Andrew Garfield

A large portion of The Amazing Spider-Man does not come off as a typical summer movie. Battling that lab coat-wearing Lizard aside, the heroics of Peter Parker’s life often take a backseat to his identity crisis. Director Marc Webb, as he told us, did not want to retell the origin of Spider-Man, as we already got that film ten years ago. No matter how much we all like to chuckle at the “untold story” tagline, Webb gives us good reason to reconsider why this is a new origin story: this is Peter Parker’s origin, not Spider-Man’s. The first hour of The Amazing Spider-Man takes its time to set up this new Peter Parker and the grounded world Webb aimed to capture. Tonally everything, including the giant green lizard who talks, Webb takes as seriously as he can. The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t realistic and gritty in the Nolan sense, but bares a key similarity in its dramatic grounding. Here’s what director Marc Webb had to say about the emotional chip Peter Parker carries on his shoulder, the wise-cracking teenage hero he saw while reading the comics, and why we’ve seen so much footage from his major tentpole release:

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The release of The Amazing Spider-Man this week has left some people scratching their heads. How can a movie that is billed as “The Untold Story” be so achingly repetitive? With the first hour of the film an alternate take on the first hour of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man from 2002, people have questioned the need to rehash essentially the same origin story of such a widely-known superhero. As reported in Latino Review, director Marc Webb insists the reboot was necessary. (Spoiler: it wasn’t.) He continues to say it was to introduce the world to a new Spider-Man and, more importantly, a new Peter Parker. (Spoiler: It really doesn’t.) Whether Webb was pressured by the studio for the redux origin or if he just wanted to not have to follow any of the Raimi canon, it seems silly to tread such familiar ground so soon. In 2002, Spider-Man continued the trend that X-Men started two years before, making superhero films profitable and possible in the big studio system. Since then, we’ve seen quite a few origin stories – from full-blown reboots of known characters as in Batman Begins to introduction of heroes who aren’t known much outside of comic book fans as in Iron Man. However, with The Man of Steel coming up next year and an obvious Batman reboot once The Dark Knight Rises finishes its run, who knows what Hollywood is going to do next?

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The Amazing Spider-Man

It was a kinder, simpler time back in January of 2010. Daybreakers and Youth in Revolt were both in theaters, New York City was asking people to eat less salt, and we were all about to find out the one-two punch that Sam Raimi was done with Spider-Man but Sony was not. It was the sort of news that reeked of corporate thinking – extending a franchise cash cow without the creative forces behind it; rebooting an unimaginably familiar character just five years after his last outing; and deciding to do all that on a dime. Optimism pointed to characters like James Bond getting new actors, but this was that rare time where a character introduced to us was being re-introduced to us, and the announcement was, admittedly, a bit surreal. It won’t be revolutionary, but there are two ways, two chances for that reboot to change the ways that movies are made. Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man will have a lot of eyes on it these week, and a few of them will be watching it as an experiment instead of entertainment.

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Marvel has enjoyed a pronounced measure of success with their films of late. Captain America, X-Men: First Class, and especially The Avengers have proven worthy of all manner of flashy adjectives. And now we arrive at Marvel/Sony’s reboot of the character for which flashy adjectives are often indivisible from his name. The unfortunate irony is that any number of films on Marvel’s slate from the last year are more deserving of the descriptor “amazing” than Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man. That’s not to say the film is a total disaster, but in the company’s current climate of quality, passable is not acceptable.

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For the past few days a comical and depressing mash-up of the marketing materials for The Amazing (and pretty good) Spider-Man has taken the internet by storm. Louis Plamondon – who was today’s Reject Radio’s fine guest – made a short film out of all the footage Sony has released, nearly nailing the film down beat by beat. Speaking to the film’s director Marc Webb today, his response was simple: just don’t watch it. If you care about the movie, then why delve more into spoiler territory? When asked if he had seen it yet, Webb responded, “I have not seen it, but, listen, I think most movies reveal as much stuff. That’s a marketing department thing, so I wasn’t necessarily involved in that. If you don’t want to watch it, don’t watch it. Is it really that hard?”

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Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man

While everyone might still be buzzing about The Avengers, this summer does still hold yet another major comic book movie that just might end up being the unexpected hit of the season. Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man again returns Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) to high school, but the focus this time around is on Peter’s relationship with his true first love, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and his quest to discover his parents’ background and how that effects who he’s turned out to be. Oh, and of course he’s dealing with becoming a superhero with spider powers, but that’s just old hat at this point. The film’s latest international trailer features a lot of material we’ve seen before – some shots of the Lizard going after Spidey, a few sweet moments between Peter and Gwen, and a hefty reliance on Peter’s parents and whatever the heck it is that Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans) is cooking up in his lab – but it also continues to hint that Stone’s Gwen Stacy is quite aware of what’s really going on with her boyfriend. Especially when Spidey tosses her out a window and reels her back in, thanks to those nifty web-shooters. Do you have that kind of trust in your relationship?

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A Spider-Man movie starring The Social Network star Andrew Garfield should have been a big deal that made both comic book geeks and movie nerds all over the world leap and cheer in anticipation and joy. But, because The Amazing Spider-Man is coming to us so soon after Sam Raimi’s Tobey Maguire-starring Spider-Man trilogy, the reaction to the movie has more resembled a collective, “More Spider-Man? Already? Really?” Still, despite inevitable comparisons between Maguire and Garfield’s takes on the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler that are going to happening in fan circles, the two actors don’t seem to be approaching The Amazing Spider-Man’s release date feeling any sense of competition. As a matter of fact, they sat down to have a chat with one another for “VMan” magazine, and the results were quite amicable.

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The summer of 2012 will go down as one of the biggest movie-going seasons for comic-book superheroes, and it’s a feat that probably won’t be repeated anytime soon. Joss Whedon’s fantastically entertaining The Avengers opens tomorrow and Christopher Nolan closes out his epic Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises this July, but nestled in between those two guaranteed blockbusters is a web-slinging wildcard. Director Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man is fighting an uphill battle as it reboots Sam Raimi’s beloved trilogy that’s less than a decade old. It’s an origin story, of course, but Webb and friends insist that doesn’t mean we know the whole story… Check out the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man below.

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With Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to the hugely successful The Dark Knight and Marvel’s unprecedented live action team-up of their biggest names, The Avengers, both hitting theaters this summer, The Amazing Spider-Man has started to feel like the odd man out. Clearly Spider-Man is one of the most popular superheroes of all time, but enough time just hasn’t passed between his last big screen trilogy and this franchise relaunch to build a level of anticipation and excitement for the film comparable to these other big, comic book-based events. That hasn’t stopped the marketing team from doing their damnedest to sell this movie to a superhero-saturated audience, however. This might not be the summer of Spider-Man when all is said and done, but it’s undeniable how cool all of the recent advertising for the film has been. The recent additions to the marketing blitz are a new, Japanese trailer that takes, mostly, the same  footage from the second trailer, but remixes it to produce a much darker tone and sense of dread, and a couple of new posters that look standard at first glance, but might tell us a bit about where this story is going with closer consideration.

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The new trailer for Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot has just hit the web… and it doesn’t look bad at all! The film stars Andrew Garfield as the titular and angst-filled hero and Emma Stone as the love interest alongside Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Denis Leary, Rhys Ifans, C. Thomas Howell and Campbell Scott (and yes, probably Stan Lee). It claims to tell the “untold story” but appears to be an origin tale, so who knows what Webb and friends have up their sleeve. (Beside the web shooter I mean.) Check out the new trailer below.

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When Sony released the “Untold Story” tagine for The Amazing Spider-Man, it rang about as true as a career politician and lobbyist claiming to be a Washington Outsider (or, for a less current joke, like Hot Pockets claiming they wouldn’t cause your bowels to erupt). It’s a rebooted franchise – essentially a remake of an earlier film that came out of the same studio a decade ago. However, there were always elements that hinted at Sony and direct Marc Webb going big instead of going home. A new synopsis, uncovered by the Times of India (via Screen Rant), shows off exactly what they mean by an untold story, and as it matches up to the original Sam Raimi film – it’s pretty damned untold. Sure, there are the teenage elements of angst and that certain feeling of being lost in a sea of hormones without a rudder or a helping hand. Hopefully there will be some playfulness and some sarcasm. Of course there will be a spider bite. All of it rings familiar, except the rest of the plot. In fact, much like a comic book, it reads like an alternate history of a character delivered by a new writer. Check it out for yourself:

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The marketing machine behind The Amazing Spider-Man, the upcoming reboot of Peter Parker’s coming-of-age origin tale, hasn’t been giving us much to chew on lately. It was all the way back in July when they released the first teaser trailer for the film and here we are, entering a new year and still only teased. Though there is no indication of when the studio might release a meatier trailer with more finished effects work, so we can get a better idea of how this movie is really going to look, there were a handful of still images recently released via the movie’s official Facebook page. These new images don’t focus so much on Spider-Man and his battles with the villainous Lizard, but they do give us a glimpse into the sequences where he’s figuring out his powers. There seem to be scenes where he discovers that he suddenly has what it takes to fight back against bullies, that he has mad ups on the basketball court, and that it’s not so hard to swing around on suspended chains at abandoned construction sights as it used to be. I think it’s all a metaphor for puberty. Also there’s a shot of Emma Stone all decked out in her Gwen Stacy garb and holding some hefty books to remind us that Gwen Stacy is and forever shall be a prettier, smarter, less annoying romantic interest for Peter to pursue than that catchphrase-spewing ball of drama Mary Jane Watson.

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The theatrics have almost all but gone from Comic-Con. Last year it was a genuine moment between a young fan and Ryan Reynolds delivering the Green Lantern Oath that brought down the house. This year’s biggest scene was more planned out, but it was nonetheless genuine. Before the Amazing Spider-Man panel in Hall H, a crazed fan dressed up as Spidey rushed the Q&A microphone and started raving about the comic books to great applause. Then he took off his mask. And there’s video.

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For all we know, The Amazing Spider-Man could turn out to be a lot of fun. It does have a lot of things going for it, such as a very solid cast — the likes of Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dennis Leary, Rhys Ifans, the list goes on. It also has a director in Marc Webb who has shown a fair amount of promise. Then there’s the stuff that doesn’t bode well for the franchise reboot, namely the retelling of Spidey’s origin story and, well, this awful trailer. In fairness, it’s not a complete wreck. The first 3/4 of this trailer show some visual panache, some characters we’ll recognize and that same old spider bite. The last bit, one would imagine, is a CGI sequence intended to show off the 3D elements of the film. It looks like something we’d be playing on a Playstation, not seeing a movie theater. See for yourself via the official embed just after the break.

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Spider-Man Picture

In the newest edition of Entertainment Weekly, Andrew Garfield is keen to point out that his work in the new Amazing Spider-Man isn’t a “replacement” for the work done by Tobey Maguire even though, by definition, it is. While Sony won’t be scouring the world destroying copies of the other movies, Garfield is undoubtedly the new face of the franchise. That status was made official with the first look at his character  in action – perched on a subway train ceiling, clinging to Emma Stone while shirtless and staring over his shoulder dramatically. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s your new Spider-Man:

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James Vanderbilt, the man who wrote the script for Sony’s upcoming franchise relaunch The Amazing Spider-Man, has already been put to work writing the script for the sequel. And I don’t mean that he’s just getting some ideas together. Heat Vision reports that he has already met with studio execs, got the thumbs up for his proposal, and has been sent off to put pen to paper. Is this good news? Is this bad news? How do we react to something like this? Not only has the first film yet to be released, it hasn’t even finished shooting. What we might have stumbled upon here with this bite of news is the ultimate example of modern information overload. But, despite all that, I’m kind of happy to hear that a sequel is already in the works. If you would have told me when I was walking out of Spider-Man 3 that I would be looking forward to a reboot of the franchise I would have thought you were crazy. If you told me I would be ready for it only a couple years after Raimi’s trilogy ended I would have had you committed. But here I am kind of looking forward to seeing The Amazing Spider-Man. I think it mostly has to do with the actors. Andrew Garfield really charmed me last year in The Social Network, and Emma Stone is just a doll. I would be looking forward to any project that paired these two promising young names up. […]

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. “Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy.” I have no idea what a bumblepuppy is, but Neil Postman was right to point out that while Orwell (and especially his “1984”) cautioned against tyrannical thought-police shoving rats in our faces to get us to comply, Aldous Huxley was more concerned with a governmental structure that shoved pleasure and an overload of information and distraction in our faces to get us to comply. Orwell is what happens post-apocalyptically. Huxley is what happens when society prospers beyond our wildest dreams. It’s unclear why a feature film has never been made of “Brave New World.” It’s baffling actually because the material there is so rich. With the completely average trailer for Atlas Shrugged out this week, it got me thinking about the classic philosophical novel that I identify with the most, what shaped my thinking most when I was younger, and the prospect of that novel becoming a movie. Here’s how I’d want to see it done, and in the effort to make it as viable as possible, my dreamcasting is all also economically viable for any studio who would take the chance on this brand. In […]

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The new generically titled Spider-Man movie is no longer generically titled. It shall now be titled The Amazing Spider-Man, which everyone expected and might be a little presumptuous. Fortunately, the production has also released a beautiful, very large portrait of the suit in all its glory. Check it out for yourself:

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A masked vigilante is terrorizing the city, and Aint It Cool has gotten some wonderful (if not slightly blurry) photos of the culprit. Plus, TMZ even has video of the guy doing a flip into a moving vehicle. Prepare for the inundation of Spider-Man stuff. The first official picture of Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker opened a flood gate that has people asking about manual spider webs and hunting down the set to take pictures and video. In a way, it feels like the good old days. Folks passionate about movies are snapping off unauthorized content and sending it in to their favorite movie sites (and TMZ). The nostalgia is palpable. So is the blue and red spandex.

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The Week That Was

It’s been another awesome week here at Film School Rejects. We launched several new columns, including our first action-centric weekly romp (Bullet Points), a feature focused on Cole Abaius and Landon Palmer’s IM conversations (Talking Heads) and our two new dailies (Vintage Trailer and News After Dark) are going strong. The hard work is happening, and hopefully you’ve noticed. If not, that’s okay. You will soon. For now, lets focus on the best articles of the week as we explore The Week That Was.

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