Amazing Spider-Man: Interview with Marc Webb
“The Amazing Spider-Man” is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), an outcast in high school who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). In the process of finding his way, Peter interacts with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Together, they struggle with love, commitment, and secrets.
As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to OsCorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero. The film also stars Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, and Irrfan Khan.
Directed by Marc Webb, and produced by Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach, “The Amazing Spider-Man” is from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves and based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
The film opens in theaters nationwide on July 3, 2012.
Exploring New Territory
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 – ultimately, this is a story about a kid who goes out looking for a father and finds himself. 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 favorite villains in comics. All of that gave us a lot to work with.
A New Connection to Peter Parker
Webb: Since we were reestablishing Peter Parker, we had to build the audience’s relationship with him from the ground up. In order to do that legitimately, 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 and Uncle Ben. This allowed the audience to experience the significant emotional cues in his life…This 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 humor, the sarcasm, the rebellious streak emanates from that little kid who got left behind so long ago.
Evolving with the Times
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.
Webb: The things that are unresolved, the things we have to live with, send us down a road – and that road can make us better people or not… A key part of our orchestration of the story is that everything in Peter’s journey happens because of his yearning to find out about his father. The sequence of events which leads him to OsCorp and to Dr. Connors results in his being bitten. I didn’t want the spider bite to be an arbitrary occurrence, but a representation and result of his desire to fill a void.
Webb: Denis Leary is a great actor and has always been hilarious and a great observer of humanity. As Captain Stacy, he got to not only inject some comedy, but a level of drama and emotional reality that was really powerful.
Realism in the Film
Webb: I wanted the fun, the spectacle, the action, the rage, and the humor to feel more realistic – like you walk out on the street and you can imagine this happening. [Stunt Coordinator] Andy [Armstrong] developed devices for our film that would enhance the swinging in a way that just hadn’t been done before. The level of ingenuity and engineering that the Armstrongs espoused was really incredible.
Like a Spider
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 [Garfield] spent a lot of time studying how spiders moved, and he came up with a body language that felt spider-like. His work ethic and performance is just extraordinary – it was remarkable to watch.
Recreating the Williamsburg Bridge
Webb: [The Williamsburg Bridge] sequence was extremely complex – it had so many moving parts and was so physically demanding for everyone involved. It was also a key emotional beat, because it is where Peter realizes the value of what Spider-Man can be, and it transforms him in a certain way.
Webb: We wanted to put people in Peter Parker’s shoes and Spider-Man’s shoes in this film, to let them experience the thrills themselves… [Cinematographer] John [Schwartzman] has a knack for creating really beautiful images, but what we did for this film was try to create an enhanced naturalism. I wanted to create environments that felt realistic and not super stylized – John was able to give them a tinge of fantasy; he elevated them with his lighting so that the environments became warm and inviting. You wanted to spend time in this world and there was beauty and sophistication in even the simplest of moments.
Leave a Reply
- Cannes 2013: Most Popular Films Ever
- Nicole Kidman: Jury Member in 2013 Cannes Fest
- Anchorman 2 Teaser
- Fast & Furious 6: London, Glasgow, Liverpool
- Fast & Furious 6: Vehicular Warfare:
- Fast && Furious 6: Stunts
- Fast & Furious 6: The Newcomers
- Fast & Furious 6: Family Reunion
- Cannes 2013: Gunshots Heard; Christoph Waltz Rushed Off Stage
- Cannes 2013: Weinstein Presents Oscar Hopefuls
- Angelina Jolie Double Mastectomy–Talk of Cannes Film Fest
- Cannes Fest 2013: Jerry Lewis Double Bill