THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
About The Film
Spider-Man returns to the big screen for the untold story of Peter Parker in
The Amazing Spider-Man. In beginning a new chapter in the Spider-Man saga, it
was important to the filmmakers to show a side of Peter Parker that moviegoers
haven't seen before. "There are a lot of things in the Spider-Man canon that
haven't been explored cinematically," says Marc Webb, who directs the new film.
"The loss of Peter's parents launches Peter on his journey. I was curious about
the emotional consequence of that tragic event - ultimately, this is a story
about a kid who goes out looking for a father and finds himself. Then, of
course, we have the Gwen Stacy saga - whether you're familiar with the comics or
not, it's an extraordinary story. And, of course, there's the Lizard, one of my
favorite villains in comics. All of that gave us a lot to work with."
Avi Arad, formerly the head of Marvel Studios and now a producer who has
shepherded the Spider-Man films from the very beginning, notes, "Spider-Man has
filled thousands of pages of comic books with hundreds of stories since he
debuted fifty years ago. That's a deep vein of resources to mine as we look to
continue the story of Peter Parker on the screen."
Matt Tolmach, a producer of the film who previously oversaw the Spider-Man
franchise when he served as president of the studio, says, "Spider-Man is an
iconic character because we all grew up relating to him, we all have a personal
relationship with him. Peter Parker is what sets Spider-Man apart. He's
relatable, an everyman. He's a kid who has trouble with girls, he's not popular,
he's not rich and powerfulâ€¦. he's just an ordinary boy. He's someone you can
identify with - you can see some of yourself in Peter. And because of this, the
story of Peter Parker, of Spider-Man, touches people emotionally in ways that
few other characters can, and we, as filmmakers, but also as fans, feel a huge
responsibility to do right by the character."
Taking the helm of The Amazing Spider-Man is Marc Webb, whose previous film,
(500) Days of Summer, deftly and unblinkingly portrayed the ups and downs of a
relationship. "From the very first day we talked to Marc, it was clear that he
brought a unique vision for Spider-Man and the universe," says Tolmach. "He's
been our guide throughout this process. He's someone who's shown an affinity for
character and emotion both of which are the heart of any great Spider-Man
At the center of The Amazing Spider-Man is, of course, the story of a boy,
Peter Parker. "Since we were reestablishing Peter Parker, we had to build the
audience's relationship with him from the ground up," notes Webb. "In order to
do that legitimately, we begin the story with Peter Parker as a seven-year-old
boy. We see him before his parents left, before they handed him off to Aunt May
and Uncle Ben. This allowed the audience to experience the significant emotional
cues in his life."
This is a Peter Parker who has been shaped by who he is and what he has
experienced. "In this movie, we wanted to explore what happened to Peter before
he went to live with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May," says Avi Arad. "He is an
orphan. The fact that he is an orphan is one of the most important influences on
his young life, and the Spider-Man movies haven't yet delved into that. All
orphan stories are ultimately about the search for parents, and I think this
film explores that in an interesting way. His parents vanished in a mysterious
way that made his quest for answers more complicated."
"This Peter Parker is a little different: he's still an outsider, but he's an
outsider by choice," says Webb. "He has a chip on his shoulder - he's the kid
who rejects people before they can reject him. The humor, the sarcasm, the
rebellious streak emanates from that little kid who got left behind so long
"For this film, we talked a lot about Peter Parker, a boy who lost his
parents at a very young age - and lost them in a way that's still a mystery to
him," adds Tolmach. "It leaves him with a lot of formative questions - Where am
I from? Who am I? Why did my parents leave? Why did this happen? Who am I going
to become? These are all the primal questions that face our hero. This angle had
not been heavily explored, yet it's so critical to who Peter Parker is - this is
the essence of a young man's journey. So we were incredibly excited to go down
this road with the story and these characters."
"The things that are unresolved, the things we have to live with, send us
down a road - and that road can make us better people or not," says Webb.
To put it another way, even though Peter's experiences have left an imprint
on the young man he's become, he is now a character with agency. Before her
untimely passing in 2011, Laura Ziskin, who had played an integral role in
shaping the Spider-Man films as a producer, said that many of Peter's troubles -
including getting bitten by that fateful spider - are problems of his own
making, but his strength of character and fortitude give him the power to write
his own destiny. "Peter is in a place he shouldn't be when the spider bites
him," she noted. "But once he has the powers, it begins a learning process for
him. He is active, not reactive - he is responsible for everything that
"A key part of our orchestration of the story is that everything in Peter's
journey happens because of his yearning to find out about his father," says
Webb, concurring. "The sequence of events which leads him to OsCorp and to Dr.
Connors results in his being bitten. I didn't want the spider bite to be an
arbitrary occurrence, but a representation and result of his desire to fill a
At the same time, Peter Parker is uniquely suited for the responsibilities
that his powers bring. "Peter Parker is a hero, not a superhero," says Andrew
Garfield, who takes on the iconic role. "He's already good before the spider
bites him. After that, he gets the power to act on what he already knows is
Garfield says he feels a special responsibility being the man inside the
suit. "When I was younger, I sometimes felt trapped in my own skin," he says,
"but we all have that. That's why this character is the most popular of all the
superheroes: he is universal and uniting. The reason Spider-Man means so much to
me is the same reason he means so much to everyone: he's a symbol, an imperfect
person in the way that we're all imperfect, but trying so hard to do what is
right and what is just and fighting for the people who can't fight for
themselves. It's overwhelming to represent him - and believe me, I'm just the
guy in the suit. I'm honored to be that, but Spider-Man belongs to everyone."
"The character of Spider-Man has meant a great deal to me since I was a
child; my attraction to the character began early," says Garfield. "I found hope
in Peter Parker's struggles and the trials he went through week in and week out
in the comics, and I connected with that. I found it fascinating; there was
something very real in the way Stan Lee wrote him and created him with Steve
Garfield says that Webb's vision for a Spider-Man more grounded in reality is
highlighted by one of the choices: the decision that Peter Parker would design
and build his own web shooters in The Amazing Spider-Man. "They're a big thing
for him," says Garfield. "It was important to Marc to show Peter taking an
active role in his transformation into Spider-Man. It isn't just something that
happens to him - he seizes the moment and does everything in his power to make
the most of it."
Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker's firs
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