What we learned from the new Amazing Spider-Man trailer

Trailer James Hunt 7 Feb 2012 - 17:25

Most of us have seen the new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man by now, so here’s James’ frame-by-frame breakdown of what it all means...

The new Amazing Spider-Man trailer, released today, has had a big effect on fans, blowing away the cobwebs (no pun intended) left by the first glimpses of the film and replacing caution with anticipation. But what does it actually tell us about the film? We wouldn’t be worthy of the Den of Geek name if we didn’t give it the full nitpicking treatment...

Not-so-secret identity

Various parts of this trailer suggest that Peter Parker will struggle to maintain his anonymity as Spider-Man. Indeed, it virtually opens with Peter dropping in – literally – on Gwen Stacy. It’s clear that the romance between the pair will be a major focus of the film, as he’s already willing to jeopardise his identity just to see her. Is she foolish enough to take Peter at face value? The original Gwen Stacy died without ever learning Peter was Spider-Man, but in this instance, he doesn’t seem to be hiding it very well. Especially since he later tells Gwen “I’ve got to stop him. I’ve created him” – presumably referring to the Lizard. Spilt the beans already?

It’s not just voluntary, either. Later on, we see a policeman pulling the mask right off Peter’s face, followed by an explosion of activity as the now-unmasked Parker fights to escape a large group of cops.

Web of genius

An early shot shows Peter experimenting with what appears to be a mechanical web-shooter. Now, there are some fans who will argue that the creation of web-shooters is an essential component in proving Peter Parker’s scientific prowess – but for me, organic web-shooters as used by Raimi’s film always made more sense, as it retains the everyman quality of Peter Parker. He’s supposed to be smart, but if he’s on the level of Tony Stark and Reed Richards, how can we ordinary mortals relate to him?

That said, it’s probable, given the film’s positioning of Peter’s father as a scientist, that the web-shooters and web-fluid are actually something to do with his father’s research, which we see returned to Peter later on in the trailer. Of course, there’s also a scene later on where Peter completes a mega-difficult equation on a blackboard, so it’s clear that they’re not shying away from the scientific genius aspect of the character at all.

Police story

At one point, Captain Stacy, Gwen’s police chief father, verbally spars with Peter over Spider-Man’s position in society. “This guy wears a mask, like an outlaw.” He says. Again, a world away from Raimi’s interpretation, where Spider-Man was quickly clasped to the bosom of New York and – despite Jameson’s protestations – won the heart of the police and public to an overwhelming extent, rarely having trouble with the authorities.

This spider-man, by comparison, is far from a widely-accepted hero, and the trailer closes with Captain Stacy issuing an arrest warrant for the “masked vigilante”, Spider-Man. Looks like Captain Stacy is going to fill the antagonist role normally reserved for JJJ, then?

Said the spider…

One of the few things Raimi’s Spider-Man got completely wrong was the escapist, wise-cracking element of the character. Spider-Man is a burden for Peter Parker, but it also allows him to push his boundaries. To give bullies and crooks a psychological thrashing as much as a physical one. Traditionally, the more dire the situation, the harder Spidey cracks wise about it. An altercation with a criminal (“If you’re gonna steal cars, don’t dress like a car thief!”) suggests that this is one aspect of the character that Marc Webb has definitely retained.

Meet the parents

A lot of the marketing for this film is using the phrase “The Untold Story” – referring to the matter of Peter’s parents and their “disappearance”. In the comics, they died in a plane crash. Because they were secret agents. I know, I know. Raimi, quite rightly, glossed over the fates of Richard and Mary, treating Aunt May and Uncle Ben wholly as Peter’s surrogate parents. Webb’s film, however, is throwing itself into the backstory. The previous trailer showed them leaving a young Peter with his Aunt and Uncle. This one shows him investigating his father’s past, and meeting his colleague: one Curtis Connors.

Reptilia

Connors’ transformation into the Lizard is clearly described by the trailer, which depicts the character as an almost Hulk-like figure, rather than the more man-sized lizard-in-a-lab-coat familiar to most. It makes a certain sense, and the effects certainly seem up to scratch – but that design is one of the few things about this trailer that gives us pause for concern. At least Batman fans know that Killer Croc could work. And hey, it’s not as if the Green Goblin design hurt the first Raimi film. Er, much…

Still, things are looking much stronger than before. Are there any more secrets coming? We can’t help turning to the fate of both Stacys in the comics and wondering how likely it is that Gwen and her Dad will make it out of this film alive. And indeed, one thing this film has barely shown a glimpse of is the fate of Uncle Ben. You can’t do Spider-Man’s origin without Uncle Ben dying… can you?

You can view the new Amazing Spider-Man trailer here, and read our thoughts on Monday night's preview footage here.

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