Amazing Spider-Man Sneek Peek Event!
Earlier today, I was invited to a special "event" held in New York City by Sony Pictures for their summer release THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. I did not know much going into this event, I only knew that NYC was only one of several cities across the globe hosting the event, so I was not going to be the only one witnessing it (to say the least). However, there was still excitement in the air as I sat down in a theater with a group of journalists to get a peek at Marc Webb's reinvention of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
There were cameras in the theater pointing at the audience, because this event was going to simulcast in 15 different cities across the globe. Eventually, we got started, as the movie theater's screen served as a conduit to all the different cities that were taking part of this.
Director Marc Webb is in L.A., Rhys Ifans (Curt Connors) is in London, Emma Stone (Gwen Stacey) and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are in Rio de Jineiro, and Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker) is in N.Y. Each panel is shown on the big screen to let us know that this is all happening in real time.
First we see the new trailer for the film (which is due to go online at 12:00am PT tonight). My personal opinion: it's miles better than the original trailer. More is shown, yes, but the tone of the movie is clearer. There's comedy (Spidey sitting in the back of a car that is being stolen, lecturing the hoodlum on his outfit), drama (plenty of talk about Peter's parents, Peter grappling emotionally with his enemy, The Lizard) and serious action (the trailer's final shot is a simply awesome visual of Spider-Man clinging to an antenna that is toppling off of a skyscraper. )
Next we hear from Marc Webb about what makes this film different from the previous Spider-Man films. Webb says this is the “untold story” of Parker's life (indeed, the trailer promises us the untold story as well); how Peter deals with being an orphan is apparently a key ingredient.
Then we see an extended “sizzle reel” from the movie, which – if I'm being honest – isn't much different from what I saw last summer at Comic-Con. (Read that HERE.) Here's a small break-down of the scenes/montages:
- Things open with Parker seeing Flash Thompson bullying an unfortunate kid in front of a large crowd. Peter interjects, and Flash wants him to take a picture of the bullying. Peter refuses, and gets pummeled for his troubles. Later we see Peter slam Flash against a locker, which results in a talking-to from Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen).
- Peter talks to Gwen and asks her out; cute little scene that highlights Peter's awkwardness - but also his charm. .
- Peter meets the one-armed Dr. Curt Connors, who is intent on manufacturing a new appendage for himself. Connors was friends with Peter's dad (Campbell Scott), and an obvious bond between the two is forged. (We see Peter and Connors discussing a massive formula in front of a blackboard - think GOOD WILL HUNTING - and Connors is quite impressed with Peter's skills.)
- Peter is trapped in an odd, high-tech lab with seemingly hundreds of spiders. Presumably, this is where he is bitten. The scene definitely looks like a different take on Peter's "bite" than the one we saw in Raimi's original. Also looks really nifty.
- The fun stuff begins: Peter learning about his new powers. He's super strong (he creates a gigantic mess in his bathroom), can leap over cars, can batter a group of thugs with no problem... We see the extended scene with the car thief in which Spidey toys with the guy, pinning him up against a wall with a series of creative web shootings.
- We see Curt Connors' transformation: He grows a new hand, he becomes increasingly icky, and his bond with Peter is obviously broken when he becomes the monstrous Lizard.
- We see a sequence on top of a bridge where Lizard is seemingly after a taxi cab passenger (Irrfan Khan as "Dr Ratha"), busting his claws through the car's door's to nab the frightened man. It also looks like Spidey saves the day and prevents several cars from falling into the river (we were treated to an unfinished F/X shot of a few cars dangling from the bridge via spiderweb.)
- Denis Leary, playing Gwen's police captain father, is truly intent on stopping Spider-man, spouting the usual “he's nothing but a outlaw with a mask” type dialog. It's apparent that Gwen is worried about her father, as she confides to Peter that she goes to bed every night not knowing if her father's going to live or die because of his line of work.
- We see various scenes of Spider-man squaring off against the cops, thwarting them and in some cases knocking them out. In one, a handcuffed Spidey is approached by Leary and unmasked... at least, that's what it looks like happens.
- A bruised and bloodied Peter says to Gwen (about Connors): “I've got to stop him, because I created him.”
- The great moment at the end of the new trailer – the one with the antenna – is shown again, which is fine with me since it looks incredible. (Is this possibly the Oscorp building?)The context of the scene is unclear, although it seems like Spidey and The Lizard have a fight up atop Manhattan's tallest buildings, as well as in the sewer. There's no doubt throughout the footage that the city is a large part of this story, as it should be.
- There's a snippet of a scene where it looks like some kind of shockwave of Connors' creation explodes in the sky, but it was too brief to clearly make out.
Truth be told, this footage - combined with what I saw at San Diego - makes the movie look very appealing. Certainly a bit different from the Sam Raimi flicks, but not enough to be jarring. Webb has seemingly nailed what's needed in a Spidey flick: humor, intensity, a thrilling array of action set pieces, and most importantly, heart.
(Keep an eye out for the trailer; it will hit in the early morning hours of 2/7.)
|Extra Tidbit:||THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN comes out on JULY 3rd.|