24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Marc Webb

Emma Stone: Worried 'Spider-Man' fans should have patience

July 22, 2011 | 10:42 am


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."


'The Amazing Spider-Man' slings its first web

Hero Complex: 'Spider-Man' director Marc Web feels a responsibility to reinvent the superhero

The strangely logical choice of Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man

--Steven Zeitchik and Amy Kaufman



Photo: Emma Stone in 'The Help'  Credit: Dale Robinette/DreamWorks

Tobey Maguire, Marc Webb and others in Hollywood remember 'Spider-Man' producer Laura Ziskin

June 14, 2011 |  7:00 am

Spider Man When disagreements between some of Hollywood's most powerful people began to roil plans for a fourth "Spider-Man" movie several years ago, some in the entertainment industry advised filmmakers to walk away.

But Laura Ziskin, the franchise's producer and primary creative force, decided to push forward. Even though it soon became clear the movie would have to be made without its star (Tobey Maguire) and director (Sam Raimi) -– losses that would usually be considered deal-busters -- Ziskin took the then-unconventional route of starting over with a new director and lead actor.

The result, "The Amazing Spider-Man," is set to be one of the major releases of next summer, with a pair of hot commodities, director Marc Webb and actor Andrew Garfield.

"She loved a challenge, and she had a direct style that allowed no ...," Lauren Shuler Donner, a longtime friend and fellow top Hollywood producer, told 24 Frames. "She would just deal with the issues in a solution-oriented manner."

Continue reading »

'Spider-Man' will spin a Webb

January 19, 2010 |  5:29 pm


New York Magazine’s Vulture blog says that “(500) Days of Summer” director Marc Webb  is now officially the director of Sony's "Spider -Man" reboot.

The Vulture item, which moves forward a story from Deadline New York’s Mike Fleming last week that had Webb sitting atop the studio’s list, reports that the director is actually signing on for three movies, with the rebooted franchise focusing on the "private life of Peter Parker." The studio confirmed that Webb had been hired but mentioned only one picture, with Sony co-chair Amy Pascal and Columbia Pictures president Matt Tolmach saying they had sought -- and, in their view, found -- a director who could "capture the awe of being in Peter’s shoes."

As Vulture reminds, Webb was already a favored son at Sony, narrowly losing out (to Bennett Miller) the gig to direct the studio’s “Moneyball” (though the story attributes it to Sony chief Amy Pascal worrying about Webb's whimsical style; we’d heard that star Brad Pitt was a little more keen on Miller, who had directed the star of his last movie, Philip Seymour Hoffman, to Oscar gold).

Webb is also attached to a remake of “Jesus Christ Superstar" at Universal. Producer Marc Platt told us last week that there was still a possibility Webb could direct “Superstar,” though with this news that’s pretty much out the window; three superhero movies can tie you up for a while. Webb also has an apocalypse-themed project called “Age of Rage” at Fox Searchlight. It's safe to assume that one’s been backburnered too.

Frontburnered, however, will be the rumors/hopes that “(500) Days” star Joseph Gordon-Levitt could end up as “Spider-Man," though, as natural as that would seem in some ways, the phrases “28-year-old actor” and “high-school protagonist" may mesh like water and black goo.

Perhaps the bigger question is what kind of "Spider-Man" Webb will direct (and more important, what kind of movie the studio wants). The fan-boy skepticism will be that, while Webb may be able to adroitly depict the mind of the troubled young male, he has little track record with big action scenes. But unless you’re bringing in a high-priced hired gun, director hires on many superhero movies involve a jump of some kind – Sam Raimi himself made a switch from the lower-budget horror/comedy realm. And Webb is a music-video guy, which means he should bring the flash; he isn’t all Regina Spektor and Morrissey shoe-gazing.

That said, the prospect of Peter Parker dancing around to Hall & Oates after he’s consummated his love with Mary Jane Watson is kind of a fun idea to contemplate.

-- Steven Zeitchik

Photo: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (left) and Marc Webb. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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