"I'm terrified right now," Andrew Garfield told a theater full of fans in New York City today, right before he and the main players in The Amazing Spider-Man introduced a sizzle reel for fans and the press. Judging by the fan reaction, he probably shouldn't be.
Simulcast in 15 cities around the world, the Sony event for The Amazing Spider-Man showed off a finished 3D trailer (to premiere at midnight tonight, PST), complete with dizzying spidey FX, and a 2D sizzle reel that got a little deeper story-wise but wasn't fine-tuned in the effects department. Along with Garfield in NYC, director Marc Webb tuned in from LA, Emma Stone and producers Matthew Tolmach and Avi Arad were in Rio, and Rhys Ifans was in London to give a little background color for their characters. Although it wasn't anything in depth -- one question for Stone was what the difference is between Gwen and Mary Jane -- it was a nice touch to amp up the audience.
So, what did we learn from this experience?
The 3D looks gooood
Although 3D isn't as integral to the experience as some might argue it is for Hugo, it's definitely something fans will enjoy. Webb and his crew filmed the entire film in stereoscopic 3D, so there's none of that post-production nonsense here. Sometimes Spider-Man moves so fast onscreen that it's hard to track, and his high-flying antics are impressive, especially in contrast to the unfinished 2D sizzle reel. Is it necessary to the film? Probably not. Will parents be springing for those 3D tickets? Probably so.
If you thought Peter Parker was dorky before…
People were concerned when Garfield was first cast that he might not be buff enough to play Spider-Man, but as it turns out he's got the perfect wiry frame to pull off being an awkward teen and a crime fighter in disguise.
Mark Webb told the magazine for Comic-Con that "[t]here's a punk rock quality to Peter Parker that’s really irreverent and fun and that's something that Andrew embodies in a way that we haven’t seen before." I'm not sure about punk rock, but this Peter Parker is definitely a little wise-ass. When a car thief brandishes a knife, he pretends to cower in fear; later, he fake sneezes out some of his magical web goo so the baddie is stuck to the wall. How many of us pretended to do that as kids?
Team Gwen! Team Emma Stone!
I'm an unabashed fan of Emma Stone. She's smart as hell and has great comedic timing, and uh, she's gorgeous. I have no particular claim to either Gwen or Mary Jane, but Stone definitely brings more zest to the character than Bryce Dallas Howard did in Spider-Man 3. Of course, she is also the co-star, so she's got more to work with. Her Gwen together with Garfield's Peter make a cute and sweet little couple, and when she talks about her dad being a cop and how she never knows if he's coming home at night, darn it, I cared too.
Welcome to flashback city
This Spider-Man goes farther back in time than Raimi's, all the way to Peter's childhood. The themes of fathers -- Peter and his dad, Gwen and her dad, and even Rhys Ifans as dad surrogate turned evil lizard villain Dr. Curt Connors -- brings a new layer to the movie.
Although it seems like a lot of dosh to put on a simulcast for fans across the world, provide them with popcorn, drinks, and freebies, and fly the stars around, it's probably a lot cheaper than a Superbowl spot. Plus, while there was a similar event a few months ago for The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man looks a bit like the odd one out for now. Everyone will show up for TDKR, and The Avengers is all over the place, but people are a little bit wait-and-see about Spider-Man -- for now.