What The Amazing Spider-Man Trailer Tells Us It's Doing Different From Raimi

By Josh Tyler 2011-07-19 15:35:46discussion comments
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This morning the first trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man leaked online, in a fairly high-quality bootleg format. Sony Pictures moved quickly to eradicate it from the internet, and that’s fine, since they’re sure to release an official version soon. Though it vanished quickly, the trailer is now back online in high-resolution and through it we've learned a few things about the nature of this worrisome reboot.

For instance, we now know that all those really awful sounding Spider-Man trailer descriptions being pedaled as scoops around the internet were completely wrong. The teaser bears no resemblance to those reports, they were false. That’s actually good news, since most of those made this sound like some sort of rehash of all the things we’ve already seen in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies, and that never made sense.

We also now have a feel for Sony’s new take on the character. Guess what? They’re trying to turn Spider-Man into Batman. The tone of the trailer is intentionally dark and brooding, the music is ominous, there’s none of the joy found in Raimi’s movies, anywhere in this. Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker never smiles, instead he broods spends a lot of time staring at his own reflection as if he’s constantly wondering “what’s it all about?” This Spidey seems to have taken the whole “great responsibility” thing a little too seriously. Even though he’s supposed to be a teenager in high-school, this Peter looks like he's already been crushed by the weight of the world. He’s less of a nerd than he is an emo kid. Everything about the trailer screams Dark Knight or, worse, Twilight (minus the romance). The Amazing Spider-Man could easily be set in Seattle and have vampires in it, Peter even has an Edward Cullen haircut.

That’s not to say it’s all bad. Look, Spider-Man isn’t Batman, and not every superhero needs to be dark and brooding. I wish they weren’t going this route with the webhead, but since they are, it seems like they’re trying to go about it in the right way. As a dark and brooding trailer this one sort of works. Andrew Garfield doesn’t look bad as Peter Parker, though it should be noted that the 28-year-old actor looks every bit like someone in his twenties, and never for even a second in this trailer actually looks like a high school kid. They really should have cast younger. But if you can put that aside, it’s easy to buy him as Peter Parker.

More than that, they make it clear that they’re trying to bring something new to not just the tone of the character, but the action around him too. The trailer ends with this gimmicky, Spidey-cam sequence in which Spider-Man goes jumping, running, and swinging through the city but we only see it as if we’re him, the screen showing us the view out through his eyeballs. It doesn’t really work at all on the small screen of a computer, when his feet dangle at the bottom of the frame it looks ridiculous, but it could be really cool in a big screen, theatrical format. It might even be one of those rare, legitimately cool uses of 3D, done right. I don’t know if that particular gimmick will work, but odds are it won’t be the only new thing they try in this movie, and it’s nice to know that they are trying.

The main thing here is that if Sony was going to reboot Spider-Man, then they’d damn well better be trying something completely different with it. While director Marc Webb isn’t jumping the franchise completely off the rails, the first Amazing Spider-Man trailer makes it clear that, for better or worse, this movie is different from Raimi’s work.

Stick around, with the San Diego Comic Con kicking off this week, odds are Sony will release the entire Amazing Spider-Man in high-res in the next few days. We’ll be there at the convention to bring you coverage, and we’ll have the official, high-res version of the trailer right here on Cinema Blend as soon as it’s available.
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