Producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach Talk THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Rebooting the Franchise, Practical Effects and More

     May 30, 2012


Though we’ve been flooded with an insane amount of The Dark Knight Rises content as of late, we’ve actually got another high profile superhero pic headed our way before Christopher Nolan’s Batman takes his bow.  The Spider-Man reboot that was borne out of a scrapped development on Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 hits theaters this July courtesy of director Marc Webb and new Spidey Andrew Garfield.  Our partners at Omelete recently sat down for a lengthy chat with producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach to discuss the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man.

The duo talked about what made them realize Spider-Man was in need of a reboot, having the opportunity to put a larger focus on the disappearance of Peter Parker’s parents, including Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey as an intellectual equal to Peter Parker, taking a more practical approach to the effects, the Lizard, and much more.  Hit the jump to watch the interview.

Here’s the video interview (via Omelete), followed by a detailed time index with selected portions of the interview transcribed.

Here’s the time index:

  • the-amazing-spider-man-image-andrew-garfield:44 What Spider-Man meant to them in their lives.  Arad talks about the importance of bringing new iterations of the character to different generations.
  • 1:33 Tolmach talks about why Peter Parker and Spider-Man are such timeless characters.
  • 3:29 Why they decided to reboot the franchise.  Arad says it wasn’t a time issue, they just didn’t have a strong enough story and/or a good reason to make Spider-Man 4 with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire.
  • 5:27 Tolmach says they started thinking about the reboot when they were trying to find a new story to tell in Spider-Man 4.  They wanted to get back to telling the story of Peter Parker as a young boy who becomes a man. “We started thinking about this while we were trying desperately to find another story to do with Sam and Tobey… The reason we were already toying with this [reboot idea] is I think something fundamental with Spider-Man which is… it’s a story about a boy trying to become a man, it’s about that time in life when we’re all struggling with who we are and what it means to have power and responsibility yet you just wanna be a kid.  As you move further and further along in life and you get older, that story becomes more grey; it’s not as powerful.  There’s nothing as potent as that time in your life when that first girl you love, you know, your heart broke and you had a stomach ache every day when you went home—that stuff is the stuff of Spider-Man and the stuff of Peter Parker.  Without knowing it, but we knew it, we wanted to get back to telling that story.”
  • amazing-spider-man-emma-stone-andrew-garfield6:49 Arad says they got an opportunity to tell the story about Peter Parker not only not having parents, but also not knowing what happened to them.
  • 9:05 Tolmach says when the movie begins, Parker is already a hero at heart.  He gains powers but he’s already in possession of heroism.
  • 9:46 Tolmach says they had never delved into the issue of Parker’s parents being gone practically or emotionally in the way that Marc Webb wanted to, so it became a defining question for the character.
  • 10:22 Arad talks about Gwen Stacey being an intellectual equal to Parker. “The Gwen story was always very unique because of the father being the head of police.  All these metaphors become real life; Peter Parker’s with a mask, the father is with a badge.  The girl who understands what it is to be a daughter of a hero… What [are] the risks to fall in love with someone like that?  How that impacts her life and her father’s life.”
  • 11:17 Arad talks about how the reboot differs from the previous films: “You have sort of a new Peter Parker, we have a new girl, you have a very realistic approach to the movie…then you have new technology, and we tried really hard to have a lot of physical action.”
  • 12:14 Tolmach talks about the stunts, the reality of the film and how they tried to push for more practical effects: “The world of this movie is real; it’s the world we all live in.  So one of the things that Marc wanted to do and that we did in the movie was, not just push the boundaries of what’s possible with visual effects and technology—and we feel we’re doing that for sure—and shooting the movie in stereo, but doing as much practically as we could so you get the best of both worlds.”
  • 13:30 Arad talks about the Lizard and Connors’ relationship with Peter Parker.  Tolmach describes Connors’ story as a cautionary tale for Parker.  Arad says the film is told from the point of view of Parker.
  • 15:31 Arad talks about the film’s approach to bullying and making the film socially relevant.


  • Strong Enough

    taking a more practical approach to the effects

    ^ AKA it looks like sh*t cause we didn’t have the same budget as the first Spider man

    you saw those effects when he was swinging in the trailer? looks horrible

    • Jesus

      Nah, look at the first Spider-man, it’s the practical cable effects that hold up, it’s the CGI that looks like absolute crap (and it wasn’t even that impressive back then). Practical effects increase a film’s relevance as opposed to CGI effects. Just look at the Lizard…it looks like shite, and give it another decade it’s only going to look worse.

    • bat213

      I disagree actually, there’s something about the more fluid way he moves around in this movie that I really like…I can’t quite place my finger on it. His movements just seem much more natural and realistic looking compared to the Raimi movies, it’s as if they used motion capture for all his scenes where he’s swinging and shooting web (I wouldn’t be surprised if they did). His web also looks more elastic like actual web would look, instead of the rope-like quality it had in Raimi’s movies. If Spider-Man existed in real life, I feel like this is what it would look like to see him web slinging around NYC.

    • J.J.

      Oh yeah, that’s why the people who saw the 6 minute preview in IMAX have addressed it as the best 3d CGI visual effects they’ve ever seen.

  • me agaib

    its a shame what they do to comic books sometimes. this guy mentioned everything except spiderman kicking ass and making smart ass comments. who the hell was ever sitting waiting to see more development with his parents. who also gave a shit about his love interest. thats what killed the earlier movies. they spent more time showing him with mj than they did fighting and being a superhero. i could care less if he missed mj play cause he was saving lives. they should have called those movies the lovers quarrells. thats what was wrong with the 1st hulk, he spend more time as bruce banner than he did the hulk. im not looking to see a peter parker movie i want a spiderman movies. he struggles dont interest me to say the last as i went through more im my real life to care about his teenage bs.

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  • John

    As a Spider-Man Fanboy (tattoos and all) I can say I really don’t care that this movie is coming out. It holds no interest for me. I’ve read over a dozen different spins on Peter Parker’s Spider-Man origins and to say the least the Ultimate Spider-Man series which this movie takes a lot of it’s themes was terrible. I really can’t wait till this movie bombs so they can let the franchise rest for a decade. I mean seriously the lizard looks terrible and that Garfield dude is just lame.

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