"The Amazing Spider-Man" will be swinging its way into theaters on July 3, but fans who were lucky enough to attend WonderCon in California earlier this month got a sneak peek at Sony's reboot of the "Spider-Man" franchise.
"Well, I think there are elements of Spider-Man that are just universal. I mean, he shoots webs and he soars through the sky and he's a little guy who beats up guys that are bigger than him, or fights for the little guy," he said. "I think that's a really important thing."
But there were other more specific elements of the "Spider-Man" mythology that Webb wanted to explore in order to make his film stand on its own.
"There's this story about Peter's parents and where he came from, and I thought that it was really interesting to explore the emotional consequence of someone who's parents had left them at a very young age. I like that Peter Parker has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder," Webb said. "He's a little surly and I like that, but there's this attitude, this sort of punk rock humor and trickster quality that I think probably comes from somebody who is a little distrustful of the world at times. In order for someone like that to become a hero, I think it's a really interesting story and that was something fun."
Beyond the mythology of Spider-Man, Webb and Stone set out to tell the story of Peter Parker's first love: Gwen Stacy. Webb explained that he thinks that storyline will be relatable to anyone who had a deep high school romance.
"You remember, like, the first time that you meet a girl in high school and that you get to share things with that person that you might not have shared with any other people, that creates a bond and an intensity that I think has a lot of currency. When you get that opportunity to be honest and open with somebody for the first time and share things about yourself that you haven't been able to share things that you haven't been able to before, things that you might be scared of or ashamed about, that's really exhilarating," he said. "I think that's something that people will really identify with."
Even though Gwen and Peter become close, she also has to worry about the other man in her life: her father, Captain Stacy (played by Denis Leary). "Gwen in particular is stuck between [her father] the Captain and Peter Parker and Spider-Man who have different ways about going about finding justice in their lives. I think that's a really fun thing to explore in the movie," Stone said.
But regardless of the story being told, the most important element of "The Amazing Spider-Man" is whether or not Andrew Garfield can sell himself as the film's leading man. According to Stone and Webb, "The Social Network" star succeeds at the transformation with flying colors.
"He can do sort of emotional depth and sort of, like, heartbreaking scenes. There's a lot of tragedy in the movie. He can do romance and he can do humor – as can Emma – but that's a very, very rare combination to find in an actor and you become increasingly aware of how rare that is as you start to try to find that," Webb said. "He's exceptional human in that regard, an exceptional craftsman in that regard."
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