The-Amazing-Spider-Man.jpg Copyright: Sony Pictures

Coming a mere five years after the critically maligned Spider-Man 3, Sony Pictures' web-head franchise reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, promises to take the saga of Peter Parker back to its origins.

From discovering great power after a bite from a radioactive arachnid to unravelling the mystery of his parents’ disappearance, all the while faced with the dual problems of young love in the shape of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and a reptilian nemesis in the form of The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), our nerdy hero will have his work cut out for him.

Director Marc Webb and Spidey himself, Andrew Garfield, talk about the challenges of reinventing the superhero and why they feel their take on the friendly neighbourhood wallcrawler – mechanical web-shooters and all – will keep comic-book fans very happy…
 

On the story…

Marc Webb: “There are a lot of things in the Spider-Man canon that haven’t been explored cinematically. The loss of Peter’s parents launches Peter on his journey. I was curious about the emotional consequence of that tragic event. Then, of course, we have the Gwen Stacy saga – whether you’re familiar with the comics or not, it’s an extraordinary story. And, of course, there’s the Lizard, one of my favourite villains in comics. All of that gave us a lot to work with.”
 

On playing Spider-Man…

Andrew Garfield: “When I was younger, I sometimes felt trapped in my own skin. But we all have that. That’s why this character is the most popular of all the superheroes, he’s universal and uniting. The reason Spider-Man means so much to me is the same reason he means so much to everyone, he’s a symbol, an imperfect person in the way that we’re all imperfect, but trying so hard to do what is right. It’s overwhelming to represent him, believe me.”

 

On reintroducing Peter Parker…

Marc Webb: “We begin the story with Peter Parker as a seven-year-old boy. We see him before his parents left, before they handed him off to Aunt May [Sally Field] and Uncle Ben [Martin Sheen]. This allowed the audience to experience the significant emotional cues in his life. Our Peter Parker is a little different: he’s still an outsider, but he’s an outsider by choice. He has a chip on his shoulder, he’s the kid who rejects people before they can reject him. The humour, the sarcasm, the rebellious streak emanates from that little kid who got left behind so long ago.”
 

On Spidey’s enduring appeal…

Andrew Garfield: “Spider-Man has meant a great deal to me since I was a child; my attraction to the character began early. I found hope in Peter Parker’s struggles and the trials he went through week in and week out in the comics, and I connected with that. I found it fascinating; there was something very real in the way Stan Lee wrote him and created him with Steve Ditko.”

Marc Webb: “I think one of the traits which makes Spider-Man so interesting is how quickly he can moves, how fast he is. Spiders are tiny creatures that can move with incredible speed and efficiency, and that was important to reflect in the character. Andrew spent a lot of time studying how spiders moved, and he came up with a body language that felt spider-like, it was remarkable to watch.”
 

On filming in 3D…

Marc Webb: “3D enabled us to capture not only the thrills of a huge action sequence, but the portable handheld rigs allowed us to capture emotionally charged, more intimate scenes, such as a scene between Peter and his Aunt May that felt palpable, real and authentic.”

On home-made mechanical web-shooters…

Marc Webb: “It fits in with our goal to make Peter’s world seem real. Peter Parker is very much a kid of today. He wouldn’t wait around for someone to invent web-shooters; he’d be on the internet, doing research and figuring out how to make them himself. He’s got a head for this stuff naturally – designing the web-shooters is just the next logical step for him.”

Andrew Garfield: “They’re a big thing for Marc. It was important for him to show Peter taking an active role in his transformation into Spider-Man. It isn’t just something that happens to him – he seizes the moment and does everything in his power to make the most of it.”

 

nullCopyright: Sony Pictures

 


On the training regime…

Andrew Garfield: “The physical preparation was very challenging, to be sure. For six months, Armando [Alarcon, his fitness trainer] and I worked together six days a week. He pushed me harder than I thought I could be pushed; however, our work ethic is quite similar, so I tended to push myself as hard as he pushed me. He had a holistic approach that was invaluable in terms of my body confidence, health, strength and nutrition. We have become great friends.”
 

On wearing the iconic suit…

Andrew Garfield: “The first time I saw the suit, I thought it was so cool. Kym [Barrett, the costume designer] did an incredible job reimagining the suit while remaining true to what [Spidey co-creator] Steve Ditko originally drew. The first time I put on the suit, it was kind of surreal and joyous, because you see yourself embodying something that’s meant so much to you.”


 

The Amazing Spider-Man is released in 3D on July 3.

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