Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy While You're Waiting For 'Interstellar,' Here's Over 100 Behind-The-Scenes Photos From 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" First Look At 'The Dying Of The Light,' Paul Schrader Quits Film Over What Nicolas Winding Refn Calls "Artistic Disrespect" New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' New Images From 'Interstellar' Arrive, Christopher Nolan Says The Film Is A "Mirror" Of 'Inception' Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack Watch: Have A Threesome With Very NSFW Clip From 'Maps To The Stars' With Julianne Moore & John Cusack The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

'The Amazing Spider-Man' Director Marc Webb Talks Reboots, Music, 3D and Norman Osborn

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist July 2, 2012 at 1:05PM

Summer movies are always terribly complex and daunting, with a number of interested parties needing to be satiated and complicated visual effects being worked out throughout production (usually right up until the time of release). Things seem to be infinitely more daunting when it's a reboot of a popular franchise, and one directed by a director making his first blockbuster outing. Such is the case with this week's "The Amazing Spider-Man," which was directed by "(500) Days of Summer" helmer Marc Webb.
1
Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield on the set of "The Amazing Spider-Man"
Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield on the set of "The Amazing Spider-Man"

Summer movies are always terribly complex and daunting, with a number of interested parties needing to be satiated and complicated visual effects being worked out throughout production (usually right up until the time of release). Things seem to be infinitely more daunting when it's a reboot of a popular franchise, and one directed by a director making his first blockbuster outing. Such is the case with this week's "The Amazing Spider-Man," which was directed by "(500) Days of Summer" helmer Marc Webb. Webb said that before he got started, he secured the blessing of original trilogy director Sam Raimi. "Sam goes, 'You have my blessing. Go forward. I'll only give you notes once a week,'" Webb laughed. That must have taken off some of the edge. We got a chance to talk to Webb about what it was like taking over the franchise, changing essential things, shooting in 3D, music, and what he's up to next.

The story goes that "The Amazing Spider-Man" started when Sony had commissioned a fourth (and fifth) script in the Sam Raimi series, to be written by "Zodiac" screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt. Obviously that deal fell through, with a new creative team being put in place but Vanderbilt staying put as screenwriter. We wondered if the script that Webb initially started with was from the initial rounds for the fourth and fifth movies. Webb says that he didn't see those scripts and broke down the process in pretty banal terms. "Jamie had written a script and I worked with him on that for a little while and then Laura Ziskin, who has since passed, was married to Alvin Sargent, who is one of the greatest writers of all time – he came in and did some work," Webb said. He added: "Steve Kloves came in and did some character work and that's how it came to be."

The Amazing Spider-Man Andrew Garfield

One of the things that people will be talking about are the ways in which "Amazing Spider-Man" alters certain aspects of the Spider-Man mythos, at least as we know them cinematically (and, yes, stuff beyond "they changed the suit"). We wondered what Webb's approach was, in terms of changing things. "It's a good question, it's an important question," Webb admitted. "I think that the Peter Parker I had in mind is in a different universe and a different world. I think that I needed to build the character from the ground up because there's different nuances to that character." But what was he interested in, specifically? "I was interested in that this guy gets left behind when he's 7 years-old – that's going to have a huge impact. If you're trying to build empathy for a character, and there's a wish fulfillment component to a movie like this, the more connected you feel with the protagonist, the more you'll empathize and understand him and experience the world as he experiences it. So we did have to reengage with some of those elements."

Webb said that it was an uneasy balancing act sometimes, trying to keep things fresh while honoring some fundamentals. "The trick was that I wanted to honor the iconography – you have to recognize Uncle Ben's death and the spider-bite and so on – but how do those things interact and connect with elements of the story." We suggested that maybe he could have gone fucking wild with it, the way that the new "Star Trek" drastically changed elements of mythology while staying true to the spirit of the original. "It would have been convenient," Webb said, like the guardian of an essential text. "And it would have been easy. But then you violate canon. In a situation like this you have to protect some of the iconic elements, otherwise people go crazy because you take away the identity of the character, the thing that they love."

This article is related to: The Amazing Spider-Man, Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Age Of Rage


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates