The Establishing Shot: Full The Amazing Spider-Man Untold Story Begins Event report The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer, Footage & we ask Rhys Ifans will the Lizard be more Bronze Age or Ultimates Universe? And find out if the Lizard will have a snout

Monday, February 06, 2012 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Last night I was lucky enough to go along to see The Amazing Spider-Man Sneak Peek into the Untold Story Event. I had absolutely no idea of what to expect going into the event and organisers were very tight lipped. We got the heads about the event from the The Amazing Spider-Man Viral Projections that took place in 13 Cities around the world.

Video: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN Spotted Around The World

This led to where we were able to book tickets.

I had assumed that the lucky few may get to see some footage from Sony’s upcoming re-boot of The Amazing Spider-Man. Well I was kind of right we did, that and so much more.

I have to say that I was kind of on the fence about of The Amazing Spider-Man before this evening. Spider-Man was my first favourite comic character. Over time I fell out of love with his world but briefly became enamored again with the comic reboot Ultimate Spider-Man. I was impressed with the teaser trailer released awhile back but somehow a reboot seemed a little soon and given that I hadn’t really seen much to dissuade me from thinking that The Amazing Spider-Man looked very much like the previous Spider-Man. So I was keen to see what Sony had been busy with.

I arrived early, mainly due to an error reading the ticket but thankfully as the line grew around the block I was glad I got into the queue early and would surely be guaranteed a central seat to take in the 3D spectacle in all its glory. Pretty soon with roving reports very visible The Amazing Spider-Man branding and lots of security it looked like this may be a cut above the usual preview event.

Eventually we were let into Screen 7 of the Vue West End to be greeted by the shiny new Amazing Spider-Man logo projected onto the big screen. Host Chris Hewitt took to the stage to welcome us to the event and let us know that we were in for a treat and that we should let Rio know how excited were about The Amazing Spider-Man. Turns out that we were connected to other cities around the world via camera and would be participating in a simultaneous live event with Rio de Janeiro, in Los Angeles and Spider-Man’s home New York City.

The Amazing Spider-Man logo switched out for Host Ralph Garman and Director Marc Webb in Los Angeles who thanked for coming to celebrate The Amazing Spider-Man with this event. He was going to show us some stuff introduce to his partners in crime.

Next we went to Rio de Janeiro and Producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach who brought Emma Stone along with them. They told us that we were going to be seeing The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer but before that back to London.

Chris Hewitt brought out his own surprise and introduced; Spider-Man’s nemesis aka Dr. Curt Connors aka The Lizard aka Rhys Ifans.

Finally we went over to Host Josh Horowitz in New York City who introduced Spider-Man himself Andrew Garfield. Surrounded by fans Garfield told us that this means the world to him and so, so, so much.

All right I am not going to lie as much as it made complete sense that New York City is Spider-Man’s home and Andrew Garfield is preparing for a stage role there - I couldn’t help but think that London is where he should have been. Surrounded by British fans to cheer him

The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer
I tried to bullet point what we were shown but I had no intention of missing anything of the Big Screen 3D trailer whilst jotting stuff out in the dark and ended up with:

HFS , badass, THE LIZARD!!!!! Slipper Me, cops and a squiggle that looked like The Amazing Spider-Man logo. Besides it should be up online tomorrow around 10am UK time.

Video: The Amazing Spider-man - New Trailer - In Cinemas 4th July 2012

The trailer starts with a spectacular 3D shot high over New York City. Much of the trailer scenes were expanded upon in the 8 minute footage which I go into more detail below but the trailer ended with Spider-Man high above a skyscraper with both the pinnacle tower & spidey falling. I’m not ashamed to say I jerked as a particularly effective 3D effect made a piece of the tower fall into the audience.

I go into my overall thoughts about the trailer and footage further below. 

Suffice to say it was ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR!!!! The online version does it no justice.

The Amazing Spider-Man QA session
After the trailer the filmmakers from each country answered some questions, coverings the basics The Amazing Spider-Man.

Marc, what is different about The Amazing Spider-Man?
Marc Webb: There is a lot in the Spider-Man Canon that hasn't been explored. This is the unexplored story. There is the story of Peter Parker and his parents we wanted to explore the emotional consequence to be an orphan. There is the Gwen Stacey saga as well as Dr. Curt Connors - The Lizard. All thee elements that give us a lot to work with. Also we wanted to deal with Peter Parker in a more realist and naturalistic way

Emma, what are the differences between Gwen Stacey and Mary Jane?
Emma Stone: Gwen and Mary Jane are Yin & Yang, they are polar opposites. Gwen comes from a great family and is surrounded by good people. Gwen loves Peter, Mary Jane kind of loves Spider-Man.

Rhys how is Conners different from the other Spider-Man villains?
Rhys Ifans: What I enjoy about Spider-Man villains is that they seem human, real and flawed, particularly with Dr Conner. The fact that he was close to Peter Parker’s father makes their relationship complex.

Andrew what made you want to be Spider-Man?
Andrew Garfield: Cause I’m not an idiot. It’s the thing that everyone in the room wants. He belongs to everyone in the room. They [the fans] get it.

After the Sizzle reel we got to ask Rhys Ifans some more questions to which I jumped at the opportunity.

Craig Grobler: Ifans thank for doing this, this evening. For your character do you draw more on the Marvel Bronze Age or The Ultimates Universe?
Rhys Ifans: He is kind of an amalgamation and I drew a lot on my own experience. He is a scientist who has lost his arm and what about genetic science could interest a scientist that has lost an arm?

Will the Lizard have a snout as some of the comics show him with one and others don’t?
Rhys Ifans: [unaware of the online debate about what The Lizard looks like. No, he doesn’t but he would smell you coming from a mile.

The Amazing Spider-Man Footage
Director Marc Webb then introduced the sizzle reel and explained that the whole film was shot in 3D with some impressive cameras but the two sides still needed to be merged so we would be seeing the sizzle reel in 2D. With unfinished effects in some scenes. The scenes may be in the wrong order.

We start of at Parker’s high school and regular Spider-Man bully Flash Thomson is at the centre of a crowd giving a kid a beat down. He calls Peter over to take a photo. Cut to Peter being beaten up lying on the ground he says he still won’t take a photo.

Next we see a beat up Peter at home with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Fields). One of them asks what happened to him. Nothing!

Then we see Peter finding an old briefcase of his fathers, he unpacks his fathers personal belongings. He then asks Ben & May if they know who a person in a photo is? Dr Curtis Conner (Rhys Ifans). They both look unhappy. And I think the black & white flashback of Peter’s parents takes place Mary Parker (Embeth Davidtz) & Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) from the trailer take place.

Next we see flashes of Peter at school and seemingly in a fight scenario with Flash.

Then Peter is talking to Ben Parker in a school corridor. Ben isn’t happy. He asks if he beat up the boy. Yes. Is he the boy that beat Peter up. Yes. And is this what it is all about? Getting even? Err, well kind of.

Well I had to switch shifts and now you have to pick up May this evening. Seeing Gwen Stacey standing behind them. I know that girl. Peter to see her. I know you. He’s got you on his computer. Peter clearly uncomfortable. Ben says I’m his parole officer to Stacey.

Ben leaves, I’m sorry that’s my Uncle, they have an awkward conversation arranging a get together some time. Peter is stoked. - I’m not a huge fan of Emma Stone (only because I’ve only seen one film she is in) but after watching her as Gwen Stacey I couldn’t see anyone playing her. As she walks off in her high boots and mini it dawned on me that this really looked like she came off the pages of a comic.

We now see Peter in a laboratory which we know from the first trailer is something to do with Gwen Stacey - studying spiders in a large blue light scientific enclosure. The lights dim and the spiders are luminescent white. He looks panicky and it may be because all the spiders look like they are ready to pounce on him.

Dr Curtis Conner in his lab taking to students. As you might have guessed I'm a Southpaw. I’m not an invalid I’m a scientist

Peter wakes un bed to a beeping alarm. Whilst still half asleep he smashes down on it crushing it and taking a chunk out of his table. Now he is in his bathroom, first unwittingly squirting his toothpaste all over the mirror, then pulling his tap head off covering him in a jet of water before pulling the towel rack off the wall.

Dr Curtis Conner standing at 90 degrees to a glass wall looking watching the reflection give the illusion that he has both arms.

Peter seemingly exercising and doing some impossible cool skateboard tricks to the the sound of The Rolling Stones.

Then Peter knocking on a door. Dr Curtis Conner (Rhys Ifans) answers. Hi I’m Richard Parker’s son.

Then we see Peter drop onto Gwen’s escape stairwell platform and great her through her window. How did you get here? I took the stairs. But it’s 20 floors up! Your doorman is intimidating.

Peter working on his web shooters. This was quite a long scene and the web shooters were really impressive.

Spider-Man in the back seat of a car. “if you are going to steal a car don’t dress like a car thief. The thief: “Are you a cop?” Spidey: Dressed in a skin tight blue and red suit? The thief bolts out the car. Spider-Man sarcastically teases him while pinning him to the wall with his web shooters – this was quite funny

Who are you? Spider-Man tilts his head menacingly as the camera lingers. This was a neat play on I’m Batman. With Spidey not having to say anything and his head tilt was one of the best bits of the trailer form exuding other worldliness as well as menace at the same time.

Dr Curtis Conner experimenting with genetic stuff and reacting badly to an injection.

Spider-Man swinging amongst skyscrapers. At this point you could see some of the effects were not complete and Spider-Man swing down into a green screen area.

Gwen Stacey tending the wounds of a topless Spider-Man

One of The Lizards claws placed on a desk or table.

We see Gwen Stacey’s family and Peter around meal table. Gwen's police man father George Stacy (Denis Leary) calling The Spider-man a threat and a criminal. Peter trying to defend Spider-Man. Cut to Spider-Man bouncing around the streets in a mix of Parkour and swinging. He’s being pursued by a group of policeman and eventually gets a truncheon crack on the head. He drops.

Peter Parker jumping up and sticking to the inside of a train carriage roof upside down

Next we see Spidey handcuffed on the floor, George Stacy moves in gun at the ready and pulls off his mask. Spidey goes ballistic bouncing off the police with kicks and punches to escape. – Bittersweet as this was another highlight of the footage seeing Spidey in action kicking the crap out of his foes. But it did feel a lot like a scene from another caped crusader film.

Then we see a close up of see The Lizard’s eye. Then a bridge with cars being bashed left and right across the bridge. Similar to toned down Hulk style damage.

An unmasked Spider-Man shouting up to an unseen Dr Connors to stop this isn’t him.

The Lizard ripping the roof off a car and a single claw reaching in to get someone.

Then Spider-Man an aerial view of cars being suspended by web under the bridge.

Spider-Man swinging up to a tower platform we see The Lizard in full albeit darkened for the first time.

Then Spider-Man pulling the tower down with a web this is the same towe that comes crashing down near the end of the trailer.

My thoughts
It would seem that The Amazing Spider-Man is drawing a lot from the Ultimate Spider-Man universe reboot but keeping original bits from the Bronze Age.

I have only seen about 8 minute of The Amazing Spider-Man but I’m really excited about it now. The tone of the film is a little darker and the film looks bad ass with Spidey taking on police and criminals alike. The visuals are spectacular and Spider-Man’s movements are really believable. At no point did Spider-man look like he was computer generated like in some swinging scenes in the previous films. But I’m sure that these clips were hand picked and any weak scenes vetoed.

I’m really glad that Peter Parker’s original girlfriend Gwen Stacey is back. Mary Jane was Peter Parker’s second choice. I never felt I got closure from the comics I read as a kid and always thought Gwen would pop up alive. Sadly there have been a couple of time that came close but Gwen always end up dead. Hopefully Emma Stone will breathe life into her again.

The short glimpses of The Lizard I got were enough and of all the character he certainly looks the most fearsome. Visceral, scaly and coming across like a vicious komodo dragon.

On the down side experts agree that 3D does not work well for fast high action scenes and until frame rates are upped there is a slight noticeable shudder effect as both our eyes struggle to process the two high speed images particularly diagonal lines /shapes and I did get a hint of this during some of the bits that spidey was swinging out of the screen.

Overall I am really excited about seeing  The Amazing Spider-Man swing back into action and counting down the days and it looks like Batman may have to fight it out for Box Office glory.

Before leaving Sony had one more surprise for us. The Amazing Spider-Man branded sweaters to commemorative the Sneak Peek into the Untold Story Event.

The Amazing Spider-Man release date: 3 July, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man
Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner.

Director: Marc Webb
Writers: Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves, Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, James Vanderbilt
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans

The Establishing Shot: The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer & Footage & we ask Rhys Ifans will the Lizard be more Bronze Age or Ultimates Universe? And find out if the Lizard will have a snout