Comic Con: “Amazing Spider-Man”

With no panel for “The Dark Knight Rises” or “The Avengers”, it came as no surprise that the one for next Summer’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” was the most anticipated superhero film panel of the entire Comic Con this year.

Since the project’s announcement many have been wondering whether Sony can justify rebooting the franchise so soon. The release earlier this week of the first trailer for the film didn’t really squash those questions either, the new take on the material looking different from the more colourful Raimi films but not heavily so.

The panel itself however got off on the right foot with what will likely go down as one of the most memorable moments of this year’s Con. Right at the start actor Andrew Garfield appeared at the audience microphone in a home-made costume, ripped off his mask and proceeded to read a personal letter about how much the character meant to him. It was a sweet gesture.

Some big pieces of footage were screened. The first showing Peter Parker (Garfield) gets revenge on bully Flash Thompson (Chris Zylka) and ends up in trouble with both the school and his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen). He and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) then have an awkward conversation. There was also a training montage with Peter figuring out his various movies and a demonstration of the mechanical web shooters, that’s followed by glimpses of Spidey in action.

The big footage was a first look at the film’s antagonist – The Lizard. Rhys Ifans was shown playing Dr. Conners and the origin of the experiment gone awry which lead to the emergence of The Lizard from beneath a bathroom stall and menacing two teenage girls. The creature design is already being compared to that of Killer Croc in the “Batman” comics.

Tone wise Garfield says “we’re approaching this like it’s Shakespeare, or a greek myth. These are modern myths. For me it’s another chapter in a long history of a comic book story that means so much to so many people.” Part of that is trying to ground the film in as realistic world as possible which explains the mechanical webshooters which Parker figures out with help via his connections at Oscorp. A similar idea with the suit – “How does a kid make a suit? Andrew is fit but skinny, and we wanted to use that – and the suit emerged from that notion.”