Amid all the arguments over organic versus mechanical web shooters, Mary Jane Watson versus Gwen Stacy, every young actor in the world versus Andrew Garfield, the most fervent debate regarding The Amazing Spider-Man was this: Do we really need another Spider-Man origin story already? Really? After all, it’s only been four years since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, and while that film had its own problems (a morass of too many villains, musical numbers, and general moodiness), at least it left us secure in the knowledge that it’d be a while before we’d have to revisit sequences of gawky Peter Parker being bitten by a radioactive spider, then awkwardly discovering his new powers before getting to the good stuff.
In that light, like the very idea of “rebooting” Spider-Man so soon, the trailer for Marc Webb’s new take seems openly defiant. Not only will you get an origin story, it seems to say, but we’re going even further back to when Peter Parker was just a wee boy sent to live with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben (Sally Field and Martin Sheen). In fact, the preview spends most of its time coyly dragging out the set-up, making it out to be a tortured adolescent melodrama about the troubled Andrew Garfield awkwardly romancing Emma Stone under the watchful eye of her stern policeman father (Denis Leary). Then comes the very, very familiar surprise—slightly alleviated by a too-brief shot of Rhys Ifans as the villainous Dr. Curt Connors (not yet The Lizard)—culminating in a disappointingly cheesy POV swoop through the city that’s straight out of a first-person shooter (and hopefully isn’t in the actual movie). On the plus side, there’s an intriguingly darker tone here, and there’s no arguing with that supporting cast. Still, at this early stage, we could sure use some more convincing that this story is already worth telling again.