The Amazing Spider-Man 2 may have webbed up a whole lot of box office money, but it hasn’t fared quite as well with the critics. If you listen carefully, you can hear the creaking of an internet laden with article upon article extolling the sequel’s myriad transgressions. A tick you probably won’t find in the “Cons” column is for Spider-Man’s costume, which is a gigantic improvement over the first film’s electric boogaloo design, as it almost perfectly copies the costume seen on the comic book page.
But that amazingly traditional costume could have turned out quite different. Speaking to CBM, concept artist Kelton Cram (who has worked on titles like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jupiter Ascending and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) has revealed some of the alternate costume designs he was asked to whip by the powers that be at Sony, and the methodology behind some of these design choices.
CBM: Could you tell me about your thought process on these alternate Spidey costumes?
Kelton Cram: First, make the body type look younger. Secondly, they wanted some recall to the original suit from The Amazing Spider Man comic. Lastly, they wanted to see lines in the suit, and different takes on the eyes/goggles.
I’ve never understood this whole fascination with lines on a costume. Man of Steel‘s Superman costume has it, while most of DC Comics’ New 52 redesigned costumes have it. Having lines just for the sake of it, without them serving a purpose, just makes it look too busy and garrish. I will say though that that second pic above’s darker goggles reminds me quite a bit of the costume worn by Doc Ock in the brilliant, recently concluded Superior Spider-Man, and that’s something that would be pretty cool to see on-screen.
CBM: When designing costumes for a film like this, do you think about the actor’s comfort?
Kelton Cram: Yes, the suit needs to bend in the right places. However, at this stage it’s mostly about the idea. Once the suit is approved, the real work starts – fitting to the actor’s body.
The web motif centering on the belly button in the above design is a bit silly, and would probably have looked even sillier when seen on Andrew Garfield in real life. Also, lines.
CBM: For the web shooters, is it design over function?
Kelton Cram: Yes, exactly. They wanted to see ideas that could be technically ‘clunky’ in real life. Usually it’s function first.
I’m definitely not a fan of these “clunky” web shooter designs. There is just far too much going on, breaking the simplistic red and blue schema, and also ruining the character’s sleek design.
Cram doesn’t elaborate as to how far things got with these designs, but I’m definitely happy that they realized the mistakes they made on the first film. Spidey’s costume is iconic for a reason: It’s just that damn good. Trying to modernize it in the first film, with it’s shiny boots and flashy patterning, was a gigantic misstep. Sony just had to go with what has been proven to work for the last 60 years, and that’s exactly what they’ve done now, much to my approvement. Now if only they could do a Spider-Man 2099 version…
Last Updated: May 6, 2014