Today, a worldwide event took place for The Amazing Spider-Man. At cities around the globe, the trailer for the film was previewed to chosen fans and media, while bigger markets also got a Spidey-related celebrity in attendance of the screening, as well.
While NYC got Spider-Man himself in Andrew Garfield, we in Los Angeles ran a close second, scoring director Marc Webb, who introduced both the 3D trailer, and a five-minute, 2D “sizzle reel” that told the story of THIS Spider-Man using clips from the film.
While it would seem that the story of Spider-Man is old hat given that we’ve experienced three films in the past decade or so, Webb took pains to clarify that the film wasn’t interested in rehashing material covered by the Raimi/Maguire films. A new Spider-Man (Garfield) has a new love interest in Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone, who was beamed in via satellite from her screening in Rio de Janeiro), and he’s got a new set of problems in villain Dr. Connors, (Rhys Ifans).
What Webb stressed (and both the trailer and sizzle reel hinted at) was that this film tells us the story of what happened to Peter Parker’s parents, which is told through his relationship with his Aunt and Uncle, as well as his struggle with Dr. Connors, who was his father’s partner in science.
Other than that, the film focuses largely on a hipper-than-Tobey teenager who has a crush on Stone’s Stacy. Stacy’s father (Denis Leary) just happens to be the policeman tasked with hunting down Spider-Man, so the scenes between the two are filled with an honest tension that didn’t exist so much in the earlier films.
And that’s the story as told by the trailer. The real reveal here (the fate of Parker’s parents) is alluded to, but not demonstrated, though Webb touted that as a selling point of the film. Beyond that, Webb’s sensibilities coming from (500) Days of Summer make this film seem almost like an indie love story in much the same fashion that Christopher Nolan was able to make The Dark Knight feel like a crime film.
In short, the trailer suggested this film has enough heart and character development to appeal to those outside the fanboy set.
It looks great. Webb stressed the use of 3D cameras in filming, not the “bullshit” conversion technique. Much has been made of the use of 3D as Spider-Man wings through New York, and the footage lives up to the hype. The action feels made for IMAX.
A big element of the trailer was a bombastic, epic score that made even these three minutes feel important. I felt that the original three films never hoped to be more than “cute,” and while this one appears very heartfelt (an awkward interaction early on between Peter and Stacy shows a soul that eludes most superhero films), it also feels like this is a story that’s asking to be told, rather than one that’s created.
While Columbia certainly wants to put its best foot forward with the trailer, including all the “money shots” that make the 3D seem worthwhile, it’s the more low-key moments that left me wanting more. In the theater lobby after the viewing, Sony execs were loudly celebrating a tweet from the audience that read something along the lines of “(Christopher) Nolan has found a rival in Webb.” While I don’t expect a rivalry or feud to break out any time soon, and I don’t think that Webb has the same resume that Nolan does yet, I understand the Tweeter’s excitement in seeing a filmmaker hit the mark in such a huge fashion.
Enough with the words. See for yourself at Screen Junkies tonight at midnight PST when this trailer goes live online.