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Just 24 hours prior to its worldwide debut online, Sony Pictures unveiled a sneak peek of its superhero tentpole The Amazing Spider-Man during an international fan event held in select theaters around the globe. In addition to the trailer preview, the studio and the film’s stars, who were on hand to answer questions during a live simulcast, debuted footage from the movie.
The highly-anticipated footage played in 13 cities, including Mexico City, Berlin, Moscow and Seoul. Director Marc Webb joined the Los Angeles crowd, Emma Stone and producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach showed up in Rio de Janeiro, Rhys Ifans in London and Andrew Garfield in New York. Hundreds of fans showed up at the AMC Century City hours before the presentation with the line stretching from the upper to lower levels and around the block. A second presentation was even added to aid in satiating the demand.
The event cannily saw Sony Pictures’ unveling of the new Spidey trailer quickly hijack Monday’s “post-Super Bowl best commercials” debate by blowing away attendees with the preview’s slick footage.
The 3D trailer more than delivers and ditto for the extended scenes which were shown in 2D. Though some of the material had already been screened for fans during last year’s Comic-Con Convention in San Diego, there were a couple of shots still in the animatic stage. The brand new footage reveals some of Dr. Curtis Connors’ evolution into classic Spider-Man villain the Lizard, as well Peter Parker’s hand in creating the amphibious freak.
One of the other standout scenes played was a “Spidey vs. the NYPD manhunt,” led by Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), father of love interest Gwen Stacy (Stone). During one of the scene’s pivotal moments, Captain Stacy even unmasks our hero (But we won’t tell you what happens after).
What is most amazing about the footage is despite how “big” it plays, the scenes still manage to remain deeply intimate and personal. Sami Raimi’s Spidey scenes actually pale in comparison with a faker, quainter feel. In the preview, the relationships between Parker and his family, Gwen Stacy, her father Captain Stacy as well as the Connors, all show multi-facets of the teen character. Garfield’s version of Peter Parker not only plays the bullied teen-turned-powerful superhero side of the character, but also the side of an orphan striking emotional chords over a desire to connect to his missing father.
In between viewings of the trailer and sizzle reel, Webb said one of the main focuses in the new Spidey movie was to explore Parker’s life in the context of being an orphan. “I wanted to treat Peter Parker in a more naturalistic way,” he said.
Speaking from Rio, Stone explained how her character, love interest Gwen Stacy, would differ from that of Kirsten Dunst‘s portrayal of love interest Mary Jane from the Raimi movies. “Gwen is the yin to Mary Jane’s yang,” she said. “Gwen is falling in love with Peter Parker and Mary Jane falls in love with Spider-Man, which I think is different.”
Sony nailed the casting of Parker/Spidey with Andrew Garfield, who came off both nervous and extremely humble, “I can’t believe I’m here,” he told the excited geek crowd.
The character “belongs to everyone in this room,” Garfield said from the New York event. “It doesn’t belong to me. I really mean it. The more of these events I go to the more I realize…It’s overwhelming to be representing this symbol. ‘Cuz that’s all I am. I’m the guy in the suit. It could be anyone in the suit. It happen to be me this time, before that it was Tobey [Maguire] and next time hopefully it will be a half hispanic-half african-merican actor.”
Garfield’s last sentiments — a nod to the debut of last year’s Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series, featuring a mixed-raced character Mile Morales — elicited cheers and laughter from Rio, London, New York and LA.
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