Teaser: The Amazing Spider-Man

News, nuggets and notables updated throughout the day.

[Updated: 11:00 am PT]

(above) Teaser: The Amazing Spider-Man
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield look good, but the Spidey-POV cam looks badly done and like on-the-cheap 3D pandering. Also, do we really need to take another crack at this origin story? (Sony)

Katzenberg blames everyone but himself for diminishing 3D returns
The dude just can’t admit that he’s wrong and that 3D is no more than a once-in-a-while niche gimmick suitable for a tiny handful of films at best. (Deadline)

Jessica Chastain to star in Guillermo Del Toro-produced adaptation of short film Mama
Ms. Chastain is starting to pop up everywhere, including Terrence Malick’s recent Tree of Life. (Twitch)

Ben Stiller to direct himself in Walter Mitty remake
Remember way back in April when it was announced Ben Stiller was going to star in a remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Yeah, me either. Anyway, apparently he’s now also going to direct the thing, which actually ups my level of interest. (Twitch)

Kevin Lima enchanted with Monkeys of Mumbai
Lima who previously directed Disney’s animated Trazan and live-action Enchanted is set for this “Bollywood-style animated musical adventure” for DreamWorks. (THR)

Ron Howard, Dustin Lance Black to adapt Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven
Black of course wrote the screenplay for Milk while Krakauer wrote Into the Wild. Ron Howard is, well hell, you know who Ron Howard is. Banner investigates the case of a couple of fundamentalist Mormon’s who murdered the wife and infant of their own brother on religious grounds. (Deadline)

Warner Bros. negotiating to pull The Red Star out of turnaround
Inspired by Russian folklore, Christian Gossett’s 1999 comic series is set in a sci-fi/fantasy-tinged alternative USSR where a wife recounts her husband’s service in the Red Fleet aboard a giant flying warship during a war with Al’Istaan (a stand in for Afghanistan). (THR)

Mo’Nique in talks for indie comedy/drama Bumped
Five strangers during a layover at O’Hare Airport. (Variety)

Lone Ranger not so lonely, gets raft of supporting stars
Helena Bonham Carter, Barry Pepper and Dwight Yoakam are in talks to join Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer in Gore Verbinski’s latest mega-franchise hopeful. (THR)

16 Responses to “News du Jour: 7/20/11”

  1. I give them kudos and props for deciding that if they’re going to reboot this thing, then go off in a new direction for the origin story (full disclosure: I whined about this reboot previously, just saying I like that they’re ignoring the fandom). Clearly it’s working for other franchises.

    But yes, the POV thing makes me wonder if Webb is just going to spend an entire film distancing himself from Raimi’s visual style. Not that it’s a bad thing, but its reactionary as opposed to visionary. Hopefully this is just the tease in the teaser. I do admit I am really curious to see how he will integrate the emphasis on practical elements he claims will dominate the action in this reboot. The CGI Spidey in the Raimi films was 30% great, 50% blah, 20% horrible, but always looked fake.

  2. Personally, I’m all for this retake on Spidey. I loathed the first Raimi film, thought the second was okay (mostly for Doctor Octopus), and didn’t bother with the third. These weren’t definitive takes on the character at all, and frankly they got a lot of things rather awfully wrong. I liked the new trailer, mostly. The POV stuff is very “Mirror’s Edge”, and I’m down with it. At least it makes a point of showing something Raimi’s movies almost completely avoided– letting the wall-crawler crawl some walls.

    One thing that’s odd– they’re going with the “Peter Parker’s parents were actually spies or something” plotline? Eh, maybe they’ll turn out to be working for SHIELD or something and Andrew Garfield can show up in the next “Avengers” movie. Why not, at this point.

  3. Bob, I guess I just don’t need a definitive Spidey and this doesn’t look like one anyway. It looks like another cynical studio cash grab. They’ll reboot it again in another 10 years when people have forgotten the Marc Webb version. None of these things mean anything anymore, they’re just raw material to be recycled over and over again like old newspapers.

  4. Sorry to be so cynical but Craig is probably right that all of this is just grist for the mill. Webb’s film can succeed or fail, but as long as people keep showing up no one at Sony really cares. They’ll just reboot/sequel/spin it off again.

  5. I don’t disagree. But I also suspect it’ll be better than the Raimi version, and if that’s the case– job well done.

  6. Spidey was a big part of my childhood. I hope they make a good film of it. However, I’m not 100% certain that this will be the one.

    I think that it would have been best if they waited for another few years before trying to reboot the franchise.

    In this one, at least the costume looks better if nothing else :)

  7. Sorry to sound like such a Spider-Dick. I’m already a little grouchy about the prospect of 5 superhero movies every year, but I’ve been extra cynical about this one from the get go. The only reason I’m not ignoring it altogether is I like the cast they’ve put together.

    Unless they do something really unique with the origin story that ends up having ramifications and sets the tone for the next couple of pictures, I wish they’d just skipped this part and hit the ground running. And honestly, if you’re going to tinker with the myth THAT much, why bother? Make a new myth.

    The real reason they’re rebooting now is because they wanted a younger (i.e. cheaper) cast and the only way to do that is to undo everything they’ve already done. Just because a project is purely motivated by greed doesn’t mean it’s going to wind up being terrible, but it’s going to have to show me something more than just the same old superhero junk to get my $12. Badly CGI’d Spidey-Cam isn’t gonna cut it.

  8. Craig, the impetus for having Spidey be younger isn’t bucks, really, but the source material. Comics fans like Peter Parker most when he’s a sad, lonely teenage kid. Even in the main series, where he’s been allowed to age as far into his mid-to-late 20’s, they still try to hold him back as much as possible, even resorting to time-and-space continuum altering stunts just to pretend that his decades-long marriage to Mary-Jane never happened (because committed relationships and divorce are just too grown-up for the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man– that and they all wanted him to end up with the dreadfully boring Gwen Stacey anyway).

    By moving on from the original cast (most of whom wouldn’t do another film without Raimi anyway, if I’m not mistaken), they’re putting the series back at its roots with Spidey as a mixed up high-school kid. I’ll be happy simply because I thought Tobey Maguire was painfully miscast as the character, and provided the most boring, vanilla superhero performance ever.

    As for superhero movies, sequels, prequels, reboots– I don’t mind. Again, nobody complains when a Jane Austen book or something of that ilk is adapted for the screen yet again.

  9. The suits came out and said their main reason for aiming Spider-man younger was to appeal to a specifically younger demographic (ie, kids, teens, and their parents’ wallets). They really don’t care much about the perception of what fandom wants.

    If they thought making Spider-man an alcoholic, uneducated 55-year old Chinese transvestite living in Burma with his three mail-order wives would sell a billion dollars in tickets, they’d do it. The only real nod to fandom I’ve seen so far is the return to mechanical web shooters.

  10. Bob, they’re not making this movie for comics fans. There aren’t enough of those to make a $200 million movie profitable. Besides, that audience has it will mostly turn up again and again to these things no matter how bad they are.

    The studios are aiming at regular people who don’t have a lot of preconceived notions about Spidey.

  11. I dunno, they’re really cramming this one with old-school Spidey stuff. Peter’s parents dsappearing on some secret errand (I think they actually were spies or something in the comics), those web-shooters Joel mentioned, the presence of Gwen Stacey. “Spider-Man 3” got some harsh takes from the fanboy crowd (yeah, it was profitable, but it lost them some of that respectable luster they had), and a lot of the stuff in this reboot seems geared to wipe the slate clean in the most positive light for everyone, comics-readers and regular folk alike.

    At any rate, I’m not too emotionally invested in this, despite my frequent commentary here. I didn’t like the Raimi films. Maybe I’ll like these. It can’t be any worse than the shift from Burton to Shumacher, anyway (and I’ll be the first to admit that I still kinda like “Batman Forever”).

  12. Raimi nor the cast wished to continue with the films. Those films made boatloads of cash for Sony (especially the third film, even though fanboys and critics generally disliked it). Sony was certainly enthusiastic to continue with them, but when all the leads wanted to leave (including the director), they decided to reboot the franchise rather than try to continue the same story with new actors, considering they’d need to recast with 20-somethings. Sony knows that the biggest demo for this franchise is boys under the age of 18. A big selling point of the Spider-man franchise is all the toys, costumes, books, and other merchandise that kids go ga-ga for.

    The only weird thing about the studio’s push towards a younger demo is the casting of Garfield, who is basically the same age Macguire was when he made the first film. Emma Stone is 22, not exactly a teen either. They tried really hard to find a suitable Peter Parker in the 15-16 age range but failed, hence unless they crank these out fast they’ll end up with the same issue all over again. They probably expect to only do three of these though. Expect another reboot in 6 years.

  13. Andrew Garfield is a terrific actor, and it’s a great gig for him certainly from a financial viewpoint. He’ll be a big name now, though I hope this doesn’t hurt his chances for riskier, challenging roles in the future.

    I saw “Super 8” yesterday and was surprised that I enjoyed it so much. It rips off Spielberg in just about every way, but it’s all good. It works. I thought it was funny and sweet, and even the predictability of the plot didn’t hurt the emotional impact that develops over the course of the story. It’s formula done well.

  14. Joel, wasn’t there conflict with how Raimi and the studio wanted to proceed with Spidey-4? I remember reading stuff about John Malkovich as the Vulture, somebody possibly playing Felicia Hardy, only not as the Black Cat. It was strange. Of course, the studio also forced the whole Symbiote/Venom thing on Raimi for Spidey-3, which utterly wasted a character and concept which actually would’ve been a good segway for somebody else to pick up after he left the series. Whatever, as I said– as long as it’s better than Spidey-1, and it can’t take that much, I’m cool.

    On “Super 8”– I just found the kids annoying, myself.

  15. Ari, Super 8 was exactly what I wanted it to be. I came out and confronted a lot of people who disliked it and I found I couldn’t really argue with their points, but none of its flaws bothered me. It pushed all the right buttons in ways none of the other summer movies really have for me (except maybe Bridesmaids).

  16. Bob, I don’t recall the details of what you mentioned but I do remember a long back and forth between Raimi and the studio over Spider-man 3. They desperately wanted fan-favorite Venom and he had no interest in it, which is obvious in the final product. If they got to discussions over a fourth film beyond rumor and innuendo, I’m not aware of it. I was never a fan of the Venom or Carnage characters, so I’d be the wrong person to ask on whether that could have worked better under another director. I’ve always had a soft spot for Spawn (not really sure why), but I’ve always felt that McFarlane’s contributions to the Spidey mythos really took the character (and the fandom) in the wrong direction.

    I would grant that McFarlane’s take on the Secret Wars suit made it interesting, but the symbiote storyline and concept always seemed completely wrong for Spider-man to me (probably didn’t help that the character design reminds me too much of an Iron Maiden album cover).

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