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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 powerful…. 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 story."

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 ago."

"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 happens."

"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 void."

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 right."

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 Ditko."

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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