Andrew Garfield in 'The Amazing Spider-Man' (Photo: Sony Pictures)
When it was first announced that the "Spider-Man" movie franchise was being completely revamped only 10 years after the first film hit theaters, many people wondered just how different this new take on the character could be. By the looks of the brand-new trailer for this summer's "The Amazing Spider-Man," the answer is "very."
Not only is there a new actor behind the mask in the lead role -- Andrew Garfield from "The Social Network" takes over from Tobey Maguire -- there's a new romantic interest, a new villain, and a new approach to Peter Parker's backstory. Watch the new trailer, and keep reading to see what we know about the updates that have been made to your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
So what's different about this fourth Spider-Man flick? Here are the main points:
"The Amazing Spider-Man" takes the title character back to his high school days. Peter Parker is still getting bullied in the hallways, though there is a shot of him standing up to them by throwing a guy up against the lockers. This movie looks to be putting more of an emphasis on Parker's scientific prodigy side. Like in the original comic books, you see Peter constructing his mechanical web-shooters, unlike the one's that grew out of his wrists in the first three movies.
The biggest departure, though, seems to be in the handling of Peter Parker's family relationships. In the original films, Peter's deceased parents were barely mentioned. Here, we get flashbacks to young Peter saying goodbye to his father and mother before they disappeared. What happened to them seems to be a major factor in the story.
In the comic books, before Peter Parker met Mary-Jane Watson (played by Kirsten Dunst in the movies), he loved Gwen Stacy. The character was in "Spider-Man 3," played by Bryce Dallas Howard, but in the new film Gwen is portrayed by Emma Stone (who, coincidentally, costarred with Howard in the Oscar nominated "The Help").
One way Peter's relationship with Gwen is different is that she seems well aware that he is actually Spider-Man. That puts her in an especially tight bind because her father is police captain George Stacy, who has it out for the webslinger. Spider-Man is wanted by the police for his vigilantism, which stands as another departure from the earlier installments.
The character of Dr. Connors appeared briefly in the second and third movies as Peter's college professor, but here we get a radically different take on the man and the beast he becomes. Connors (played here by Rhys Ifans) is a scientist who is missing an arm. We're told in the trailer he works for Oscorp (the company founded by Norman Osborn -- the Green Goblin in the first movie) who was a colleague of Peter's father.
Peter helps Connors develop a serum to restore his arm, but it ends up turning him into a monstrous, destructive creature known as the Lizard -- who we get our first look at in the new trailer. Peter feels personally responsible for Connors's tranformation, telling Gwen, "I've got to stop him, because I created him."
One more difference between this movie and the previous installment: this one was shot in 3D. "The Amazing Spider-Man" swings in theaters on July 3.
- Peter Parker