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At ComicCon Wednesday, Sony and Marvel released the first trailer for the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man movie. Surprisingly, it is actually a full trailer with some vague plot details and showing many of the films characters, and not just a simple show-nothing teaser.

The trailer - in its entirety - is shown below:


Teaser trailer for Marvel studio's The Amazing Spider-Man.

Meh. It's an ok trailer. The first-person perspective is fun to watch. But it makes me afraid that the movie-makers might try to milk the 3-D gimmick a bit too much if scenes like that are actually commonplace in the movie. The designers have already compromised Spidey's trademark costume apparently for the sake of 3-D. I really hope other elements of the movie aren't overly-stylized for the purposes of 3-D film-making. 3-D is nice and all, but when it starts influencing the design of things like costumes and action sequences in such a way that it detracts from the realism and narrative integrity of the movie, then it has gone too far.

I definitely did not find this trailer anywhere near as exciting as the masterfully done first teaser for the 2002 Spider-Man movie. When I first saw that trailer while watching Jurassic Park III in theaters in 2001, I teared up like a 1960's school girl at a Beatles concert. I guess having three full-scale Spider-Man movies released in the past ten years diminished the impact of it a little bit compared to the long wait to see the first big-screen adaptation of Spider-Man. In either case, the old 2001 trailer was pretty kick ass, so I'm going to put here just to remind you of how kick ass it was:


Teaser trailer for Sony/Columbia's Spider-Man (2002).

There's also been a ton of set photos and even a few plot details and spoilers that have sneaked on to the internet over the past few weeks and months.

The most revealing release was an Entertainment Weekly article that previewed the upcoming movie and provided some more detailed looks at the new costume.

Entertainment Weekly promotional photos

Entertainment Weekly preview photos
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-A.) Font of costume from The Amazing Spider-Man movie.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-B.) Backside of costume from the Amazing Spider-Man movie.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-C.) Close-up of Spider-Man's mask and chest.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-D.) Andrew Garfield posing as Spider-Man.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-E.) Peter Parker using his powers while playing basketball.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-F.) Plain-clothes Spidey costume.

Let's stop for a moment and take a look at these images before going on to more of them.

  • 1-A through 1-C: The costume has been revealed for a while now, and I've already talked about how I think it looks. In a nutshell, it is overly complicated. Not because I don't think Peter Parker could make it (I've seen enough cosplay costumes to know better). It's because I don't think Peter Parker would make it. Let me go into a little more detail:

    In his early years, Peter Parker was very unsure of himself. He was very shy and reserved and easily pushed around. The Spider-Man costume is therefore bright and colorful and expressive because he wants people to notice him when he's Spider-Man. He's loud-mouthed, obnoxious, and flamboyant. So I can understand if this new costume is an attempt to bring out that element of Peter's character. His "inner Spider-Man" trying to let itself out. In that sense, the costume works.

    But if that were the case, then the costume really should be brighter. More comic-bookey. This costume is too dark and pale to be some kind of "Hey! Look at me!" statement. The excessive texturing in both the red and blue regions wash out the colors and make the whole thing blend too easily into gray and black. Maybe that helps him to keep in the shadows and remain unseen. But again, that defeats the purpose of having a "loud", colorful costume to begin with. He might as well just have the black leather of the X-Men movies.

    More importantly, Peter Parker is not coming from an art or design or drama background. He's coming from a science and technology background. He's a geek. Not an artist. So I would expect the things he designs to be very utilitarian, functional, and - most importantly - practical. If Peter Parker were a millionaire or billionaire like Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, or Reed Richards, then this suit would make perfect sense. I'm sure it's very flexible, durable, water-resistant, an unrestricting. Which all makes sense. So points in that department for the designers! But it looks like it's going to be a bitch-and-a-half to maintain. How's he supposed to clean and maintain this thing? He can't just take it down to the dry-cleaners or ask Aunt May to patch it up while he's at school. That's going to get expensive, and be very time-consuming considering the material and complexity.

    In all fairness though, the Raimi movie suit had the same issue. But I can let that one slide because its design at least stayed the same as the comic book suit.

    Also, I'm very confused by the eyes. Are they shiny gold? Are they some kind of mesh thing, and so appear gold because we can see the skin of Peter's face behind them? Are they reflective like in the Raimi movies and are just reflecting browns and oranges from the surroundings? Are they the white mesh pattern that we see in the close-up picture? Or is that just a stunt version, and the eyes are going to be digitally inserted in post-production? Seriously, why do they look gold? Spidey's eyes are WHITE!

  • 1-D: I'm not sure if this is Garfield or a stunt actor. But whoever he is, he's good at doing Spidey poses! Tobey Maguire may have been a great Peter Parker, but he never looked lanky enough for me. Remember, Spidey's strength doesn't come from rippling muscles. They come from radioactive super-powered muscles. Garfield looks much better in the Spider-Man outfit, even though he is a little on the tall side, and even though the costume itself looks like crap.

    Why do the boots appear to have soles? Spider-Man is not supposed to be able to stick through rubber soles. In the comics, he always has to take his shoes off in order to climb walls. Why do the movies keep dropping the ball on this issue? I'm pretty sure the trailer shows scenes of Peter climbing up walls and sticking to the tops of subway cars while still wearing his sneakers. Come on, man.

  • 1-E: Im assuming this might be part of the Flash Thompson subplot. But Flash Thompson was supposed to be a football player, not a basketball player. Maybe he did both...
  • 1-F: Yep, that's a smart boy. Run around fighting crime in a mask but no gloves. Just get your finger prints all over everything why don't you!

Alright, moving on...

Entertainment Weekly preview photos (cont.)
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-G.) Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-H.) Peter Parker abuses skateboards cuz he has the munchies.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-I.) Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Conners (the Lizard).
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-J.) Denis Leary as Capt. George Stacy.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-K.) Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy cleaning Peter's wounds.
Amazing Spider-Man preview in Entertainment Weekly
1-L.) A close look at the mechanical web shooters.

Above, are a bunch of photos of supporting cast and props. One thing I have to say in Raimi's credit: he did a really good job of casting in his movies (except for Harry Osborn). So far, I'm not thrilled with this movie's cast.

  • 1-G: I don't like Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. I really liked Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson as Aunt May in the Raimi-directed films. They worked great together. Rosemarry Harris really has that sweet-old-lady look about her. Sally Field just looks so unkempt in all these pictures. No offense to Ms. Streep, but she's really drifting more towards the "crazy old witch-lady" or "nagging old prude" look rather than the "sweet-old-lady" look. Well, looks aren't everything. We'll see how it turns out.
  • 1-H: Apparently, Peter's new powers are going to give him a serious case of the munchies. But look closely at this picture. What else do you see? A skateboard? Peter Parker is a skater in this movie? He's even got the arm-sleeves cut out around his thumb! Oh, come on! Peter Parker's supposed to be a preppy nerd. Not a skater-goth-punk. Seriously! What the hell?! Is this something that they borrowed from those stupid Ultimate Spider-Man comics? Ugh...
  • 1-I: Rhys Ifans is the new Dr. Curt Connors. I was really looking forward to seeing Dylan Baker get a chance to be evil. Whatever. People around the internet seem to be excited about Ifans presence in this movie, so maybe he'll turn out to be a real delight. I'm not sure if the bad guy voiceovers are from Ifans or Irrfan Khan's Nels Van Adder, but if those are his voiceovers, then from the photos and the trailer, he seems kind of sketchy and evil even before he turns into the Lizard.
  • I-J: It's looking like Gwen Stacy's father, police Captain George Stacy, is going to have a major role to play in this film. In the comics, George was killed rescuing a civilian from falling debris during a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus. George secretly knew Spider-Man's true identity in the comics, which probably made things very akward for him. Gwen blamed Spider-Man for his death, and even though she did not know that Peter was Spider-Man, her anger at Spidey and Peter's sense of guilt put a damper on their relationship and almost ended it. In the awesome Spectacular Spider-Man television series that was canceled by Disney when they bought Marvel, George Stacy hints several times that he suspects that Peter is Spider-Man, and actively disuads him from continuing his role as a hero out of fear for how Peter's injury or death might affect Gwen. I'm wondering if we'll see a similar mechanic at work in this movie.
  • I-K: This photo is the single scariest of all that I've seen about this movie so far. Scarier than the weird costume. Scarier than Peter Parker skateboarding. Scarier than the lack of J.K. Simmons being recast as J. Jonah Jameson. What is Gwen Stacy doing cleaning up Peter Parker's wounds? Gwen Stacy is supposed to die without knowing that Peter is Spider-Man - or at least, she's supposed to die without telling him that she knows. She probably knows. Everybody who knows Peter probably figures it out eventually. George Stacy, Aunt May, Mary Jane, heck even J.J. probably figures it out. Well, so much for the Gwen Stacy story turning out like it did in the comics...
  • I-L: When it was first announced that the Raimi movies would give Spidey organic webbing generated by his body, I kind of liked the idea. But by the end of the second movie, I realized that his mechanic web shooters are much more important than a simple tool. As I stated in my earlier analysis of the costume, the web shooters are a symbol of Peter's geekiness and genius. And not having to supply and maintain them (even during battle) took away lots of opportunities for added drama from the Raimi movies - as well as really detracting from one of the key advantages that the black symbiotic suit offered him. This is a good move by the new writers and designers. Although I would still prefer if they would keep the shooters themselves hidden under Spider-Man's gloves.

Leaked set photos

Now for something a little more interesting: leaked photos from the movie set. These have been getting released on and off for the past few months, and I've collected some of my favorites here to showcase the real stunts being performed by real stunt actors in costume (and maybe some by Garfield, himself).

Leaked set photos
Amazing Spider-Man leaked set photos
2-A.) A high-flying Spider-Man stunt actor twirling through the air.
Amazing Spider-Man leaked set photos
2-B.) A Spider-Man stunt actor swinging under a bridge (I think).
Amazing Spider-Man leaked set photos
2-C.) More swinging under the bridge.
Amazing Spider-Man leaked set photos
2-D.) Daylight crime fighting in the streets.
Amazing Spider-Man leaked set photos
2-E.) Spider-Man apparently disarming a criminal.
Amazing Spider-Man leaked set photos
2-F.) Spider-Man's new "ladder powers".

This is good to see. I always prefer when modern movies do things the old-fashioned way and use real actors in costumes, real sets, real props, and real models whenever possible.

CGI is a great tool for augmenting a scene as a supplement to real actors, sets, props, and models, but it should never be used to completely replace them. Focusing too heavily on computer graphics can really make your effects stick out from the rest of the movie or create an akward contrast between what is real and what is not. The sterility and blandness - or sometimes, excessive shininess - of a completely CGI environment can sometimes really take away the humanity from a movie. This is expertly explained by the "Harry Plinkett" reviews of the Star Wars prequels and Star Trek: The Next Generation movies at RedLetterMedia.com.

What's even more exciting is that these stunt actors are doing a fantastic job of emulating the movements and positioning of Spider-Man in these shots. If the choreography turns out to be this good in motion, then Spidey fanboys are going to be in for a real treat when this movie is released.

So when will we see the Lizard?

We still haven't gotten a look at the Lizard yet. But hopefully that will be remedied soon. There are, however, two little tid bits of information about the Lizard that I'm aware of.

The first is a leaded set photo supposedly of Rhys Ifans in partial Lizard makeup. He is covered by a mask and coat, so we can't see the details of the makeup or costume. All we can see is a little bit of green scale makeup around his eyes.

Ifans in Lizard makeup
Rhys Ifans in (at least) partial Lizard makeup.

I'm going to assume that this photo represents Dr. Connors during a partial stage of the transformation. I really hope that the Lizard will be a full-featured Lizard costume complete with snout and tail, and not just some makeup, yellow slit contact lenses, and some faux fangs.

I'm also hoping that the Lizard costume is actually a costume!

As I said earlier, I always prefer when CGI is used as a supplement to real world, physical models and costumes. They just have more substance on screen. If there is no Lizard costume and there is only some partial transformation makeup and a CGI model, then I will be very disappointed.

Hopefully we'll get a glimpse of the costume soon. Either as an official promotional release from Sony/Columbia/Marvel, or as a leaked set photo. Otherwise, I might have to start fearing that the reason we aren't seeing a Lizard costume ... is because there isn't one...

Possible spoiler ahead!...

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According to an article I read at http://bigfanboy.com/wp/?p=6423, there may be more than one Lizard monster in this movie. Somebody involved in the production of the movie supposedly squealed to a friend that there is a scene in which Spider-Man must fight a group of S.W.A.T. members who are turned into Lizard creatures.

According to the source, many of the movie's stunt actors had to spend hours on end having makeup applied for use in a fight scene between Spider-Man and these supposed mutated S.W.A.T. guys.

This is exciting for three reasons:

  1. Spider-Man having to fight multiple Lizard creatures will just be plain cool!

  2. If this source is to be believed, then it appears that actual makeup and costumes are being used for the monsters in this movie. Although nothing was said about the main villain Lizard, the fact that stunt men are doing live stunts in reptilian costumes is a promising sign that the Lizard will not just be a CGI model.

  3. We don't know why these S.W.A.T. guys are turning into lizards, but it is highly likely that it is all part of some evil plot by the Lizard. He does have a fondness for either releasing his fellow reptiles for zoos or attempting to turn other people into lizard monsters too (you know, for their own good). It's also possible that transformations into the Lizard could be the result of meddling by Nels Van Adder. In either case, this could mean that the movie will pit Spider-Man's intellectual muscles against a villain rather than just his physical ones, and we could see Spidey having to use his talents in science to overcome this conflict - which is something that was sadly absent from the Raimi movies.

    However, it's also possible that the transformation of the S.W.A.T. team could be an accident. It could be the case that Connors develops the lizard serum as a public works project to help heal amputated limbs of soldiers and law enforcement officers. He could test it on himself, regrow his own arm, declare it a success, and pass it onto the police department before the transformation takes effect. Dr. Connors could give his lizard serum to them promising that it will heal wounds they may have sustained in the line of duty, without knowing of it's consequences yet. While that doesn't necessarily negate Spidey having to use science to revert the changes, it does mean that he will not have to match intellectual wits with the villain. Which would be a shame.

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Comments (4) -

Don
Don
07/21/2011 02:56:23 #

Thank you for sharing this.

It does look like there are going to be a lot of plot changes. You probably noticed that in the trailer Gwen Stacy seems to be working at the research lab where Peter gets bitten by the radioactive spider.

When I saw the basketball photo, I instantly thought of this: www.comicvine.com/.../
In the original run of Spider-Girl in the old alternate MC2 universe, May Parker, (Peter and Mary Jane's daughter, a.k.a. Spider-Girl,) is on the varsity basketball team and discovers she has inherited her father's powers during a game.

If you notice Peter's clothes in that photo, it looks like he's wearing normal street clothes as opposed to the other guy who is actually wearing a jersey. So maybe, after he gets bit by itsy-bitsy spider and he's going through the whole "holy-crap-what-the-hell-is-happening-to-me" phase, he's gets heckled by some of the basketball jocks in the gym. Peter then whips out awesome spider-slam-dunk powers. A nod to the Spider-Girl comics. You heard it hear first!

Also, my thoughts on the costume. First of all, let me just say I agree with almost everything you said. Spot-on. It is WAY too flashy. I'm guessing they want to try to attract a wider audience, they want to make the costume look different possibly to differentiate itself from the Raimi movies. What I do like about the design choice is this:

http://i.imgur.com/OpObn.gif

The new costume is clearly based off the Ben Reilly's Spider-Man costume. (Ben Reilly is one of Spider-Man's clones during the 90's clone saga, a.k.a. the Scarlet Spider.) Notice that there is more blue in the costume, (hands and feet,) and the external web-shooters. However, the shoes, *possible* see-through eye slots, and there is waaaay too much blue on the backside, almost ruin it for me. I'll reserve judgement until I see the movie.

I think of it this way: Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker. Andrew Garfield is Peter Parker. It seems almost appropriate to have the "new" Peter wear the clone costume. This new movie is no way connected to the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, but it's still Spider-Man. Let's just hope that The Amazing Spider-Man isn't a poorly made, 3D-infused clone of the Raimi series. Smile


07/21/2011 03:49:26 #

The see-through eyes may be something that is going to change in post-production. I think in the Raimi films, the reflective eye covers were also added post production. Every set photo that I ever saw from those movies had no coverings over the actors eyes at all. If they'd just get rid of the red stripe down the side of the legs, I'd be much more content with this new costume.

Aw well. I had to get used to a 7-foot tall Pyramid Head with pointy helmet for the Silent Hill movie. I had to get used to a new Enterprise for the Star Trek reboot. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to skater-punk Peter Parker's new Spider-Man costume...

Good catch with the Spider-Girl reference though. I read a few of those comics (including, I think, the first issue), but I had completely forgotten about it.

Jason
Jason
07/29/2011 04:54:11 #

The big question I had from the teaser was answered.  That questions was:

"Why should I pay 5-10 dollars to see Peter Parker's origin? Again?"

The answer was:

"You shouldn't."

07/31/2011 18:02:46 #

@Jason, do keep in mind that this new movie's Peter Parker is going to be a very different Peter Parker, and the origin story is going to deal with different aspects of Peter's origin. For one thing, this movie is (apparently) going to go into a little bit of detail about what happened to Peter's parents - something the Raimi movies didn't touch on at all. Additionally, Peter now appears to be an emo skater nerd instead of just a regular nerd. Finally, he's actually going to have to make his mechanic web shooters, so we'll get to see more of Peter's intellectual side. I'm hoping that carries over into the conflict with the villain as well, with Spider-Man having to use his brain to defeat the Lizard rather than just brawling like he always did in the Raimi movies.

But if you don't want to spend $10 to go see another Spider-Man origin story, I definitely can't blame you. That's your decision.

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