When the teaser for "The Amazing Spider-Man" leaked online this week, some fans of the web-slinging crimefighter pulled out the knives. The effects aren't convincing, they said. The tone of Marc Webb's movie feels too serious. And why do we need a new Peter Parker origin story only nine years after Tobey Maguire did pretty much the same thing in the 2002 blockbuster "Spider-Man"?
One of the film's stars, Emma Stone, said fans shouldn't jump to any conclusions. In an interview last weekend, she told 24 Frames that this movie's ambitions are vastly different than anything that came in Sam Raimi's three prior films.
"One of the great hopes of this 'Spider-Man' is it will capture the reality of Peter Parker and the small intimate moments that occur in his life," said Stone, who plays Gwen Stacy, a scientist and love interest to Parker (Andrew Garfield). "It's entirely something new and different."
Webb had promised an intimacy to the storytelling, and Stone said she believes he delivered. "It didn't feel like a big love story. It's a small love story set in this unbelievable, incredible world. It's about two teenagers falling in love." (Webb told our colleague Geoff Boucher that he feels a "responsibility to reinvent" the mythology.)
In a second interview Thursday night, Stone, who has been busy promoting three of her films this summer ("Friends with Benefits," "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and "The Help") said she had yet to hear about fan feedback on Sony's teaser.
But when told about some fans' complaints, the actress said she got the sense Sony was anxious about the film's reception at the Comic-Con convention in San Diego, where it is to get its first major publicity exposure at a panel Friday afternoon. Immediately after the interview, she said, a studio representative was stopping off at her hotel to show her a half-hour of footage -- some of which would be screened at Comic-Con on Friday.
"[The skeptical reaction] might be why they're showing the sizzle reel," she surmised. "Because they're calling me today like, 'You have to come to Sony, you have to come to Sony!' And I'm like, 'I can't come to Sony.' But they were like, 'We have to show you this sizzle reel that we're showing tomorrow. We weren't gonna show it, but it's nine minutes of the movie and we feel like it explains what we can't in answering questions.' Because everyone's saying, 'How is this different? What's going on?' "
As if on cue, Stone's phone rang. On the other end of the line was Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony. "Why is Sony calling?" Stone said, before picking up. She shrugged. "It's Comic-Con."
--Steven Zeitchik and Amy Kaufman
Photo: Emma Stone in 'The Help' Credit: Dale Robinette/DreamWorks