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Behind the Scenes of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN:
Speaking to Director Marc Webb about the New Trailer
By Evy Baehr, Associate Editor
Movieguide® was given a little glimpse Wednesday into THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Sony’s new reboot of the Spider-Man franchise.
Seeing the newest trailer before its release created an exciting intro to what looks like a high action, fun Spiderman. The newest trailer shows Peter Parker in search of his parents, wondering why they left him and trying to find them throughout the film. During this search, he himself transforms into Spiderman. From only viewing the trailer, it seems as if Spiderman may be more confidant than the last rendition, with sort of an edge to his character. The deep implications and repercussions of his parents leaving him is clearly a driving plot line. Even the trailer itself implies that there’s a purpose to this, however.
Jumping out and swinging from building to building, the audience is entwined in the webs of a spider through the 3D visual effects. Clearly going to be an exciting experience, the new trailer stresses the special effects and action involved. However, when getting to the heart of things, Peter Parker is faced with the question, “Do you think that what happened to you was an accident?” This implies a purpose to Peter’s transformation into “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
From action, to effects, to the heart of Peter Parker, Director Marc Webb gave Movieguide® even more insight on what to expect from the coming SPIDER-MAN reboot:
Q: On feeling how Spiderman Feels:
Webb: We were still in production when we made that first trailer. Part of the fun of this was to create the movie thinking about subjectivity. Getting to feel what Spider-Man feels. We spent a lot of time refining and just making it better. There is that in the movie, but a much more refined version.
Q: Who was the voice in the trailer that said don’t tell the boy about his mom?
Webb: You’ll have to see the movie.
Q: Can you talk about bringing the Lizard villain to life?
Webb: There’s a lot that goes into it. When we shot those sequences we actually shot a human a large. There was a guy named big John, literally a guy named John, who did a lot of the interactive stuff because when you’re trying to interact with Andrea or Peter you need someone grabbing him. We would place him with the computer generated Lizard, but then the performance capture was done with Reese. We would shoot and get his facial complexion, which we’re still working on. That takes an enormous amount of time. I was interested in finding something that could relate human emotions because I wanted to keep Rhys’ performance in that creator, and I was interested in performance. I think Pixar does it extremely well creating emotional qualities in characters that are essentially computer generated. Rhys’ performance is getting that nuance in the eyebrow ticks and the looks and creating an amateur that can actually speak and lips that makes sounds is a very detailed and tedious process, but I really wanted to capture emotion, and I wanted him to have a face and feeling and that’s the way I choose to do that. And then, there’s the physical components. I wanted to make him very powerful.
Q: We see a lot of the spectacle on screen. How did you balance that with fact that Spiderman is a more down to earth character.
Webb: I was always a Spider-Man fan, but I was a bigger Peter Parker fan than Spider-Man. When you see the movie, I don’t think anybody will be worried about the emotional part of it. There is an incredibly innocent tender quality to Peter Parker. He is not a billionaire. He’s not an alien. He’s a kid, and he doesn’t have money, and he has trouble with the people that raised him, and he has trouble talking to girls. And, there’s that intense relatability which is all through the movie. That was a texture to me that was really intuitive. It’s just something I love with movie, particularly with that romantic dimension. Something that I am very familiar with – being nervous [around] women. But, the relatability, the interpersonal relationships Peter Parker has are so simple and so domestic, that it’s a very fun dichotomy to play that big massive spectacle alongside those very small ones. In a very real way there is a small intimate indie movie at the heart of Spider-Man. And, that’s my access point. [For] the trailer. . . you want that spectacle and you want that energy, cause I think there’s an expectation surrounding that [but] the more intimate parts of SPIDER-MAN is to me the best part.
Q: Will he discover his powers?
Webb: There are elements of that. I wanted to do things differently. We’ve seen the origin of Spider-Man, but we haven’t seen the origin of Peter Parker. There are certain iconic elements of Spider-Man that I felt obligated to honor, but there are some exploratory phases, but I wanted to build something in a different tone. In a different attitude. In a more practical way.
Q: Humorous side?
Webb: Humor is a tricky thing cause it is very subjective. Everything in this movie, the first domino is Peter Parker being left by his parents. What does that do to somebody? How does that change their view of the world? To me it creates a little bit of a level of distrust. It’s a brutal thing to happen to you. To me, that’s where he gets his outsider status. There’s a sarcasm that comes from that. I think it comes from a real genuine place.
Q: Uncle Ben’s death is a catalyst, but in the trailer it looks like it is his search for the truth about his parents.
Webb: The first domino of the story is the parents. And, he goes out looking for his father and he finds himself. That’s my tagline. Uncle Ben’s death is – you’ll have to see the movie – but Uncle Ben’s death transforming him and has impact on him in certain ways is an incredible part of the mythology, and I would never subvert that.
Q: How about the 48 frames per second that Peter Jackson is trying?
Webb: I feel it’s really important to support experiments. It’s really important to try new and different things. And, I really want to honor the theatrical experience and things that make that better are great. We have to be patient and see what happens. It’s a very, very hard thing to make movies and especially in the environment now were everybody wants to have an opinion about something. It’s hard to generate a level of goodwill or support or curiosity about things. So I would be curious to see it. Anything to help with making movies interesting and fun to watch, I’m all about [that].