"This is my first Comic-Con and this is the coolest moment of my life," announced Andrew Garfield as he kicked off the 'Amazing Spider-Man' panel by pretending to be a fan in a cheap Spidey suit. That predictable (but sweet) stunt just proved what he said in his heartfelt speech about being a fan just like anyone else, and how "Spider-Man saved my life."
"That was the coolest thing ever," he enthused about the stunt before joining Emma Stone, director Marc Webb and producer Avi Arid on stage after the 'Spider-Man' trailer played in 3D.
Spidey scaling walls in 3D looked pretty, well, amazing, even if the Spidey POV makes us feel like we're playing 'The Amazing Spider-Man' video game instead of watching a movie.
We also got to see some "really raw" footage, since production just wrapped two weeks ago. Among the scenes shown: Peter getting sweet revenge on a school bully, asking Gwen Stacy out in the most tongue-tied conversation ever, and him trying out his new web shooters on a hapless criminal, as well as more clips with Martin Sheen and Sally Field as much younger versions of Uncle Ben and Aunt May than Tobey Maguire had.
There was no footage of the villain in the 2D footage: "We don't have one, there were too many in the last film," said Webb in an indirect snipe at the much-hated 'Spider-Man 3.' Ouch! Especially with producer Arad sitting next to him.
But of course there's a villain: The sneak peek at Dr. Curt Connors (played by the deliciously loopy Rhys Ifans) as his scaly, sewer-dwelling alter ego, the Lizard, needs some work, but we love the scene where he bursts into the girls' bathroom and ewww, what a long tongue you have, sir!
Apart from Webb's zing, there were profuse professions of love, respect and admiration for the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi films.
Garfield said he was on the phone with Maguire every night and that the previous Peter Parker served as a "suicide hotline." Actually, Garfield clarified, he did get Maguire's blessing only indirectly, through Webb. "He's the best, right? He didn't have to do that. I'm Team Tobey."
"Me too," added Stone, who doesn't have the same shoes to fill since she's playing a different Spidey love interest, Gwen Stacy.
Other changes include a redesign of the Spidey suit, in order to highlight just how skinny Garfield is. "Because how great is it seeing a skinny guy beat the crap out of bad guys?" Judging by the audience reaction: Pretty damn great.
Garfield's been a lifelong 'Spider-Man' fan, saying that he first wore the suit at age 2 for Halloween and that his "inner four-year-old" demanded he take the role. It still took him a month to say yes. "I'm scared of big crowds," he shyly admitted to the 6,500-member audience. "And I still am, but I couldn't say no to it, ultimately."
What he didn't expect about taking on such an iconic role: "I didn't quite understand the weight of it until I stepped into the suit. I felt a lot of responsibility with it." Ahh, Andrew. With great movie roles comes great responsibility.
Garfield said during the four months between agreeing to the role and the first day on set, "I spent the time freaking out and saying goodbye to loved ones and writing my will." In actuality, he underwent an intensive four months of training with a guy he invited us all to punch in the face if we ever see him, and a workout that included trampoline and wirework. Despite all the tough times, he calls it "the greatest experience ever."
Are the two stars really prepared to be launched into the stratosphere when the film opens? Stone was just getting her first taste. "I've been to Comic-Con before with 'Zombieland,' but it was nothing like this," she said of the fan frenzy over a little movie about a guy, a girl, and a radioactive spider.
*First photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly
*Second photo courtesy of Paramount