I did not at all care for The Amazing Spider-Man movie that was released last year. In summary, the movie was too dark, it lacked the light-hearted fun that I expect from Spider-Man, and the romantic dynamic between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy just didn't work in my mind. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who was disappointed in the movie because of these issues. At this year's San Diego ComicCon, the creators and cast of the sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, revealed a lot of information about the new movie that actually impressed me! It just might be possible that the creators swallowed their pride, and took the criticism of the previous movie to heart.
This movie might actually look like a Spider-Man movie
The most noticeable and immediately obvious change in the overall look and feel of the new movie is the color palette. Most of the images from the film are sequences that take place during the day, so the images are bright and colorful. But the most important change is the complete redesign of Spidey's suit.
The new Spider-suit is "amazing"!
The new suit design is absolutely gorgeous! They totally nailed it this time around!
First and foremost, it is actually a direct adaptation of the comic book suit (minus the armpit web). It actually looks like something Peter Parker could have put together with the limited resources at his disposal rather than some kind of military-grade commando outfit. It looks like a spandex suit. The eyes are bigger and buggier and actually white instead of gray or silver, which just looks great and adds just the right amount of "cartoonish-ness" to the character. The colors could have been a little brighter, but I can live with that. Put simply: this is the best looking movie Spider-Man suit so far, hand down!
It looks like the webshooters are still mounted on the outside of the gloves, which I was also a bit disappointed with, but at least they are camouflaged now and not nearly as obvious. Hopefully, the stupid red LED has been removed too!
A brighter, better look
In addition to the very welcome costume redesign for Spidey, the overall look of the movie seems much brighter. Many of the set photos released so far take place during the day, and the images lack the gloominess that permeated the previous movie. I assume that once the primary villain, Electro, enters the picture, the movie might take a darker turn. But at least part of the movie will be brightly-colored.
Set photos from (what I assume to be) early scenes in the movie are bright, colorful, and appear light-hearted and fun!
Oh, and did I mention that the new costume looks great!
Looking to Bugs Bunny for inspiration
In interviews that I've read from Andrew Garfield, he watched a lot of Bugs Bunny cartoons as inspiration for how to perform a "trickster" character. He said that he likes the way that Bugs Bunny uses wit to manipulate an adversary into defeating himself, and he wanted to incorporate that into this rendition of Spider-Man. Sounds like an excellent idea! That is something that has always been absent from the Spider-Man movies. The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon really captured this style, and so I hope that Garfield takes a long look at that show for further inspiration.
It has also been reported that the new movie will be much more light-hearted and humorous. In interviews, Garfield and director Marc Webb have stated that at the beginning of the movie, Peter Parker is really enjoying being Spider-Man and having a lot of fun in the role. Garfield's New York-accented wisecracks were one of the few highlights of the first movie, so hopefully the script writers take that the a new level with this movie.
The darker side of the movie
But this movie isn't likely to be all light-hearted fun and games.
Spidey faces off against Electro
The photos of Jamie Foxx as Electro look very intimidating, and many of them look very dark. So it appears that the movie may take a dramatic tone shift midway through.
Another significant image (and potential spoiler) has also been leaked:
[Show Potential Spoilers] [Hide Spoilers]
The outfit that Emma Stone is wearing in this shot is almost identical to the outfit that she is wearing the classic issue "Death of Gwen Stacy" in which Gwen dies after being pushed off a bridge by the Green Goblin.
Emma Stone decked out in Gwen Stacy's death outfit...
I highly doubt that the writers are going to kill off Gwen in this film, as I suspect that they might save that for an encounter with the Green Goblin in the third movie. However, in a traditional trilogy format, the second part is supposed to be the darkest and lowest point for the protagonist.
And since Mary Jane Watson-actress Shailene Woodley's role was cut from the film, I also doubt that Gwen will die. Gwen and Mary Jane were friends in the comics, and Mary Jane was a close friend of Peter when Gwen died. She was there to comfort him in his grief. The writers have already had no trouble departing from canon in the first movie, so the removal of Mary Jane isn't a sure-fire indicator that Gwen will survive.
End of Spoilers
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 actually looks promising! It's hard for me to put my cynicism aside and say that I'm actually excited about a Hollywood adaptation, but I am actually a little excited about this one. I guess time will tell if writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman can (at least partially) atone for the blunder that was Star Trek Into Darkness. Yep, apparently, they are the guys writing the new Spider-Man movie too. Sigh...