The new edition of Entertainment Weekly, arriving on newsstands today, has Andrew Garfield on the cover, dressed in his Amazing Spider-Man superhero costume. And I still don’t know what to think of this reboot.
The EW issue, incidentally, is the annual Comic-Con issue, in which the magazine shows off loads of exclusives just prior to the mega-convention’s kick off in San Diego. The issue also includes exclusive peeks at the new Total Recall, Season 2 of The Walking Dead, and Fox’s highly anticipated Terra Nova.
It’s not that I don’t want The Amazing Spider-Man to succeed. I hope director Marc Webb and his cast and crew knock it out of the park. But the reboot is happening so soon after the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire series; Spider-Man 3 was released in 2007, meaning there was just five years between one series and another. And aside from the overstuffed finale, I adored the Raimi films. With the first of those releasing in 2002 and Webb’s coming next year, that means we’ll have two versions of the same origin story appearing on film, separated by only ten years.
Any fool can see that this new series is a film studio attempt at cashing in on a recent hit series by starting the whole thing over. This doesn’t mean it can’t be good. But it’s a huge risk. If it crashes and burns, then it’ll be a very long time before we see the wall-crawler on the silver screen again. And some of Webb’s choices feel a little… off.
For starters, there’s the Spider-Man costume. I get the need for interesting textures in this age of HD, but the thing looks like a bunch of basketballs were deflated and sewn together. And did we really need all those vertical stripes on the front? We get it: Andrew Garfield is incredibly slender.
Speaking of Garfield, the guy’s got acting chops, no doubt. But when those first images of him in the costume surfaced, I was convinced he hadn’t done any physical prep for the role at all. He wasn’t just skinny, he was downright wimpy. The picture in this set of him with his shirt off at least confirms that he did work out enough to get — well, if not ripped, at least he’s toned. Which is appropriate for the character.
There are also differences in the new movie that feel like they’re there just for the sake of being different from the Raimi film. Gwen Stacy as the love interest, for example, or the mechanical web-shooters instead of Raimi’s organic shooters. These are plot elements much closer to Peter’s origin story in the comic book, yet other aspects of the production make it clear that faithfulness to the source material is not at the forefront of Webb’s priority list. (Hello again, costume.) And The Lizard as the villain? Does that character really create a powerful enough screen presence to justify being the main villain?
Then again, maybe Gwen’s presence as the love interest means we’ll finally get a properly-done big screen version of Gwen’s death atop the George Washington Bridge. If not in this film, then maybe in the second one.
It feels like Webb is trying to make this film Spider-Man’s version of Batman Begins. That movie retold Batman’s origins with greater insight and depth and character motivations than any other film, TV series, or comic book ever had. So if that’s Webb’s blueprint… maybe he’s a lot smarter than anybody knows. All of this, after all, is just speculation based on a handful of pictures. Perceptions and opinions will hinge entirely on seeing the movie itself.
Anyway, enjoy the EW pics below, and then let us know your thoughts about the new film!