By Brian Hall
Reboots are a funny thing these days. A film doesn’t even have to be 10 years old to get one, and in many instances the “new take” on the material is to simply make it “grittier.”
That’s the approach previous trailers would have us believe director Marc Webb is also taking with the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Do we really need to see Spidey’s origins again so soon? Is it worth looking at the same story through a different perspective? The footage shown at Sony’s panel on Saturday, I’d argue, made a good case for venturing another look at the character’s origins through a different director’s eyes.
Director Marc Webb (“500 Days of Sumer”) said for this go around they wanted to play up Spider-Man embodying the attitude of a teenager. They also wanted to play with the idea of the psychology of justice, which they do here by pitting Spider-Man against Gwen Stacy’s father, a police captain played by Dennis Leary. Additionally, they said it was important to them to do as much practical effects work as possible.
All of these things showed through quite well in the lengthy new trailer they presented. It began with Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) nervously flirting with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone.) But not in a scene of pithy, Hollywood back-and-forth. They talk in a more realistic pitter patter. It endears us to them both and sets up what looks to be a less poppy and more grounded take on the characters. Spidey’s “trickster” teenage side is on display when he not only stops a thug but feels the need to continue picking on him while he’s down. A few scenes of wire work where the wires weren’t removed just yet, for me at least, added a nice sense of weight to the action, knowing that it was a real person zipping around and not just a CGI creation.
Emma Stone joined the stage and said she had only known Spider-Man from the Raimi trilogy but quickly consumed all she could once she learned she was up for the role of Gwen Stacy. And in case you’re wondering, yes, Stone is just as charming in real life as you think she’d be.
Raimi’s films were pretty darn close to comic books come to life. They were poppy, fun and easy to digest. The footage today however was a good sell for the thoughtful, more grounded approach that Webb is going for here. We’ll see if it lands with everyone when “The Amazing Spider-Man” hits theaters July 3.