Despite the rather sour taste that Tobey Maguire’s emo man-tears left in my mouth with Spider-Man 3, I still greeted word that director Marc Webb would rebooting the superhero franchise with much reticence, as it had barely been two years since Sam Raimi’s last film.
But as more of the fresh new cast, as well as Webb’s new direction for the character was revealed, I found my Spider-Sense tingling with anticipation. It was still a reboot that nobody had asked for, but gosh darn it, it was shaping up to be far better than we would have expected.
The biggest question though was how you would get around the problem of retelling a character’s origin story that was last told a mere 9 years prior?
The answer: You don’t. You tell something new.
Speaking to MTV earlier today Webb shed some light on some of his ideas for the character’s origins. First to go: The wrestling match where Peter shows off his powers for the first time, and inadvertently lets his uncle’s future killer go free:
“[There are] obligations to the canon, in terms of Uncle Ben and the spider-bite, but the conditions under which those things happen are very different… The character is evolving in a different way. It’s about finding a balance between iconic elements of the ‘Spider-Man’ mythology — like how Uncle Ben’s death transforms him emotionally — but it happens in a different way.”
One of the other biggest changes is the fact the Peter Parker’s parents, Richard and Mary Parker (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz, respectively), are not just going to be resolved to sentimental footnotes as in past stories, but will rather have an important role to play this time around with their deaths serving as a sort of overarching motivation for Peter’s actions.
“I wanted to give the audience something new, so that started off with getting underneath the parents’ story, which will unfold over probably a few movies. We don’t totally wrap up that story in this first movie. It’s sort of an ongoing mystery.”
We’ve already seen that Spider-Man’s nemesis for this film, Dr Kurt Conners aka The Lizard, has been changed to now have been Richard Parker’s lab partner and subsequently potentially involved in his death. This gives Peter that extra layer of emotional connection to his enemy, instead of him just being the crook of the week.
And of course, taking a page from the Book of Bay, Webb couldn’t resist making a statement that will just get all the fanboys in their Spider-Man pyjamas foaming at the mouth with it’s (potentially false) implications:
“He’s bitten by a spider, but maybe it’s not a radioactive spider. Or maybe it is! You’ll have to see.”
Oh Webb, you sure know how to rile them up.
Last Updated: April 11, 2012