Some might have asked why the Spider-Man franchise needed a reboot, since it wasn’t all that long ago that the web slinger’s story last appeared on the big screen. But this being the 50th anniversary year for Spidey, what could herald the event bigger and better than a major film release like The Amazing Spider-Man? This time out, Andrew Garfield stars as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and Emma Stone plays his love interest — who, in this film, is not the Mary Jane everyone has come to expect, but Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s first love, and his first real connection out in the world.
It’s a somewhat different take on the Spider-Man legend. The teenage Peter Parker, like most kids his age, is trying to figure out who he is. As a boy, his parents abandoned him, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Now, as he and his first high-school crush, Gwen, have their struggles with love, secrets and such, Peter discovers a briefcase that belonged to his father, sparking in him a desire to find out what happened to his parents. The search leads him to his father’s former partner, Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), whose alter-ego, The Lizard, will be the impetus for Peter to make the life-altering decision to use his powers to shape a heroic destiny for himself.
But at the heart of The Amazing Spider-Man, it’s about the first relationship between Gwen and Peter that ends up meaning so much. It’s a different sort of dynamic than Peter eventually has with Mary Jane, as Stone herself points out. “I feel like Mary Jane fell in love with Spider-Man. Gwen falls in love with Peter Parker,” she explains.
According to Stone, it was a priority of director Marc Webb’s to make the bond between Gwen and Peter palpable. “We’re operating in a superhero universe, but that relationship has to feel grounded and real. I think the reason that so many fans of the comic books feel so protective of Gwen — or Mary Jane — is that those relationships did feel real and did feel grounded. As actors, it’s nice to have that material to build from — it already feels genuine.”
The Amazing Spider-Man is available starting Nov. 9 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.
Photo: © 2012 Columbia Pictures.