great a follow-up to all the new photos we saw just last week. So how has Webb "reinvented" his new Spidey this time around?
"Peter Parker is a science whiz. If you look back to the early Stan Lee and Steve Ditko comics, he's a nerd with big glasses. The idea of what a nerd is has changed in 40 or 50 years. Nerds are running the world. Andrew Garfield made a movie [called 'The Social Network'] about it… What was important in those early comics was this notion that Peter Parker is an outsider and how we define that in a contemporary context. That, I think, was one of the challenges for us — getting Peter Parker's outsider status to be current. Peter Parker is a real kid. He's not a billionaire. He's not an alien. He's a kid who gets picked on and gets shoved to the outside. The 90-pound weakling, that's who Spider-Man is when he gets bit. So much of the DNA of the character is the fact that he was a kid when he got bit. He is imperfect, he is immature and has a bit of a punk rock instinct. In his soul he's still a 90-pound weakling even after [the bite]."
It's impressive to see them strive for that and I think comic book fans will be happy to hear it as well. Webb goes on to say that he loves "a lot of the Ultimate Spider-Man artwork and story lines, there's a lot more of an adolescent, playful quality. And I think that's a big part of Spider-Man universe and hasn't really been explored cinematically before." Garfield went through a lot of "incredibly intense" training focused on agility over strength, as he's still that "90-pound weakling" even when he becomes Spider-Man. But as Webb goes on to explain, they're keeping this world even more grounded in our reality than ever before. Webb reveals:
"One of the things we tried to do was keep the stunts more grounded physically and that was a huge challenge because you have a character whose abilities are superhuman. How do you do that in a way that's convincing and real? … We spent months and months and months developing rigs so he could swing in a way that wasn't computer-generated. Obviously there's going to be enhancements and CG [sequences], but it's based in a physical reality and that's a new technique. When you walk out of the theater, I want the world you see to resemble what you saw on the screen. Part of the joy of cinema [is that] you make the impossible look real. I wanted it to be more grounded and more realistic and that went for the emotion of the scenes, the physical action and wardrobe. It's less based in Steve Ditko world and probably closer visually and more influenced by 'Ultimate Spider-Man' but it is also very much a world of our own devising."
There's another Ultimate Spider-Man reference, so if you're not a fan of that series, you might want to stay buried in your comic books. Speaking of comics, that's where Webb says they got their villains. "Marvel villains — and Spider-Man villains in particular — are rich and complicated and interesting and Rhys [Ifans] has done just a fantastic job in translating that and there will be a lot of new things to explore for the fans." More good news, but obviously we'll see for ourselves when we get a look at the trailer. Although Dr. Connors was in Raimi's movies, he never became The Lizard, now we'll finally see Ifans fulfill that destiny.
With only four years separating this from Raimi's trilogy (five when it's released next July), is Webb at all concerned about treading the same ground as before? Definitely not, as he firmly states to wrap things up:
"What the truth was: I like the other movies and I was a little bit skeptical but then I asked myself if I wanted to see [this new story] and the answer was yes. I was interested in that universe and I believe I have something to say that's different enough to be worth my time. I think there's a lot to explore as far as the adolescent quality of this superhero and just seeing him in high school again gives you so much to mine in terms of behavior and story and the contemporary mythological context of high school and what it is."
From the guy who brought us 500 Days of Summer, I'm definitely in. And from what I've heard, he's going to bring us one hell of an awesome, fresh new take on our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. It's great to hear Webb speaking so confidently and so knowledgeably about Spidey, as I think this is a good sign the franchise is now in very good hands. Of course, he can't satisfy everyone, but from the sounds (and looks) of it so far, this might just be the Spider-Man movie that some die-hard fans were hoping for, but didn't get with Raimi's version. I just hope this is as awesome as I'm expecting. I suggest reading the full interview with Marc Webb on Hero Complex, as there's plenty more he mentions that we didn't include. Thoughts?
Reader Feedback - 20 Comments
i seem to be in the minority that DESPISED the Raimi films and is looking forward to see what Webb has got.
Have Hope on Jul 19, 2011
Having just watched the leaked teaser online, I'm slightly worried about Webb's tone here. I'm glad we're going back to high school, but it looks like Peter is being potrayed as the weird, intense, kid who sits at the back of the class. This isn't teenage Batman. Spider-Man is supposed to be the naively optimistic hero, not the brooding vigilante. But I'm happy Webb wants to keep him as a 90 pound adolescent. He's supposed to look like the gangly loser who probably would lose in a fight, yet somehow doesn't. However, that's the only aspect I'd want to see from the Ultimate comics. I really don't want to see a Spider-Man with friends who know his identity, fighting a Hulkified Green Goblin lobbing fireballs at him
Ryan_a_gross on Jul 19, 2011
I was against it in the beginning, but I'm liking what I hear and see more and more.
Anonymous on Jul 19, 2011
I am just glad we are done with the dour Tobey Maguire performances. I was emoed to death with those movies. One of the most obvious things that the first movies missed from the comics was that Peter was a scared kid most of the time, he just used the jokes and verbal jabs as a way to cope. I would love to see that in this movie.
Benjamin Sharp on Jul 19, 2011
Dude just watched the teaser moments before it got taken down! Wow! Epic... It goes all Mirrors Edge at one point with Spidey jumping between buildings, climbing and swinging, finally ending up on a mirrored building showing a reflection of himself! Fantastic trailer, i have absolutely no worries about this film now! Cant wait to see it. I wont say more as i dont want to spoil it for everyone. Also im sorry if ive given it away that Spidey does some jumping and climbing.
Dan3659 on Jul 19, 2011
Batman can beat Spiderman. LOL
WB Exec on Jul 19, 2011
Ironic that his last name is Webb, and he is directing a Spiderman movie.
DesinaCoda on Jul 19, 2011
Oh my! First Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers. Now The Amazing Spider-Man teaser trailer. When will the studios learn just to put out the official trailers at the same time they screen them somewhere... people and their shitty mobilphone-cam'ed crap...
JennyB on Jul 19, 2011
Can't wait! I'm a huge Ultimate Spider-Man fan so this has me crazy excited
Garrett Jamieson DeLozier on Jul 19, 2011
I've just seen the trailer and I think it's brilliant. The tone is wonderful and the idea of swinging around New York from through his eyes rather than seeing him is a clever, refreshing cinematic take on it. Well done, Webb.
George Caltsoudas on Jul 19, 2011
i love spider-man and i liked aspects of raimis movies, well the first two anyways, and im looking forward to this, regardless if its a reboot or whatever so soon after raimis films. why? because its spider-man. many many different artists and writers did their take on spider-man in the comics, so i dont see a problem with that happening in movies really. though i do wish it wasnt and origin story
Ictimerlsf on Jul 19, 2011
Hey Butt-head, I'm gettin a stiffy!
Beavis on Jul 19, 2011
After having seen the trailer, I'm very excited. There's a first person parkour rooftop spider-man sequence that is amazing.
DaftBot on Jul 19, 2011
Maybe we'll only see that costume at the end of the movie after he goes through a few prototypes or scrappy thrown together things, and maybe gets some help.
JL on Jul 19, 2011
I can't wait to see this trailer in HD!
jah p on Jul 19, 2011
That last shot is ripping off a game trailer who's name eludes me right now... Anyone here know?
Louise on Jul 19, 2011
Your on the internet look it up
CBFawley on Jul 20, 2011
God, I hate gamers.. Seriously, watch some car chase videos from youtube and theres million comments like "OMG GTA" "wow GTA!!!!!". But I guess that game invented mirrors..
AP on Jul 20, 2011
Spider on Jul 20, 2011
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