A nervous Andrew Garfield read his love letter to Spider-Man during a panel at Comic-Con yesterday. It was an emotional prelude to the movie's first footage, filled with teen angst, mechanical web shooters, and an adorable first chat with Gwen Stacy.
Plus, find out which version of Spider-Man from the comics inspired Garfield's performance in the film.
The moderator's introduction to The Amazing Spider-Man panel was interrupted when a fellow in a cheap Spidey costume approached one of the microphones on the floor. After the masked microphoner nervously expressed his belief that this would be the best Spider-Man movie ever, he ripped off his mask to reveal himself as the new Peter Parker, Andrew Garfield. Garfield then produced a packet of wrinkled pages and began reading from them, huffing and gasping with nerves as he read. He told the audience that Spider-Man had been such an important character to the skinny little boy he was. "He made me stronger," he wheezed. "He made me, Andrew, braver." He talked at length about how Spider-Man taught him the importance of standing up for other people, how he provided a moral model for Garfield as he grew up. After expressing his immense gratitude for being allowed to step into Peter Parker's red-blue-spandex, Garfield said to the crowd with great earnestness, "This is definitely the coolest moment of my life and thank you for sharing it with me."
It would seem that Andrew Garfield is a bit excited about being Spider-Man.
A sneak peek at some footage from The Amazing Spider-Man
After the trailer, the first footage shown at the panel introduces us to Peter Parker's pre-superpowered life. His teachers complain that he's tardy. He's reprimanded for skateboarding in the hallway. He's constantly bullied. He's the kid who hides beneath his hoodie in the back of the classroom, the kid who always comes home with a black eye and can say he tripped and fell only so many times. But when he punches one of the boys who hit him in school, he and Uncle Ben are called into the principal's office.
As they leave the office, Uncle Ben (played by Martin Sheen) asks about the boy Peter punched, "Is he the kid that hit you?" When Peter doesn't answer, Ben continues, "So this is all about getting even. If it is, I guess you're pretty proud of yourself right now." As Ben continues his scolding, he spots Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) coming out of class. "I know her," Ben says. He saw a picture of her on Peter's computer. Ben calls out to Gwen, "He's got you on his computer!" When Gwen looks over at them, Ben jokes, "I'm his probation officer."
As Ben leaves, Peter quickly explains that Ben is his uncle. "He's a pathological liar," Peter says. "I took a picture of the debate team and you're on the debate team and he must have seen it while I was touching stuff up."
"Oh," Gwen says playfully, "you were 'touching stuff up'?"
"I'm not even going to answer that," Peter says, grinning shyly. He pauses, and works up the nerve to ask her out — sort of. "So, would you want to...uh...sometime...or we could..." he trails off.
"Yeah," she says, "either one of those. Sure."
They stand there grinning at each other for a moment, not quite sure what to say. Finally, they part with a "So...some other time."
The next scene shows us Peter holding his father's leather briefcase. He searches through the case, taking out his father's glasses, his OSCORP ID, his calculators, and finally, a mysterious folder of documents. We see clips of a bunch of short moments: Peter visiting Gwen at OSCORP, and walking into a strange room where he's bitten on the neck by an errant spider. Peter discovering a long web thread growing from his spider bite. Peter waking up and smashing his alarm clock, squeezing all the toothpaste from the tube in a single squish, breaking bathroom fixtures. Peter building and testing his web shooters. Peter dodging and fighting toughs on a subway. And, at last, Spider-Man in full costume sitting in the back of a car someone is just about to steal.
"If you're going to steal a car," Spider-Man says, "don't dress like a car thief."
"Are you a cop?" the car thief asks.
Spider-Man cocks his head. "Seriously? Is that a real question?" He proceeds to disarm and restrain the thief with his web shooters.
As we reported earlier, we got the official word that Rhys Irfans will be playing Dr. Curt "The Lizard" Connors, and even got a glimpse of the full Lizard form — a bit more Killer Croc than classic Lizard and, sadly, sans lab coat.
Garfield loves Bendis
At the Spider-Man press conference, Garfield explained that he drew inspiration from the lithe yet strong Ultimate Spider-Man as penned by Brian Michael Bendis. Garfield discovered this particular incarnation of Spidey while researching the role and discussed how there's something appealing about a superhero rangy folks can look up to. It was also mentioned that Spider-Man will definitely be quippy in this film and that ex-Peter Parker Tobey Maguire gave Garfield his blessing via an encouraging email.
But how will Spider-Man fit in with the rest of Marvel's superhero roster? Will The Amazing Spider-Man cross over with The Avengers? Producer Avi Arad quashed any of those pipe dreams:
No. I think that obviously in the comics the team-ups and the mix-ups and so on are a way to keep publishing going [...] but I think Spider-Man has a huge universe of its own. So many villains, foes, and friends and great sagas about Peter and his parents [...] It's not something we are thinking about because we have so much more to tell. That's why we made this particular movie.