Two of Sony’s highest profile, geek-cred films - ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance’ – brought their main casts and directors to the Comic-Con party with Hall H presentations. But before they addressed the fans in Hall H (read our report on that presentation here), they addressed the press for the first time about their highly-anticipated comic book adaptations. Here are the highlights of what they had to tell us….
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Co-director Brian Taylor on why this film isn’t a sequel: “We didn’t really consider the first movie at all. The first movie was kind of a Walt Disney kind of take on the comic book. This version we made is darker, it’s more intense and [Blaze] is a nightmare. He will scare the hell out of you. He’s not a superhero that wears tights and does his thing. He’s more villain than he is a hero. He’s a dark entity. He sucks out your soul; that’s his super power.
Nicolas Cage on separating ‘GR: V’ from the comic book movie pack: “In this day and age when you have a lot of comic book movies being made every day, most are really [about] good boys, so it’s good to have bad boys out there too.”
Actor Idris Elba (Moreau) on why the directors caught his interest: “I was a fan of their work and what I like about their work is that you feel the momentum of whatever they are shooting. I liken those guys as a hybrid between an actor, a sweaty crewmember and a director because they do it all, ya know? That for me was a great part of bringing my character to life because I do a lot of action stuff.”
Co-director Mark Neveldine on making the action scenes play real: “We tried to get as much in camera as possible just to enhance the CG as opposed to creating full CG models. We do a little bit of that but we’re more about extending and then getting visceral action with crashing cars and motorcycles.”
Nicolas Cage on creating a new physicality for his Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider character: “It was like designing a body language from another dimension. I through together random animalities like cobras and insects to try to find ways of moving that would, hopefully, scare you and entertain you.”
Idris Elba on facing a lifetime fear during the shoot: “When I was 19 I fell off a motorcycle and never wanted to get onto one again until this movie. I love bikes but I have been nervous about getting on them. In this film for me the boundary for me was doing these stunts down a Romanian highway on a bike. But it was good fun though.”
Brian Taylor on how Cage creeped out the entire production crew: “The first time he showed up as Ghost Rider on set he was so silent he creeped out everyone. People were like, “Whoa, whoa, Nic is in a weird place.” He wouldn’t talk and was very quiet. I think he had black glass eyes. I remember at one point Mark asked, “Do those things hurt?” and he said, “It’s personal.” He would not talk about it.”
The Amazing Spider-Man
Executive producer Avi Arad on why The Amazing Spider-Man is different from Raimi’s films: “The only thing that stayed the same is the spirit of Peter Parker. We wanted to see how a kid like him in high school would behave in this day and age. We loved Marc’s vision and we had to convince him to take a shot at it, which is scary stuff.”
Actor Andrew Garfield’s comic book inspiration for his take on Peter Parker: “I love the Ultimates and only got into the Ultimates doing research for the film. It was a really great resource for how I wanted Spidey’s body to look. I love the artwork and how lithe and skinny he was because I’m skinny. I love the idea of a skinny teenage kid beating the crap out of huge guys. It’s always been a dream of mine I wanted to see in the film and what better way to give other skinny kids in the audience that sense of achievement as well.”
Director Marc Webb on the romance of the film: “It’s one of the things that made Spider-Man really unique in terms of the comics is that there is a really tender, romantic quality to it. Something that has always fascinated me about cinema is good romance. That was something to explore with it. Andrew and Emma did such great work on screen. We just finished shooting and I am having so much fun putting together their scenes because there is such tenderness and honesty in them.”
Actress Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) on seeing Andrew in the costume for the first time: "I went in and I needed to stand next to him for the camera test, and I think I really inappropriately started touching him. He was like 'Stop touching me.' I said this isn’t just about you; everyone is around Spider-Man right now. It had nothing to do with [him] at all. It was pretty incredible to see the costume for the first time because you couldn't see his face. You just saw Spider-Man.”
Marc Webb explains how Spidey’s POV will be used in the film: “I was trying to experiment with generating his point of view so you feel what Spider-Man feels when he is jumping over buildings and streets. But we made a very conscious effort to ground stunts. We built a whole rig along Riverside Drive in Harlem and we swung a man through traffic down the street. We also built a car rig with a series of wires to make that happen.”
Emma Stone on what super heroine she’d like to play: “I don't know if I could be a superhero to be honest with you. I'd love to say, ‘Yes, there are 12 I can name’ but I don't know if I'm your girl if you're looking for a superhero.”
Andrew Garfield on carrying the mantle from Tobey Maguire: “I loved Tobey Maguire’s interpretation of the character. It's one of the things that rekindled and reminded me of how much this character means to me, and when I watched that first Spidey film I lost my mind. I watched it back-to-back, twice in a row when I first saw it. And I had the wonderful fortune of meeting him after we finished shooting. I didn't seek him out, but he sent me a very, very, very nice email once it was announced, basically giving me his blessing. It meant the world to me because I respect him so much as an actor generally and especially with the role I now assume."