“The Amazing Spider-Man” (directed by Marc Webb) is a reboot of the “Spider-Man” movie series that started with the Sam Raimi-directed trilogy of the first “Spider-Man” movies: 2002’s “Spider-Man,” 2004’s “Spider-Man 2” and 2007’s “Spider-Man 3.” For the 2012 “Amazing Spider-Man” reboot, there is a whole new cast: Andrew Garfield is Peter Parker/Spider-Man; Emma Stone is Gwen Stacy (Peter Parker’s love interest); Sally Field and Martin Sheen are Peter’s aunt and uncle May Parker and Ben Parker, who raise Peter after his parents mysteriously disappear; Denis Leary as New York City police captain George Stacy, Gwen’s father; and Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard, the movie’s chief villain.
At Comic-Con International 2011 in San Diego, Garfield surprised the audience by disguising himself as an over-enthusiastic fan in a Spider-Man costume who stepped up to the microphone. He revealed himself in the audience by taking off his mask and giving a short speech. Garfield, Stone, Ifans, director Marc Webb and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach then gathered on stage for “The Amazing Spider-Man" panel at Comic-Con International 2011 in San Diego. This is what they said.
Garfield (in his pre-panel speech): I think this might be the most incredible day of my life. I've always wanted to be at Comic-Con in Hall H as Spider-Man. It's always been a dream of mine. So thanks for having me. [He takes off his mask, and the audience cheers loudly.]
You have no idea how much this means to me. I've always wanted to come here as a fan. And this is my first time. So here I am as a fan. I just want to say a couple of things. I'm Andrew Garfield, and I'm going to be here introducing this panel, this "Amazing Spider-Man" panel.
Stan Lee says that the reason why Spider-Man is so popular is that all of us can relate to him. And I agree. I needed Spidey when I was a kid. He gave me hope. Every comic I read, he was living out my and every skinny boy's fantasy of being stronger, of being free of the body I was born into, and his swinging sensation of flight.
And upon receiving his power, unlike most who became corrupted, he used it for good. And I think we all had the courage to stick up for ourselves more, to stick up for a loved one or even a stranger you see. Peter Parker has inspired me to feel stronger. He made me, Andrew, be braver. He reassured me that by doing the right thing, it's worth the struggle, it's worth the pain. It's worth even the tears, the bruises and the blood.
And I wouldn't be able to stand in front of you guys right now without feeling that Spider-Man was here with me, with a reassuring hand on my shoulder, making sure I don't fall over and concuss myself. He has inspired countless people — girls, boys, men and women — all of us. And he has saved lives. He saved my life.
And I owe Webbhead a lot. And I owe Stan the Man a lot. I am humbled to be here, to share the work that we've done, with all of you. And this is my first Comic-Con and definitely the coolest moment of my life. Thank you for being here and sharing it with me.
Marc, what attracted you to this "Spider-Man" movie? What inspired you?
Webb: There's such a wealth of material from the Spider-Man camp that had not been explored cinematically. There are so many things about Peter Parker in particular. I think he's one of the most relatable characters in comics. I found him very, very appealing.
In terms of the material, Gwen Stacy in the Marvel comics is really iconic. I thought it was a really wonderful thing to give life to. And then, Spider-Man, he's a part of our culture. He's a perrenial character. He was there before I was born, and he'll be there after I die. I just felt an incredible sense of enthusiasm for that character that kept me up at night. And then to be working alongside these guys, it was too intoxicating to turn away from.
Andrew and Emma, how are you making the characters of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy your own?
Garfield: Obviously, Matt [Tolmach] and Avi [Arad] are huge fans of the first three movies because they were involved in making them. The three of us are huge fans of the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi versions. They're the best. So first of all, that should be said.
We're approaching this like it's Shakespeare, like it's a Greek myth. These are our modern myths, these comic-book characters. We just want to know. We still want to watch these stories. We still want to see our favorite characters on the big screen, in 3-D, I might add. So for me, it's another chapter in a long history of a comic-book story that means so much to so many people.
Stone: Yeah, I view it the same way, from a new perspective. I looked into Gwen as much as I possibly could. And I fell in love with the story of Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker. And that's a huge reason why I wanted to be a part of this. I can't play a character without making it my own a little bit. So hopefully, it's all right that I'm playing her.
She's on the page, so I just kind of interpreted her in my own way with Andrew. We tried to make Gwen and Peter's story new and fresh. And Marc [Webb] was hugely involved in that. And we worked it out the best we could.
For more info: "The Amazing Spider-Man" website