Why You Won't See Any Amateur 'Spider-Man' Set Photos on FS.net

February 4, 2011
Source: ComingSoon, /Film

Spider-Man Set Photo

Ever since Sony released that first official photo of Andrew Garfield in the newly redesigned costume for Marc Webb's Spider-Man, which is filming now, the floodgates for amateur set photos have been jammed permanently open, and a nearly non-stop stream of fascinating/distributing low quality shots of Spider-Man have been rolling in. Has the internet become the new Daily Bugle? If you haven't noticed, we didn't post any of these set photos, and there's a reason - it may not be a good one and I may be losing hits, but it's my decision and I'm sticking with it. And in the meantime, we're going to chat about Spidey, at least this once.

Before I get into it, I need to tell you a story. In the early years of FS.net, the big movie that everything was leading up to was Spider-Man 3. I had attended Comic-Con in 2006 (my very first year) and everyone was buzzing like crazy over Venom and Sandman and much more. But then Sony's marketing machine kicked in and in the final 6 months leading up to its release on May 4th, 2007, I was smothered in an endless barrage of media: photos, trailers, clips and more clips! I watched the entire Harry vs Peter snowboard fight at CES in January, which I saw a few times later. Then I attended a press junket in April, which is where an official Beta tape was released containing the entire crane sequence with Gwen Stacey, almost every cool Sandman scene, and half of the Venom transformation in the church. All that was left that I hadn't seen by the time it came out was the final fight between Venom, Spidey and Sandman at the construction yard - which, as we all know, wasn't that cool anyway. I think that explains why Spider-Man 3 felt like such a huge letdown to me.

I was a changed moviegoer after that. Yea, it may seem a little cheesy that I learned some kind of big lesson from not enjoying a movie, but I love the experience of movies and it's my job. From that point forward, I have always tried to limit the amount of footage I see before a movie, and will no longer post any full clips from a film on the site. If I'm seeing something really big (like Inception or Tron Legacy) I will usually stop myself from watching any trailers, TV spots or footage at all for the three weeks leading up to my very first screening. Its definitely helped and I'm happy to always make these choices. In the end, I get to see the full movie as its meant to be viewed, and most of it is actually a surprise but still entertaining to watch when finally seeing it on the big screen - which is ideally the way every movie should be seen for the first time.

So here we are again in 2011 and we've got another entirely new Spider-Man coming next year. No one had actually seen photos of the costume before that first shot, but now that it's out, no one is holding back. And the shots that are making headlines on other movie websites around the web are just horrifying. Not only is the Spidey costume tweaked both in color and function in order to account for certain stunts or CGI sequences, but it just doesn't look right. I would much rather wait to see the vision of Spider-Man that Marc Webb has in his mind, and more importantly his lens, than any shot some paparazzi is taking 300 feet away hiding behind their parked car. Do we really need to see these poor quality photos to be satisfied as fans?

Spider-Man Set PhotoOf course, there are exceptions. In fact, I've tossed up a few different shots in this post for a couple of reasons. I've already been talking about these photos and my dislike of them with Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm. He made the argument, at least for a specific new set of pictures that were just revealed, that there were some neat things to discover by looking at them that readers also might like to learn about, and none of it would ruin the movie. Take, for example, these two photos to the right. We now know that Webb is opting to shoot a lot of the web-swinging scenes practically, with an actual man-in-suit-on-wire stunt rig. In fact, tons of these kind of shots have popped up different places, and there's even some cool videos, too. I'm actually impressed. It's pretty awesome to know that instead of the CGI Spidey flying through New York like the last three films, we're literally getting an actual Spider-Man flying around New York. This is going to look amazing… and in 3D, too. While watching Spider-Man literally fling himself off of a truck in real-life is awesome, I usually prefer not to ruin that scene.

Spider-Man Set PhotoSo there we go, that's more than enough justification to post a few of these for you guys. You got me, I get it, a few of them are cool to see. But… that doesn't mean we're just going to start rattling off posts left 'n right about the new yoga positions Spidey's trying on his trainer. Additionally, I am not trying to stop you guys from seeing these. In fact, it's your choice and yours alone, though I'd hope that a few might follow in my footsteps and limit themselves from seeing too much before a movie is released. This happens all too often, like it did with Captain America, and probably will for The Hobbit, too. I just think it's best to show you guys the real, official stuff that they want us to see because that's how it'll look in the movie, rather than the stuntman version that's currently makin' the rounds. It will be better in the end and you're not missing much anyway, don't worry.

This isn't meant to be a pretentious editorial telling you what's best. I get that some folks want to see these photos and they may help build more buzz anyway, but I'm just explaining why I've lost my appetite for posting them. I'm sure I'll continue to remain immensely excited for Sony's newest Spider-Man, but I'll be happier knowing I didn't ruin every scene in the movie looking at paparazzi photos two years out. Every time one of these galleries hits, I usually get emails from someone saying to check them out. I do notice them all, but I skip most of them, mostly because I want to enjoy the new Spider-Man that Webb is cooking up for us. In due time we'll get an official poster, plenty more official photos, even trailers. Then on July 3rd, 2012, a mere 17 months away, we'll finally be able to sit down together in movie theaters around the world to enjoy Marc Webb's Spider-Man as it is meant to be seen - on the big screen (in 3D).

Until then, you'll probably only see official shots on our site (including magazine scans). But to finally shake all these paparazzi shots our of system once and for all, enjoy this last ridiculously goofy shot of Spider-Man running across a street in silver ballet flats. I'm pretty sure he won't look that cheesy in the movie. Capiche?

Spider-Man Set Photo

Find more posts: Discuss, Editorial, Hype, Opinions



Well put man. I fully agree and I'm so excited for this movie.

Garrett Jamieson DeLozier on Feb 5, 2011


I like your thoughts here and agree. I spoiled Jurassic Park 3 for myself and vowed never to watch everything released for a movie ever again. Granted, it wasn't all that great, but I at first I couldn't if it was because of the movie or my expectations based on all the footage. Later I would even close my eyes and cover my ears in the theaters for trailers of movies like Road to Perdition and King Kong. I probably looked like a kid having a seizure.

lane on Feb 5, 2011


Am I one of the few people that likes the new suit? Yeah it looks weird and different but isn't different good....sometimes? I for one am looking forward to this reboot because as much as I liked Spiderman 1 and 2, I wasn't a big fan of Tobey. It's hard to take Spiderman seriously when he sounds like an annoying yip dog when he takes a hit. I am always eating up every bit of info on new blockbuster movies but Alex's approach sounds like a good one. I have been let down by a few summer blockbusters so maybe if I limit my intake, I'll enjoy the movie that much more

Chris on Feb 5, 2011


yeah. that really pisses me off. I'll be watching the movie and then i'll be waiting for a part that was shown in the trailer to show up

Chris on Feb 5, 2011


oh my goodness I hate waiting the whole movie for a sweet part from the trailer, only to find that it's not in there. *glares at Inglourious Basterds*

Dan Arbiture on Feb 5, 2011


I'm gonna try and limit myself to two trailers, the teaser and first full trailer, then stop and wait for the actual film. Good article, Alex.

Anonymous on Feb 5, 2011


"Why You Won't See Any Amateur 'Spider-Man' Set Photos on FS.net" That why I go to latinoreview.com slashfilm.com aintitcoolnew.com nukethefridge.com and hitfix.com, but not here so much

Farter on Feb 5, 2011


Uh, I don't mean to be a jerk or anything, but your article about the fact you don't post amateur photos from the set of Spider-Man... contains amateur photos from the set of Spider-Man.

Screen Rant on Feb 5, 2011


Yea I know, but did you read the article? I say the end and explain that it's just: a) for fun, b) to educate everyone briefly about the cool man-on-wire stunts, and c) just to throw some up once and never feature them again. It was only to talk about them in this one article dude. 🙂

Alex Billington on Feb 5, 2011


Sure, but we don't run bootleg trailers - that would be like us throwing a few into an article stating we don't believe in promoting them. Or throwing in pictures of naked women in a post saying how we strive to keep our site family friendly. 🙂 Vic

Screen Rant on Feb 5, 2011


With these few pictures, people who may not be aware of the spy photos know exactly what kind of photos we're talking about. This way people can see how terrible these photos are, and decide whether or not they want to see them by finding them somewhere else. But as soon as we see a bootleg trailer of a porno featuring Spider-Man, you can bet we'll post that. : P

Ethan Anderton on Feb 5, 2011


Y'know, I don't think that trailer would be all that difficult to find. Unfortunately...

Dan Arbiture on Feb 5, 2011


It's refreshing to see another moviegoer with a similar take on the pre bow buzz on this film and all the other awesome releases hitting the multiplexes this summer as mine. As I'm not an individual whose given to accommodating rumor and conjecture, and also speaking as a writer in the biz, when I see set pictures and character speculation, especially when it shows up in the blogosphere one and two YEARS before the film's release date, I usually skip right past it. How can speculation be considered anything else but just that-speculation. And yet, before you know it, five or six fanboy fueled sites are running with the item (s) as if the info was grail from the studios. Another phenomena, albeit an annoying one, is the amount of negative "press" a movie in tends to get when the FBoys start gleaning their opines on the web concerning a myriad of gripes about how "not cool" the costumes are, how "this isn't how it goes in the comic", and "Ryan Reynolds doesn't look like Hal Jordan" What these fans don't seem to take into consideration is that all of these complained about elements probably make sense when viewed in the context of the film maker's vision. I realize that everyone is entitled to express their opinions, but how about waiting until after they've seen the film before they trash it?

Mjed301980 on Feb 5, 2011


Sure Alex, I agree with you. I mean, really... I've been a movie buff for years and years, and to be honest, I've lost a lot of that part of me over the years. For a lot of reasons... I don't need to get into that here. Bur the point I'm trying to make here is, if that's what it takes to preserve the passion of film for you, then do it. Don't make concessions. Because when the movie love dies, it really dies.

Anon on Feb 5, 2011


I totally agree about not spoiling a movie too much beforehand. Really well put.

Tom Vatterott on Feb 5, 2011


I say put them on but after the break and then it is down to the reader to decide whether they want to see them. Call is Amateur Spider-Man Set Photos of the Week and make it a feature of FS. Some good points in your post though. The amount of clips and things that get released in the run up to the film can show most of it which is crazy. They need to get back to trailers that hint at things or just show scenes from the first act of the film instead of giving the whole story away.

Phil Edwards on Feb 5, 2011


I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing Spiderman looking that well endowed either...

Matt on Feb 5, 2011


I understand what your saying about watching too much footage and how that can ruin the actual film watching experience. I did the same for x3. I was so excited for x3 that I watched everything I could get my hand on and by the time I watched x3 I knew all the plot points of the movie. Watching so much of it in snipits did make the film watching experience less enjoyable. However in reality the film sucked regardless of whether or not I watched so much footage before hand. Same thing for Wolverine when that early cut was leaked online. I watched it BECAUSE I knew the film was going to be terrible and that even without all the CGI finished it was still a terrible film. Plus Spiderman 3 was horrible and there's nothing you can do about that. However this is different. These are production photos, and these aren't from the eye of the director. You're not seeing the action from the same lens of the camera, so they shouldn't "ruin the film experience" for you. And it sounds like you don't want to release the "bad" photos of the spider-man production photos so that you can still have hope that this New Spiderman will be great. It's like you don't want to watch the ugly process of them building the car because it's so ugly that it will ruin the driving experience. Production photos are different than footage from the film and I think since it's FirstShowing's "thing" is release news about films in production I think not posting up photos is babying your audience. The photos are understandably bad. Everyone has criticized the photos. And these photos make it seem like the film might be bad. But my point is that footage is different that photos. Footage is the truer indicator of whether a film will be good or not. Even in your article you mentioned all the footage of s3 you saw before the film. So maybe you should hide footage more than you hide production photos.

Jor on Feb 5, 2011


really good article. But in the end of the day its up to the individual! just the other day i decided to limit the amount i read/look at regarding the dark knight. I was so disappointed with the first spiderman trilogy as a whole Im going to take a similair approch with this spiderman and hope that Marc Webb, and more importantly Andrea Garfield can deliver the goods. Also i think its fair to say that this approach is probably just necessary for the bigger films, the blockbusters. A certain amount of info is good but we dont need an information overload! When it comes to other films id take a different approach with say the hangover 2 for example...really looking forward to that just for the fun and ill watch the trailer for laughs. But when it comes to films i expect a lot from i like to be surpried. (hopefully in a good way!)

Anonymous on Feb 5, 2011


Completely agree. Now, if you could just get that editorial to message boards across the net, maybe some sanity would creep in.

Marky Shorter on Feb 5, 2011


Agreed, very much so I had a simulator feeling watching spider-man 3 (i watched a clip at wondercon that year) and i learned from it too. I almost gave in and watched clips of the dark knight weeks before the release and I read a post you had urging people not to spoil the dark knight for them selves and stop watching trailers clips or any ad for it. I listened and I watched one of the greatest movies in my life unspoiled. thank you Alex i really appreciate it. With the new spider-man i intend to keep it pure but the pictures do interest me in understanding how it will be filmed and to point out I think on the last photo there the thing on his wrist might be a web canister like the one in the comics that peter invented. Hope so at least i think the movies took away from peters nerd cool by not doing that. anyways, thanks alex!

Taylor Schriner on Feb 5, 2011


While i do love this website, and it has a lot of useful info, if not the best, one of the best of its kinda, from time to time theres this one post that really is uncalled for, and this is one of them. You just posted a sum up of all the spy photos out there on a single article and told you didnt want to have anything to do with it.

Anonymous on Feb 5, 2011


Same thing happened to me after Inglourious Basterds. It didn't feel like a let down, and I loved it to death, but a lot of the scenes weren't a surprise. Sure I didn't actually see a lot of the footage, but i had read countless articles about the scenes and basically knew the entire course of the film.

Al on Feb 5, 2011


I got bored reading but I have to chime in saying it wasn't advance screenings that ruined Spiderman 3 for ya 'cause that wouldn't explain the let down everyone else had. lol

tra la la la la di da on Feb 5, 2011


Oh don't worry, I still recognize that Spider-Man 3 was a terrible film all around, just adding a little context to my own story with the film. 😉

Alex Billington on Feb 5, 2011


but.... you showed amateur set pics... in this article

Josh on Feb 5, 2011


The title is the big play... especially because I explain why I put up a few of them and that this is the one-and-only and final time I'm posting any!

Alex Billington on Feb 6, 2011


Great points Alex, if you devour every (and I mean every) little tidbit by the time the movie is released, there is nothing left to be surprised/impressed by. I like you stance on not seeing things the 3-4 weeks prior to the release but take it a step further, and limit yourself longer than that. I suppose that's part of your job to keep appraised of all the tidbit but you do a good job at keeping it selective. Personally I know how you felt about Spider Man 3 ans I did the same thing with Quantum of Solace, The Expendables and Transformers 2. Insult to injury is that not only did I know everything going into the theater, the movies themselves were pretty awful. Double whammy. I guess being selective and not dwelling is a hard lesson to learn but makes it better in the long run!

Anonymous on Feb 5, 2011


he should at least have a little bit more muscle

Chris Cavins on Feb 5, 2011


No he shouldnt Chris!!! The extreme strong heroes like superman and hulk etc. are a different matter but (going geeky for a minute here) Peter gained the proportional strength of a spider....spiders are not big and muscly, far from it...but they can lift up to over a hundred times their bodyweight. Spiderman has supernormal strength due to the spider bite, not due to muscle development. Look at Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's earliest rendering....he was always painfully thin!

FOOM on Feb 16, 2011


I totally agree, Alex. The first official shot we got of Andrew Garfield in the suit was really cool, I thought. These fuzzy, paparazzi photos don't look nearly as great as that first official photo. The suit will look great in the final film, I'm sure.

Anonymous on Feb 5, 2011


yeah nicely put man i agree

A5J4DX on Feb 5, 2011


This is a beautifully written article, man. Spot on about too much random crap being released before the movie actually comes out. I've had a couple possible good ones ruined for me because of that. Nice article, Alex.

FriendlyFire on Feb 6, 2011


Thanks, appreciate it. 🙂

Alex Billington on Feb 8, 2011


Aren't you being a little bit of a hypocrite? After all your site is about bring the movie news and trailers to the end users. Shouldn't you by that accord stop posting material related to a movie 3-4 weeks before the movie hits theater. Personally I don't care about watching the trailers close to seeing the movie. Of course I will say that they tend to make the trailers better than a lot of movies (ex. Wolverine ). And you little shit, you removed a post of me making fun of the fact that you posted a trailer for Battlefield Los ...

fancy pants on Feb 8, 2011


No, not being a hypocrite at all. I can post what I want whenever, and I think this stuff doesn't need to be posted (showing them here was part of the piece). We'd rather show you trailers, official photos, real stuff like that. I'm not saying all marketing is bad, I'm just saying these amateur Spider-Man set photos in particular are awful. And yes, if you attack me personally in comments, your comment will be removed. This isn't a shooting gallery, it's a place to discuss film and film news, and any rude replies like that are not tolerated, simple as that. Sorry.

Alex Billington on Feb 8, 2011


Fair enough, although it wasn't a rude reply, just joking based on this article.

fancy pants on Feb 9, 2011


If set photos can dampen your relationship with a film, it was probably a pretty flimsy relationship to begin with. This is absolutely juvenile.

Parker_S on Jan 21, 2013

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