Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' 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 All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

'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