The Amazing Spider-Man: In Defense of the Reboot
Back in July, 2010 Columbia Pictures announced they would be rebooting the Spider-Man movie series, now known to us as The Amazing Spider-Man. With the release of the film just a month and some change away I thought I’d take a moment to discuss why I think Columbia Pictures made the right call. Those of you that have experience with the internet know that when studios announced reboots (especially with superhero reboots), millions of people follow suit with endless droning about how it’s a horrible idea and that the studio is greedy.
While it’s true that the first two Spider-Man movies (released in 2002 and 2004) were wildly popular and profitable, it seems to me that fan backlash regarding the quality of the third film (released in 2007) may have been reason enough for Columbia Pictures to take the series in a new direction (remember that Sam Raimi wanted to do a fourth movie).
When I first heard that a reboot of Spider-Man was in order, the first thought that popped into my mind was, “they should set it when Peter Parker is still in high school (like in the comics).” Sure enough, the young mister Parker (portrayed by The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield) is a young high school student, and not a soon-to-be graduate.
If you watch the full length trailer, you’ll notice a lot of differences between The Amazing Spider-Man and the first Spider-Man trilogy. One of the first things I noticed from the trailers is that Garfield’s Spider-Man actually cracks one-liners when confronting bag guys. There’s no denying that Tobey Maguire killed in his interpretation of ol’ webhead, but one thing that always bother me was his lack of banter with villains.
Another noticeable difference is that Garfield’s version of Parker can’t produce webs organically (like Maguire’s Spidey), and we see Parker in the trailer trying to develop the technology (and gets a face full of web for this efforts). I understand it’s easier just to have Spider-Man produce webs from this body (it saves screen time), but I think that by showing audiences that he needs to invent them, it makes this realize that Peter Parker is a science genius (that seemed a bit lacking in the trilogy).
The biggest (and certainly the most welcome) different is the lack of Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of Mary Jane. Instead we get the naturally red headed (turned blond) Emma Stone portraying Gwen Stacey. First, let me say that I liked Dunst in the first Spider-Man movie, and at no fault of her own the character of Mary Jane just became unbearable during the second and (especially the) third movie. While we won’t get a true measure of Stone’s performance until the movie comes out, she seems like a really good fit for the role.
All-around The Amazing Spider-Man looks to tell a much different story than seen in the original trilogy. The original trilogy set out to show the hardships of being Spider-Man, which was done very well, and the love story between Peter and Mary Jane; but, The Amazing Spider-Man looks to focus on the story of Peter as an outcast that gains his powers and uses said powers to find out why his parents died, all while evading Captain George Stacey (Gwen Stacey’s father) who will stop at nothing to capture the webhead vigilante.
Those are all the thoughts I have to share, and needless to say I’m growing excited by day and can’t wait to check out this movie come July. If you share or disagree with my thoughts, please let me know in the comments section.