Spider-Man’s Origin Will Unfold Over ‘A Few Movies,’ Webb Says

Marc Webb has big plans for Spider-Man. In addition to telling the story of Peter Parker, how he became Spider-Man, and his relationship with Gwen Stacy, the director plans to play with elements of the wall-crawler’s origin, mixing iconic elements with new ones developed for The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens July 3.

Webb recently spoke with MTV Splash Page about his many plans, which includes exploring the history of Peter’s parents, and why they’re no longer around.

“I wanted to give the audience something new, so that started off with getting underneath the parents’ story, which will unfold over probably a few movies,” he said. “We don’t totally wrap up that story in this first movie. It’s sort of an ongoing mystery. That was something that was interesting to me.”

The director moved on to iconic origin moments, like Peter being bitten by a radioactive spider and letting a robber get away at a wrestling match only to discover the same thief killed his Uncle Ben.

“This is probably a reveal,” Webb said, “but there is no wrestling match in this movie. The character is evolving in a different way. It’s about finding a balance between iconic elements of the ‘Spider-Man’ mythology — like how Uncle Ben’s death transforms him emotionally — but it happens in a different way.”

Webb even got coy on the subject of whether the power-giving spider would be radioactive, and stated that the heart of his version of Parker comes from the fact that his parents are gone and how that changed him.

While this news will surely upset some purists, this sounds like a good move. Audiences have already seen the wrestling match and a take on the radioactive spider in Sam Raimi’s films, not to mention hundreds of comic books, video games and cartoons over the years. A new take will also potentially help separate the efforts of Webb and Raimi in the minds of viewers who don’t follow the behind-the-scenes goings-on of Hollywood.

The Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Irrfan Khan, Denis Leary, Chris Zylka, Campbell Scott, C. Thomas Howell, Embeth Davidtz and Annie Parisse.

News From Our Partners

Comments

  • Sephy

    Question – Why even try to dick around with Spider-Man’s origin? His origin is one of the few comic book character origins that is commonly known in mainstream, along with Batman and Superman.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like they’re trying to play up the parents from beyond the grave angle like we have with Superman, and Batman.  For the most part, Pete’s parents are non-entities.  It’s how he was raised by his aunt and uncle that gave Spider-Man his heart. 

  • Zsquared616

    What, no Bonesaw?

  • Ajax224

    Do you mean Crusher Creel?

  • Sunstrider76

    Well he is making it easier for me not to watch this movie. Every time he talks make the film sound stupider and stupider.

  • 0bsessions

    Because it’s an origin that can easily be dicked around with without destroying the fundamentals. As long as he gets:

    A. Bit by a spider of some sort (Radioactive, genetically engineered, mystically enhanced, whatever)
    B. Gets powers from said spider, and
    C. Can be found partially responsible for Uncle Ben’s death due to him being irresponsible

    Then you’ve got the bullet points of his origin. Anything else altered is purely artistic license and by and large inconsequential to the origin story.

    Frankly, I found the organic webshooters to be a much bigger slap in the face origin-wise than anything Webb’s said. While I lived with them, it really took away from Peter’s scientist pedigree in a way that spiraled in Raimi’s rendition to the point of Peter eventually coming off as practically inept by the end of the trilogy.

    Based on what we’ve seen so far, I’m willing to give Webb the benefit of the doubt. What little Peter we’ve gotten from clips and trailers speaks much more to the Peter Parker I’ve always loved than anything that was done in the first three movies.

  • kingofgrills

    EPIC FAIL.

    Spider-Man is one of the most popular, iconic and well known comic characters and origin stories of all time.  To mess with this, is a horrific decision, clearly made just to squeeze more $$$ out of moviegoers. 

    The Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man films did a great job telling the origin story, while remaining faithful to the books.  The only major change from the books, which I liked, was having the web shooting power result from the spider bite instead of being an invention of Peter’s.  I think having it as a mutation, to go along with the wall crawling and spider sense, was more credible than having just that ability be an invention. 

    Think about it: a high school kid intents high pressure wrist shooters AND a miracle fluid that dispenses in web-like patterns and is stronger than steel cables.  Oh, it is eco-friendly too, because the web will conveniently dissolve in 2-3 hours leaving no residue.  What a smart kid!

    Anyway, I am really disappointed that Spider-Man is being rebooted already with an origin story that basically ignores one of the best superhero origins.

  • 0bsessions

    “The Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man films did a great job telling the origin story, while remaining faithful to the books.”You’ll find plenty of people who think that Peter’s scientific genius background is significantly more important to his origin than him being an amatuer wrestler. I’d go with the webshooters personally as that has far reaching implications in regards to his future career, where he’s portrayed as a smart young man, whereas the wrestler thing really never came up again.”I think having it as a mutation, to go along with the wall crawling and spider sense, was more credible than having just that ability be an invention. “Genetically, it has NO credibility. If we were going with the idea of it being part of the mutation, it doesn’t make sense unless they’ve coming out of his butt. You know, like with a spider.”Think about it: a high school kid intents high pressure wrist shooters AND a miracle fluid that dispenses in web-like patterns and is stronger than steel cables.”In what way is this more ludicrous than a kid getting bitten by a spider and turning into a superhero? Or a guy putting together a self sustaining generator in a cave in the middle of nowhere?Beyond that, the Ultimate Spider-Man origin goes a long way towards lending credibility to the idea by having the webbing actually be a concept his father was working on that he subsequently refined and developed after getting his powers. This makes a lot of sense in this movie’s concept considering his parents were Oscorp employees in this telling.

  • Anonymous

    I think Turn of the Dark showed us that even little changes make big waives. 

  • http://twitter.com/tomdaylight tomdaylight

    Spider-Man’s encounter with the burglar happened at a TV show he starred in, NOT the wrestling match, in the original comic. Raimi’s film ditched the TV show in favour of the (rather anachronistic) wrestling match; maybe Webb is taking things the other way. Raimi’s film was faithful, yes, but took plenty of creative license too – and I’m sure this new film will be much the same on that front.

  • Travis Fischer

    I’m as big a purist as a Spider-Man fan can get, but this does not bother me. As long as they keep the “OMG! I could have stopped it!” aspect, it’s not terribly important to show Spider-Man vs. Crusher Hogan for the hundredth time.

    And quite frankly, anything to further separate this movie from Sam Raimi’s crapfests is fine with me. With one trailer Webb’s already shown a better understanding of Spider-Man than Raimi managed with three movies.

  • 0bsessions

    Turn Off the Dark (From what I know of it) failed on its own merits (Or lack thereof), not so much any changes made. Things like Swiss Miss were idiotic changes, not simply artistic license type changes.

  • Pinkshirtbadman

     ”Raimi’s rendition to the point of Peter eventually coming off as practically inept by the end of the trilogy.”
    Peter being completely inept sounds to me like an exact match-up of the 616 version to me. Peter is as you pointed out a super genius science nerd, he’s single handily in his own spare time from spare parts built some ground breaking earth changing inventions, he’s one of the most powerful individuals in a world that includes the Hulk, Thor, Magneto and many others.
    AND HE CAN’T PAY HIS RENT. I really can’t stand the whole “lets give Spider-Man the everyman problems so people can connect to him angle” it just doesn’t work. Someone that should be as rich as Tony Stark and have the world eating out of his hand having the same problems as me doesn’t make me say “hey he’s just like me I can understand him” it makes me say “He’s a complete loser”

  • Anonymous

    The everyman problems has worked… for the past 50 years. How is he one of the most powerful individuals in the world? He’s not even remotely as powerful as the other people you mentioned. People love him because he reaches a level of humanity that someone like Batman or Iron Man never could imagine to reach. Should be as rich as Tony Stark? He’s a scientist, not an arms dealer. Science doesn’t make a lot of money, this has already been adressed in the comics before. In other words, stop pulling things from your &@% like you really have an idea, since you clearly don’t. Try again next time.

  • Kenneth Laster

    I’ve recently started reading some early Lee/Ditko Spidey and to me the origin is pretty iconic but then again so is the alien suit and the Green Goblin reveal but people have re-done it differently and it worked fantastically. I have had a theory Ben wouldn’t die and it will be a down side but I still have high hopes for this movie. Also I really liked the Rami films except for the one that shall not be named.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    “What a smart kid!”

    That’s the point. Peter Parker is right up there with Reed Richards and Tony Stark. The Raimi movies took that away.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QKN5MHOI6VUFOYCTV5REK7M7A4 Jacob

    “Also I really liked the Rami films except for the one that shall not be named.”

    So you mean all of them?

  • Magnetic Eye

    Phony Sony & Mark Webb = BIG EPIC FAIL. Yes I am a purist fanboy and loathe these re-imagined alternate adaptations. 

    The very first appearance of Spiderman was in “Amazing Fantasy” #15 (August 1962), – 50 years ago.

    Issue # 1 of “Amazing Spiderman” was launched in (March 1963)  – 49 years ago and was illustrated by Steve Ditko until issue # 38 (July 1966).

    Steve Ditko left after completing issue #38 (July 1966) and John Romita Sr. began to draw Peter as a more mature, slightly handsome, less geeky and nerdy adult.

    The modern “Amazing Spiderman” has been around since the mid sixties. Peter graduated high school, went to college and entered into adulthood leaving SOME; but NOT ALL of his nerdy and geeky traits behind.

    This is how the “Amazing Spiderman” comic book title has progressed to this day and that is the kind of movie I would like to see, an updated mature and faithful treatment of the character as inspired by the books with a critically acclaimed (A list) Director at the helm.

    I don’t understand why Phony Sony are still stuck in the past when the original FLAGSHIP title moved on 45 years ago. Pandering to a younger (Twilight) demographic perhaps?

    Why is Phony Sony still meandering around in a vacuum with the high school nerd concept? Because they’re more interested in trying to put their own imprint on a MARVEL character than working harder to bring a faithful & genuine adaptation.

    The only new incarnation of Spidey is the over rated “Ultimate Spiderman” series which began in 2000, and is a throwback to a teenage Spiderman and a second rate series I care nothing about. 

    I’m a lot more interested in the ORIGINAL mainstream and still best selling flagship title “Amazing Spiderman”, a title this film disrespectfully uses.

    Could MARVEL STUDIOS if they regained the film rights to their character do a better job? Quite possibly as long as they too don’t get stuck in (emo) land.

    For me, there doesn’t seem to be any AUTHENTICITY in the adaptations released by Fox Abattoirs & Phony Sony. They are unrecognizable alternate re-imaginings that I have no empathy for and will not support them at the box office.

  • http://twitter.com/SoulCalFan Pierce

    I actually agree with this sentiment. Have been reading Spidey books for 20 years and I always used to think it was weird to have him be a genius on par with Tony and Reed and Pym (as writers have done in the past 10 years….I don’t remember it being so pronounced in the 90s but he was still very bright) and struggle with everything else. It didn’t seem logical.

    Luckily the recent books written by Dan Slott have Peter working as a scientist at a big time company and actually producing new tech and gadgets and making *gasp* MONEY!

    I also find it amazing that people say he’s the most relatable hero considering his crazy life i.e. parents were spies, super genius, always getting hot girlfriends from Betty, Gloria, MJ,Gwen,etc. People also say his life sucks yet Spidey has nothing on Wolverine or Daredevil.

    I mean yeah Gwen dying sucks but considering how many wives Logan has lost and all the torture and stuff he’s been through not to mention his childhood. And Daredevil has gone through girlfriends/wives like they’re socks, not to mention his fucking blind :P!

  • Anonymous

     ”Bonesaw is ready!”

  • Mythos

    I’m calling it now: Uncle Ben lives until the end of the movie and then he’s killed by the Lizard, whom Peter sees as his responsibility.

  • Joe

    “I’m calling it now: Uncle Ben lives until the end of the movie and then
    he’s killed by the Lizard, whom Peter sees as his responsibility.”

    Then you’ve called it wrong dude. Some of you guys are over-analyzing everything, it’s not going to be that drastic of a change. If you’ve read Ultimate Spider-man, then that’s how Uncle Ben’s ben will play out. Peter neglects to stop a robber at a grocery store and Uncle ben is killed by the same guy.

    And to be fair to the changes, Raimi’s origin didn’t completely stick with Amazing Fantasy #15 either. Uncle ben died because of a car jacker, not because of a home robbery. How uncle ben dies and why uncle ben dies in this movie isn’t known, but the fundamental aspect of his death and how it effects Peter should still remains.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaLRWYfoOa4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLmp2bKXvrs

  • SageShinigami

    You…really didn’t think about a single thing you posted before you wrote it, did you?  You just went, “But Spider-Man’s SUPPOSED to be an everyman, n00b!” and off you went on your fanboy screed that makes…no sense.

    The everyman problems worked because people so desperately want an underdog.  But Dan Slott’s take on Spider-Man as one who DOESN’T suck at managing his civilian life is one of the most refreshing takes seen in years.  Why?  Because it fits.  It always fit.   That whole sewing your own costume thing was cute in the 60′s, but it’s kind of silly now.

    Incidentally, the reason WHY it’s silly now is the same reason he should be as rich as Tony Stark.  Because in the 90′s and the 2000′s, geniuses have managed to go from comparatively (key word) normal lives to being multi-billionaires.  (Examples: Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg.)  If you’re actually READING the comics right now you’d be aware of all the crap Pete’s invented and the fact that the patents for these inventions could easily make him rich.

    And the reason WHY Peter is one of the most powerful people in the Marvel universe is almost same reason he should be rich (it’s like it all connects): Because he’s a genius who can think of a solution to stop ALL the people he mentioned.  Not only that, but his own superhuman reflexes/abilities and early warning system pretty much make him a formidable foe against anyone without cosmic powers.  Full stop.

  • Scud

    I could honestly go without another retelling of a popular superhero’s origin for the rest of my life. That said I know I won’t be able to stop myself from watching this.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know anybody that cares about seeing Spiderman’s origin told again. Not one person.

  • Anonymous

    By how many times you said Phony Sony I’m assuming you think it’s really clever. It’s the opposite, please stop.

  • Duskknight45

     Well, he DOES have that awesome new job at Horizon in the comics, so he’s got quite a bit of money to pay for his apartment…

  • Magnetic Eye

    How about Counterfeit Sony??? …….mmmm doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

    So what if I wrote Phony Sony 4 times? Are you a Phony Sony employee? Did you read the rest of my post?

    You have totally missed the context of my post which for the most part was rather objective.

    I prefer MARVEL STUDIOS to handle their own characters.

    Please don’t insinuate I’m dumb. It makes you look like a bully.

  • Dragavon

    Except he can pay the rent.  He has been working at a successfull job for a while now, using his genius to create inventions that help people beyond anything Spider-Man can do.

  • Scarletspeed7

    I’m sure my two cents mean nothing, but… Amazing Fantasy #15, Ultimate Spider-Man #1-6, Spider-Man 1 (from Sam Raimi), Amazing Spider-Man TV series, flashbacks in Spectacular Spider-Man… do we reeeeeeealllly need to extend the origin out over the course of this new reboot?  There’s not much there I care about anymore.  I’d like to see Webb pick up with Bendis/Bagley Ultimate Spider-Man plotlines.  THAT’S where we should go.  Instead of constantly introducing and reintroducing characters, build upon those characters.  Batman Begins was good because it DID show us more than just a gunshot, angry kid – YEARS LATER – Batman.  And there’s a reason Spider-Man 2 is better than 1 and The Dark Knight is better than Batman Begins.  Origin stories, to me, are the dullest part of a superhero, because it’s all we ever get.  Everyone has to come along and tell the origin again.  Can’t we all be like Grant Morrison in All-Star Superman and give the full origin one page?

    The only silver lining to this origin crap again is that Martin Sheen is one of my all-time faves and we get to see him as Uncle Ben which should be excellent.

  • Joe Huber

    I agree I feel like I can do without the Spider-Man origin again. I know a large portion of the audience might not know all the details like my fellow comic book fans, but it is tiresome. I’ve always enjoyed the college years Spider-Man into adulthood. His relationship with Mary Jane (marriage) only went sour when the good creators left and people didn’t know how to handle their relationship. I hated when Joe Quesada undid the marriage. In one fell swoop he took out years of character growth. I hated what happened with Spider-Man in part 3 of the trilogy but I would like to see a more mature Spider-Man not the high school years all over again. If part 3 taught us anything its that the emo Spider-Man is a real turn-off.

  • Chad Vieth

    Whby do they have to do this. I am losing interest in Spidey, which as a life long fan, saddens me. I am not seeing this in the theatre, maybe on BR, in a BR discount bin. 

  • Mars Bonfire

    Sony could no better to ignore us fan-boys and comic book readers. We with our in-depth knowledge of 50 years of Spider-Man and our vocal opinions on what the film should be like to meet our demanding standards.

    Because the last time Sony tried to please us comic-book readers, they gave us the black costume and Venom in Spider-Man III. Look how that turned out. Was it not Avi Arad telling Raimi that Venom must be in the film because that’s what the fans want.

    “A movie should entertain the audience, not obey the audience” (not mine, but I can’t recall who wrote it first).

  • Matthew

    But isn’t the difference between an idiotic change and an artistic license change simply whether you like it or not?

  • Bill Batson

    I’m trying not to judge this until I’ve seen the movie, but I hate the costume and what’s up with this dudes hair?

  • Scott Amundson

    Wow, someone’s trying something a little different and already getting criticized.  Are you a biological android or God consciousness?

  • Ghostbuster

    The original origin had a guy rob the TV studio Spidey was appearing at and he killed Uncle Ben.

  • http://twitter.com/tomdaylight tomdaylight

     Well they didn’t listen to my vocal opinions or my in-depth knowledge of 50 years of Spider-Man because I would have bluntly told them “don’t shoehorn Venom in there” :)

  • cz

    I agree, no point in revisting the origin.  Everyone already knows who spider man is,  just make the clone saga, america will love that.

  • Anonymous

     I totally agree with everything Obsessions states about about the old movies and the promise of the new one.. what they are doing with the movie is not even comparable to that piece o’ cr@p turn off the dark.. I have the strong feeling that this movie will be great

  • 0bsessions

    Let me rephrase that: things like Swiss Miss were idiotic concepts. Turn Off the Dark was a mess because it was bad, not because of changes made.

    Take for example, if you will, Batman: The Animated Series. They changed massive amounts of details: melding different versions of Clay Face, making Harvey Dent single, , adding in Harley Quinn, completely throwing out Mr. Freeze’s origin. Yet, all of those changes were so well done that not only were they hits, some of them (Harley and Mr. Freeze’s updated origin in particular) were actually brought into comic book continuity, overriding previous concepts.

    I don’t have a problem with them making changes because it’s been proven time and time again that you can make changes to the original and leave the end result none the worse for wear. The previews so far give the indication that the content will more than make up for any changes made.

  • 0bsessions

    This is partially in reply to your original remark:

    The difference between guys like Tony Stark, real life analogue Zuckerberg and Peter is that Stark and Zuckerberg spent a large chunk of their young life building up and focusing on what made them billionaires. Additionally, both were born into a relatively privileged lifestyle, whereas Peter Parker basically had to support his sick Aunt, who couldn’t make ends meet, from the age of fifteen onward.

    A better fictional comparison to Peter would be the titular character of Good Will Hunting, a genius who lets his talents go to waste. While Peter’s always been a brilliant guy, he’s always put family and his “responsibility” as a superhero first, which has always resulted in his own personal advancement as a distant third. Even the Slott storyline had him basically lucking into the Horizon Labs job through his connections to Marla Jameson (And, honestly, it looks like Slott may be winding that plot down with J. Jonah Jameson’s current agenda to close them down).

    As much as I overall didn’t care for the Raimi Spider-Man movies, Spider-Man 2 had about the single most definitive description of Peter ever: “Brilliant, but ‘lazy’ ” Specifically in regards to when Ock says it at the end (Rather than the beginning) as Octavius realizes that Parker is brilliant, but doesn’t apply himself due to his double life as Spider-Man. He was always putting himself a distant third.

    In contrast, through most of Raimi’s Spider-Man films, Parker’s played off as completely inept more often than not. Swinging into walls, falling over himself, making an overall goon of himself, being completely socially inept (Parker’s always been socially awkward, but not to the level Raimi portrayed him as). Parker was portrayed as that kind of nerd that even other nerds don’t want to be seen with (As I’m sure others got the nerd label in High School, I bet half of you just had a specific person come to mind from your teen years).

  • 0bsessions

    As noted above, the big difference between Stark, Richards and Pym versus Peter is that they were all scientists for years or decades before getting superpowers. While Parker was a brilliant teen, he was still a teen. Becoming a superhero basically destroyed his potential.

    It’s actually not at all uncommon in real life. A person could be the most brilliant individual in the world, but if they don’t have the drive or capability of applying themselves towards their genius, they’re not going to amount to much by some individuals’ standards (Though, frankly, if my ceiling for potential was marry a supermodel and be a big time superhero, I think I could live with that). It doesn’t necessarily make them a loser.

  • 0bsessions

    Whoops, forgot about that. When did the wrestling thing first show up anyway? I think the earliest I can recall it is the 90′s cartoon.

    Raimi actually changed plenty: Peter and Harry didn’t actually meet until college in the comics and Peter not only didn’t know Mary Jane as a kid, he actually avoided meeting her like the plague. Honestly, one of the things I loathed most about the Raimi films is that they basically sucked all of the life out of MJ as a character. Given, Dunst did a terrible job with the role on her own, but she wasn’t given anything good to work with anyway.

  • 0bsessions

    The problem with the Phony Sony thing is the repetitive nature of a rather weak joke gives you the impression of a petty whiner with an axe to grind as opposed to someone with legitimate complaints who should be taken seriously.

    Frankly, I dismissed the entire thing after about a paragraph of two as it basically read along the lines of “oh neat, this guy hates Sony and knows how to get to Wikipedia. Good for him. Nothing to see here.”

    As for the bully remark, that’s just ludicrous. Him insinuating you’re dumb doesn’t make him a bully, it makes him someone who thinks you’re dumb which is, frankly, a relatively apt assertion when based purely on your initial post.

    You know what IS the hallmark of bullies, though? Repeatedly using derisive nicknames like say Puny Parker or Phony Sony. Flash Thompson wasn’t clever and neither are you.

  • 0bsessions

    Normally, I would agree, but considering how little I cared for 2/3 of the Spider-Man movies, I’m cool with a reboot. That franchise was just going in a direction where I couldn’t conceivably have been interested. The only things they didn’t completely botch for me were Aunt May and Doc Ock, so I’m cool with pretending it never happened and starting over.

    I just hope they keep Peter in High School a bit longer this time around. Being a big fan of USM and early era ASM, I love the idea of Peter balancing school, a part time job AND his superheroics while trying to keep Aunt May none the wiser. I think they dropped the ball big time by completely tossing out the Aunt May stuff in the Raimi movies by shipping him off to live with Harry so quickly.

  • 0bsessions

    I wouldn’t mind so much if they went the route of Incredible Hulk and basically just summed up the whole thing in the opening credit roll.

    That said, as a fan of Martin Sheen, I’m cool with them redoing it for the sake of having him.

  • Magnetic Eye

    Yeah whatever dude. Never said I was trying to be clever, it’s just a bit of sarcastic and cynical humor, but then I guess some people are easily offended and have no sense of humor.

    I don’t hate Sony, I just don’t like their poor adaptation of Spiderman.LOL, Wikipedia????   FYI, I have been reading Marvel Comics since 1975 and own every issue of “Amazing Spiderman”. I still buy it from my local comic book store and I will always use my 5000 + collection as a bench mark to measure the films by.Get up to date on Flash Thompson and read before you rant.

  • Chuck

    Chill out man, you are so rude

  • Solidac

    Phony Sony is a good 1. Keep it up

  • FrankSpider

    Thing is it wasn’t a radioactive spider in the fist Raimi film, it was a genetically altered spider, so if its not radioactive in this film it wont really be a change. Either way, what I’m worried about is if they change the death of Uncle Ben arc too much. I think that the key element is that Peter doesn’t stop a criminal when he has the chance and that criminal ends up killing Ben. The defining moment of the origin story is when Peter confronts the criminal and realises it is the same guy he crossed paths with earlier, that’s the bombshell that transforms Peter into Spider-Man. As long as they keep that in place I don’t have a problem.