Earlier today I got to sit down with screenwriter Steve Kloves for an extended video interview. While some of you might not recognize his name, I promise that you’ve seen his work as he wrote all the Harry Potter movies except Order of the Phoenix. And with the final Harry Potter movie arriving in theaters next weekend, in the coming days you can look forward to a really in depth conversation about bringing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 to life.
However, during the interview we also talked about another movie that he worked on that a lot of you care about: The Amazing Spider-Man. Hit the jump for more.
Even though I knew Kloves wouldn’t be able to talk about the specifics of the story, we still covered a lot of ground and I learned a lot. And to make it nice and easy, I made a list. So here’s eight things I learned followed by a lot of quotes from the interview. However, if you have the time, scroll down to the bottom of the page and watch the video. If you’ve been looking forward to the Spider-Man reboot, it’s worth watching. Again, look for the full conversation in a few days.
Oh…and one last thing…the final Harry Potter movie was everything I hoped it would be and more. Get ready to cry in the theater.
- At first, Kloves turned down the job of doing script work for the film. But after speaking with producer Laura Ziskin, and reconsidering, he decided to acquiesce. He also said he really wanted to write for Emma Stone.
- The bulk of Kloves’ work on the script was character and dialogue.
- He says the tone is more realistic than the previous Spider-Man films. He wanted to make sure that the film was grounded in reality, because he said he can’t write cartoony dialogue. They told him reality was what they wanted, they wanted him to write Peter Parker as a real character.
- He said he wrote very naturalistically. There’s a lot of humor, but it’s naturalistic humor, not jokes.
- Since Sony is planning a trilogy, they asked him to write the sequel, but he declined, he said he dated the property, he doesn’t wanna marry it.
- He said there’s a reason that their Spider-Man has mechanical webshooters as opposed to organic ones. Kloves says he wrote some really cool things involving the mechanical webshooters.
- Marvel was very involved in the film, as they are will all movies based on their properties. They provided a sort of bible of things that were crucial to the character.
- He says Mark Webb was really schooling himself in 3D, and wanted to shoot the movie in a sort of pure form of 3D, in a sophisticated way.
Here’s the time index and a lot of quotes from the interview. The video is further down the page.
:18 – Was he hesitant to get involved with The Amazing Spider-Man?
“I still don’t know why I did it. I mean, honestly it was one of those things where they sort of asked me one day and I actually said ‘No,’ to my agent I said ‘No, I’m not doing that.’ I’ve only done that kind of work as a favor, and there were some people on that movie like Laura Ziskin, who sadly just passed, I knew pretty well and I knew her husband very well, Alvin Sargent. I knew Laura wanted the movie to be really good, and she lived with Alvin and Alvin brought such great depth to the Spider-Man movies. I mean if you watch the first one, you see Alvin all over it. I’m not comparing myself to Alvin Sargent, I’m just saying I knew that they wanted it to be really good. I also really wanted to write for Emma Stone, because I like to write for women and I particularly like Emma. So what I did basically was, I did basically character and dialogue, and that was enjoyable for me. So that was my hand in it. And I did a little plot work, but a lot of the plot was done. I enjoyed doing the dialogue and really concentrating on Emma’s character very much, and then doing a little bit for Andrew Garfield’s character.”
“I think it’s really their game, but you actually hit on something that was my concern. I said, ‘I can’t do ‘shazam!’ dialogue, that’s not what I do. If you wanna do the Peter Parker I knew as a kid reading the comic book, I can do that, because it was grounded in exactly what you said, reality.’ So they said ‘Yes that’s what we want, we want you to come in and write Peter Parker as a real character.’ I have to say, I went back and watched the first 15 minutes of the first Spider-Man…what was impressive about Tobey’s take was, Tobey’s kind of a happy nerd. Like, he’s a nerd but he seems kind of happy about it, he’s taking pictures of Kirsten Dunst and he’s weirdly cheeky and kind of forward, and it kind of works in a way. But Sam Raimi has that style that I think dovetailed to that pretty well, but it’s a different time. I couldn’t have done those movies. So I don’t know how this is gonna turn out, but I wrote this very, very naturalistically. A lot of humor, but naturalistic humor, not jokes. But really trying to make them seem like real characters. I think Peter Parker’s a great character, and I certainly think Emma’s character is a fantastic character, Gwen. I wouldn’t have done it if they wanted me to do, ‘Hey look in the sky!’ I don’t know how to do that, I can’t do that. I realize that’s the wrong character but…
“They had talked to me about doing the second one when I was doing it, and no I didn’t wanna—I sort of dated it, I don’t wanna marry it. I will tell you this though, Mark Webb, I saw some of his pre-vises, and what impressed me about Mark Webb’s pre-vises was that they were really coherent, you could follow the action. There’s sometimes guys who do that stuff and it’s like eye-candy, but you have no idea what you’re watching. With this, what I saw in the pre-vises, Mark had designed it in such a way that you were really following Spider-Man as he was engaging in these action sequences, and it made it much more thrilling because you felt you were with him. So I have some hopes for it. I mean look, you’ve got Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, it’s a really good cast, and I know they want it to be good. And it was a real reboot, that’s the other thing, when I came on I said, ‘I don’t wanna ape what Sam and Tobey did,’ and they said ‘No we’re really rebooting it.’ And so that’s when I came in and did what I did, which again was primarily character and dialogue.”
“There was a reason for it. It was about an organic thing versus a mechanical—making it. They had a whole complicated thing about it and as you know, it always involves Marvel because Marvel is very, very involved in terms of—they have a list of things, it’s like a bible of things, which are good things, most of them, because you don’t want someone just completely destroying this wonderful character, because it’s a really good character…I asked about that, because I can’t remember why, but it complicated things for me, and I had to ask why ‘Why am I doing this? Why do I have to do this?’ But I wrote some actually cool stuff for that, and I think Mark’s gonna do it. Mark had really good ideas too, he has some really cool ideas.”
“Mark was really, really schooling himself in the 3D of it all. He wanted to really shoot the movie in sort of pure 3D. I think he wanted to try and do it in a very sophisticated way. Mark’s a really smart guy, he’s a good guy, and he was really earnest about it. I have no question he was doing it for the right reasons.”
Here’s what he said about The Amazing Spider-Man. Look for the full interview in the next few days.