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THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach chat with Capone about starting from Square One, and pay tribute to producer Laura Ziskin and production designer Mike Riva!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here, with a boatload of fun interviews coming at you over the next few days for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. First up, are the producers…

Since the mid-1990s in his role as chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment, chairman, CEO, and the founder of Marvel Studios, Avi Arad as the keeper of the Marvel flame in both animated series and later in feature films, having executive produced everything from the BLADE films, the X-MEN trilogy, THE HULK and THE INCREDIBLE HULK, DAREDEVIL, THE PUNISHER (Thomas Jane edition), both GHOST RIDER travesties, both FANTASTIC FOUR movies, IRON MAN, and of course, the original SPIDER-MAN films directed by Sam Raimi. But when Raimi and actor Tobey Maguire couldn't see eye to eye with the powers that be for a fourth Spider-Man movie, Arad was left with an interesting dilemma.

He had to essentially use it or loose it with the Spider-Man name, so he and producer Matt Tolmach (former head of production at Sony/Columbia Pictures) decided reboot the franchise, going with a new director (Marc Webb) and an entirely different cast for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, a starting from Square One take on both the Spider-Man origin and his first adventure trying to stop and save The Lizard.

I had a chance to sit down with Arad and Tolmach recently, but before I jumped into a conversation about the movie, I wanted to take the chance to let them remember their departed friends on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, producer Laura Ziskin and legendary production designer Mike Riva, who had passed just days earlier. The print of the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN had a dedicated to Ziskin, but Arad assured me a second dedication would be added for the film's release on July 3. Please enjoy my conversation with Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach…

Matt Tolmach: How’s it going?

Capone: Good.

Avi Arad: Ain’t It Cool News, right?

Capone: You know Harry Knowles, don't you?

MT: Very well.

[They discuss Capone’s digital recorder is.]

Capone: This thing records symphonies if you want it to.

MT: Avi and I do sing together. Should we sing?

Capone: Feel free.

AA: [Begins to sing the old animated Spider-Man theme song] “Spider Man, Spider Man…” Actually, Harry has been very instrumental to all this explosion when I was starting this.

Capone Yeah, I get bits and pieces about various conversations.

AA: It’s no longer a secret. I actually call Harry every once and a while to just get a gut check. After a while, you need a gut check. I said, “What do you think of the name AMAZING SPIDER-MAN?" And he said “Awesome.”

Capone: I believe I'd heard as much.

AA: And I called him over the years, and we started a little rough, because he was a little less elegant about it, but I did gut checks with him, because I knew that his geek-meter was very honest and genuine. And if something would have hit him, "You’re kidding," and we had this debate inside [the production offices]. If you imagine the debate, you probably could hear it, and I felt “You know what?”

MT: “Throw it to him, yeah”

AA: So I called him. He was in the hospital I think, and I called him.

MT: Yeah.

AA: I said to him, “Harry, I’m going to ask you a question.” He said to me like, “What do you need me to do?” I said, “I just want to hear the truth, that’s all. I need the answer,” and I asked him the question. He said, “I love it. This is great.”

Capone: I’m noticing your rings here. [Both men have silver rings with Spider-Man's face on it.]

AA: Yeah.

MT: I need a little shine on mine.

Capone: One of the interesting things for me, at the end of the film…

AA: When did you see it? Last night?

Capone: Last night. At the end of the film, seeing the dedication to Laura and Mike’s name in the credits shortly thereafter.

AA: You'll see another dedication on the film when it finally comes out, or was Mike’s was already on the print?

Capone: No, but he’s one of the first names that comes up at the end of the credits. This film has to be one of the best and saddest things you have ever been a part of. Can you talk a little bit about their individual contributions to the final product? I would really like to pay tribute to their work.

AA: Well let me start with Laura. Laura was added to my team by him when he was running the studio. I didn’t know her from a hole in the wall, because I’m not a Hollywood guy, and she came in armed and dangerous with great energy. She was second to [Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman] Amy Pascal and became very fast a geek. She was very studious. We had the benefit of not only her wisdom and experience, but she came with [SPIDER-MAN 2 & 3 and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN screenwriter] Alvin Sargent, who is the ultimate writer, and our relationship was amazing. She was one of those really tough, stubborn ladies, who brought another point of view to the movie.

MT: I worked with the two of them, and when you're a studio executive, it’s a gift to know that your most important asset is being managed by two people who have completely complimentary skills. SPIDER-MAN doesn’t happen without Avi and his knowledge of the characters and his just innate gut sense of what Peter Parker would do in a situation. It’s what gets you through all of these decisions you have to make creatively. Laura was one of the smartest pure film minds that…

AA: She used to call herself a script nazi.

MT: Yeah. And she was rigorous about the written word and as Avi said, she had this unbelievable scribe living in her house [Sargent and Ziskin married in 2010, after living together for 25 years] who ended up collaborating with all of us on subsequent movies. So you had these two people working together--totally different people--but you knew as long as they were both there, something spectacular was going to happen.

AA: There were things that to me that I’m not what I call a technical producer--I don’t care where the trucks are coming from or is Moishe is doing the curtains tomorrow--I’m too ADD for that. [everybody laughs] She was the Rock of Gibraltar, so that was a great relationship.

MT: Let’s talk about Riva.

AA: Riva became a good friend. We did two SPIDER-MAN movies…

MT: I did a bunch of Will Smith movies with him.

AA: Two IRON MAN movies, and still today, people ask me “Where in Malibu is this house?” The CG house. It’s a bluff in Malibu, and all of the rest was designed by Riva. When we started this movie, I had a design drawing done of The Lizard. I remember going to see Matt and showing him this thing before we started the movie.

MT: Long before.

AA: I was thinking about something else, and you just hand it to him, and it comes out better. He is one of these guys who has an eye, you know? It’s hard to see it, but we were shooting in New York on this movie and we lost one dear friend that produced for us the previous movies, Joe.

MT: Yeah, JoeCaracciolo who was our line producer [on SPIDER-MAN 2 & 3].

AA: And Riva did a graffiti thing on a wall, a tribute to Joe. Actually they asked us to send Riva stuff when he was in a coma, and I’m making movie named UNCHARTED that I promised Riva and his son I'd do. He thought he was going to be in trouble, because there was another SPIDER-MAN movie coming, so I had people whisper to him in the hospital “You better get well. We have to do UNCHARTED.”

MT: But you know there’s a really interesting thing that Riva did and it’s typical of his work, which is this movie is a combination of… Marc had always envisioned making this movie feel like it’s in the real world, a very tactile movie with physics and with gravity. On the other hand, it’s a movie with a lizard and with, as we call it, pseudoscience. So it falls on Michael Riva to create OsCorp, a place that lives in the real world, but where pseudoscience credibly happens, and you don’t think about that really, but that’s what these people do, production designers, and that’s what Michael Riva was tasked with doing. I remember we walked into the set, and it’s spectacular. I mean first of all, his taste in architecture and designs is stunning.

Capone: Are you talking about the lab set?

MT: The whole lab set, which is both believable and fantastical, and we would walk around and we shot there for a long time.

AA: Michael loved OsCorp so much.

MT: They wanted to put it in AVENGERS as like both buildings sharing the skyline, Stark Tower and the OsCope building.

Capone: Whoa, why didn’t that happen? How hard would that have been?

[Everyone Laughs]

MT: That’s a tall order for a production designer and the timing didn't work out. But that building, Riva did it and it never pulls you out of the movie. So you never feel like “I’m in some weird futuristic or faux-science movie. I’m in this movie, but I believe that in that room there’s a spider experiment happening, which is going to create Spider-Ma,n” and it’s the magic of what these guys do.

AA: I'll never forget when he bought the lizard, and the lizard became a pet. People would walk the lizard on the chain. It was like a whole thing. It was awesome, you know?

MT: He’s our friend. He’s in every frame of this movie.


MT: Who doesn’t?

AA: He was a wacky guy. Just think, the same guy did BUCKAROO BANZAI. I remember I said to Michael, “What was that?” He said, “Well, you should know.”

[Everyone Laughs]

Capone; When you realized a few years back that Sam Raimi and his team were not going to do another film, and you decided “Okay, we will start from scratch.” What did you want to change? What did you want to do differently? What did you want to preserve?

AA: Some things were natural for us, because we started discussing it when Matt was president of the studio and in charge of SPIDER-MAN. We knew that SPIDER-MAN 4 was a wish thing that probably wouldn’t happen.

MT: Not for lack of trying. We tried hard.

AA: Time, money, you name it. The point is we wanted to stay with Sam and Toby.

MT: And what was working.

AA: And Sam just didn’t have another story to tell after those first three, “Origin, Spider-Man no more, and Dark Side.”

MT: He realized it was a trilogy once he had made the trilogy. Do you know what I mean? It was sort of that, “Oh my God, I told the three pivotal stories that I feel attached to, and it’s time for somebody else to take this on.” But that was a really important part of the conversation, which was “Spider Man has been told over and over again for 50 years. Someone else should interpret it, because I’ve done mine.”

AA: Plus, the first three movies talk about the origin of Spider-Man. This movie is about the origin of Peter Parker. Mary Jane was about the girl who fell in love with Spider-Man, only to find out that he’s Peter. In our story, the girl falls in love with Peter, which really at the end of the day it has to be all about Peter.

MT: It’s also not a movie about a nerd getting sand kicked in his face. It’s today’s post-Mark Zuckerberg reinventing the world. It’s a more empowered outsider and it’s a kid who leans into injustice even if the result is the same, that he’s going to get put down by the bully, he's not going to let it happen and he’s going to put himself in harm’s way in order to avoid it, and that consciousness is something… We talk about bullying all of the time and as a parent. it’s like my greatest fear. This is a generation of kids who react differently, who have a consciousness about stuff that people didn’t have 10 and 15 years ago, and so that character has to reflect that, and it all had to be different. It had to feel like today.

AA: Peter is loved because he represents so many of us in all generations, but in this movie what was important to us to bring out to the world is that, like him, there are so many children out there that worry about their parents, that worry about their past, where do they come from. All of these things are very hard to talk about, and you think you’re all alone. So if you have a kid in school and it’s the first day, and the teacher asks, “So what does your father do?” You are saying to him “So tell us about yourself. Tell us about your parents.” “Well, I don’t know my parents.”

It happens all over the world, children of divorce, adoptions It’s so important to us to make sure that the audience connects to our hero. You can not be alone in this world when you have a Peter Parker, and I think we accomplished that. We also accomplished the most amazing Gwen Stacy with Emma Stone, who fell in love with the way people really fall in love. They fall in love with something here [touches his chest], you know?

MT: Not with a suit.

AA: It’s a great thing of it. Stupid, but great, okay? And being intellectually equal, which makes for the best connection.

MT: And it’s a much more modern relationship.

AA: That’s what Marc did in (500) DAYS OF SUMMER. He made a real everyday relationship.

MT: She’s not “The girl in the movie.” She’s not. She will never be that character.

AA: How did you enjoy the movie?

Capone: I wish we had more time, but I truly did enjoy it. I'm thrilled it's the beginning of the Gwen Stacy saga.

AA: You should know something, Harry did something very nice. He sent Marc an email saying, “I hear you nailed it.”

MT: It was a tweet.

Capone: When was this?

MT: Today.

Capone: Oh, that’s because last night after the screening, I went back and told Harry, “I think you’re really going to like it.”

AA: So it's you. Thank you. We still dread this stupid site of yours.

[Everyone Laughs]

MT: You guys are too powerful!

AA: We dread the damn thing! No, you know what? We call it “The Haters,” but we read it religiously. People early in the morning, hit their computer to see what life will look like. So you start your day “What are they saying?”

MT: You type in “A,” and it comes up with you guys.

Capone: It was great to finally meet both of you. Thanks a lot.

MT: See you later, man.

-- Steve Prokopy
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Readers Talkback
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  • June 30, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Is Avi a Punjabi?

    by ajit maholtra

  • June 30, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Balle balleeeeeeeee

    by ajit maholtra

  • June 30, 2012, 6:47 p.m. CST

    oh boy here we go

    by elsewhere

    grabs popcorn

  • After you play out this "trilogy" (ugh) where else can you go? Another reboot with Peter Parker in high school? While I don't put it past them to do so, other than risking a Miles Morales trilogy with Parker dead, Spidey's got to be folded back into Marvel, and Sony will reap huge benefits. And let's face it, if we see Samuel Jackson pop up anywhere in the next 2 Spidey movies, I think we're all on board.

  • June 30, 2012, 6:59 p.m. CST

    They should DEFINITELY put STARK TOWER in Amazing Spiderman 2!

    by Jake Pantlin

    That would be genius! At least establish that the characters appear in the same universe.

  • June 30, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    Don't take it all to heart, guys.

    by gotilk

    Too many sock puppets here to take it too seriously anymore. Talkback I mean. Sometimes it's way too obvious.

  • June 30, 2012, 7 p.m. CST

    avi is still with marvel?

    by Bouncy X

    i swear i remember reading a couple years ago that he left the company. not sure if he quit or was fired but he wasnt involved anymore. was that some sorta rumor or did he just change positions at the company or something?

  • June 30, 2012, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Wwwwait...I'm confused...

    by MCVamp

    "Arad was left with an interesting dilemma. He had to essentially use it or loose it with the Spider-Man name" Wasn't that SONY'S dilemma? Arad would be getting that pimp cash whether it was a Sony film or a Disney film, no?

  • June 30, 2012, 7:12 p.m. CST

    wow, what can i say...and arad is an israeli

    by walt

    its interesting that in-house, at marvel/disney, feige is in essence, the show runner...but for all projects that are owned by outside studios, arad is this is a bit confusing to me, as arad has failed, more than he has succeeded. amazed that the other studios dont ask for someone else bit curious why capone didnt ask arad any questions regarding the use of the lizard, as both he and sony refused to allow raimi this villain...despite the 3 picture setup and listening to them both describe the changes made in parker's persona, shows me they are both out of touch. geeks rule the world...they dont rule hs they dont get the girl in 45 minutes parker is not a cool loner. had he been written that way, there would be no 50 year run no followup question on why the search for peter's parents went nowhere....cuz test audiences hated it...just like readers did dear god, let them hire orci, kurtzman and lindelof to write 2 and kill this abomination off once and for all...amen

  • June 30, 2012, 7:24 p.m. CST

    mcvamp arad has nothing to do with inhouse movies anymore

    by walt

    look at the man's track record he did nothing to protect the product, just took a paycheck he currently heads his own production company, but still does marvel related movies for other studios. i take it that he has a piece of spidey for the life of me, i cant figure out how a guy who ran a toy company, got into movies but hey...i cant figure out how this israeli got into the toy biz in the first place

  • June 30, 2012, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Sam didn't have another story to tell after part 2.

    by aSTRESSEDavenger

  • June 30, 2012, 7:54 p.m. CST

    Also, keep Garfield the fuck away from AVENGERS.

    by aSTRESSEDavenger

  • June 30, 2012, 8 p.m. CST

    Garfield is a funny movie

    by ajit maholtra

    Hes always eating lazannia and getting so fat.


  • June 30, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    I fucking hate that dude......

    by The_All_Dead

  • June 30, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    Michael Riva had an AMAZING career.

    by adeceasedfan

    We still have Django Unchained to look forward to.

  • June 30, 2012, 9:44 p.m. CST

    Cool interview

    by HughHoyland

    Yeah, I'll be one checking this out. As most likely many others.

  • June 30, 2012, 11 p.m. CST


    by Nichole

    Please don't ever change. You crack me up, you fucking wierdo. ajit_maholtra, what do you think about Garfields sidekick Odie?

  • June 30, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    "AMAZING" Spiderman looks OK. But,

    by Nichole

    Do not need the Origin Story. Proves that suits, greenlit this fucking film. Sad, really.

  • June 30, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST

    by mr teaspoon

    "We dread the damn thing! No, you know what? We call it “The Haters,” but we read it religiously. People early in the morning, hit their computer to see what life will look like. So you start your day “What are they saying?”" Well this sure sounds like something a person who uses a computer would say.

  • June 30, 2012, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Capone: I'm noticing your rings here, guys.

    by David

    Mind if I give them a kiss? Maybe polish them a little bit? I realize these are tough questions, but as a shill, they are the type of questions that I'm allowed to ask. Do either of you guys need a soda?

  • July 1, 2012, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Fuck it. I'm not going to see it. Still feel burnt by Spider-Man 3.

    by Xenodistortion

    Spider-Man 3 was my own personal 9/11. Truly a travesty that I'm still pretty sure the country hasn't fully recovered from. A little piece of me died on that opening day. And yes, it seems completely justifiable to compare that to the other non-Spider-Man 3-related 9/11 that happened in New York. Whatever, that YouTube video is like 15 minutes long while Spider-Man 3 is at least over a whole hour long. YOU CAN'T UNDO SOMETHING LIKE THAT! I don't think things will ever be the same.. Actually, I'll catch it on Netflix or borrow the dvd from somebody later this year when I catch a cold and have an afternoon to kill. I'll pay to see a Spider-Man movie when Marvel gets the rights back.

  • July 1, 2012, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Ha! Yeah, The Terrible Power Of AICN!

    by THX1968

    If these suits only knew what little power there was, they probably wouldn't give you guys the time of day. Yet, while Capone is busy giving hand jobs to Arad and Tolmach, the shining review makes a lot more sense.

  • July 1, 2012, 12:37 a.m. CST


    by David

    It would have been better if the complete piece of you, all 100%, died on that opening day of Spiderman 3, or better yet if---years earlier---your father's sperm had just climbed out of the test tube in disgust without fertilizing your mother's egg. " seems completely justifiable to compare that to the other non-Spiderman 3-related 9/11 that happened in New York..." Seriously consider peaceful voluntary sterilization of yourself, and you convincing your family to do the same, as your gift to the world.

  • July 1, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Hellooooooooooo phantomcreeps

    by ajit maholtra

    Im good, Im at home drinking wine and watching tv. So many good things are on tv now. Im watching Conan the Destroyer and its the part where that weird bearded pedophile kidnaps the princess and then he turns into a lizard man and Conan kills him by smashing the mirrors, reminds me of The Who.

  • July 1, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST

    phantomcreeps, by the way

    by ajit maholtra

    Are you still having sex with lady who has tattoo above her bum?

  • July 1, 2012, 1:25 a.m. CST

    Strange interview

    by Cymbol

    I was very interested in all of it, but then it abruptly ends. Oh well. Checking this out next weekend. Really looking forward to it. Looks like the Spiderman we've been waiting for.

  • July 1, 2012, 1:42 a.m. CST


    by Nichole

    Yes sir, I am.

  • As him about THAT, huh, Capone. Avi acts as though he is Spider-Man's savior. He's just an old man clinging to anything popular. And right now it's Spider-Man.

  • Soooo with 50 years of history and stories to draw canned him and told the origin again *slow clap*

  • July 1, 2012, 2:12 a.m. CST

    It’s today’s post-Mark Zuckerberg reinventing the world

    by tomdolan04

    Urgh. <p> 'It’s a more empowered outsider and it’s a kid who leans into injustice even if the result is the same, that he’s going to get put down by the bully, he's not going to let it happen and he’s going to put himself in harm’s way in order to avoid it, and that consciousness is something…' <p> Was he high during this interview?

  • July 1, 2012, 2:58 a.m. CST

    'First up are the producers'

    by tomdolan04

    How could this happen? I was so careful. I picked the wrong play, the wrong director, the wrong cast. Where did I go right?

  • Really, was *that* how it happened?! Guess all the rumors about Raimi's plans for a fourth film with the Vulture etc. we're just fabrications. Thanks for setting the record straight, guys...!

  • July 1, 2012, 4:59 a.m. CST

    hi there avi, if you're reading this!!

    by JAMF

    give spider-man and x-men back to marvel and fuck off. thanks.

  • July 1, 2012, 6:51 a.m. CST

    hi Avi

    by animas

    Fuck you scumbag. You aren't getting a penny from me you worthless money grubbing prick. Kill yourself. You are everything evil about the world.

  • July 1, 2012, 7:11 a.m. CST

    re: higgledyhiggles

    by Volllllume3

    Yes that's why The Avengers and Avatar are two of the highest grossing movies of all time.

  • July 1, 2012, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Ok pull your neck in, animas, you dumb prick.

    by Talkbacker with no name

    He's produced 3 out of 4 good spider-man flicks. Had a hand in getting Blade 1/2 on to the screen (who thought those would be decent movies!?), X-Men 1/2, and got Hulk on to big screen. Credit where it's due! Despite who you think he is or what you think he has done to you, he loves these characters and is an all round pretty decent guy. Amazing Spider-Man was getting made with or without him. You should be happy he had a hand in it. It could have turned out a lot fucking worse, believe me. But telling him to kill himself? You fucking moron.

  • July 1, 2012, 7:50 a.m. CST

    @Animas: good to know there are people like you int the world!

    by Playkins

    I mean, who DOESN'T enjoy a loudmouth blowhard that tells people to kill themselves over a movie they have yet to even see from behind the anonymity of their computer. Right on, man! You are an A1, quality individual!

  • July 1, 2012, 7:51 a.m. CST

    Higgledyhiggllkjj....(or whatever)

    by Playkins

    How do you explain the success of Avengers?

  • July 1, 2012, 8:18 a.m. CST

    YELLOW FUCKING EYES. You two douchebags suck MOUNDS of ass.

    by Behemoth

    Seriously ... why? Why in the HELL do you feel compelled to give Spider-man YELLOW EYES? That's all I need to see, because as trivial as the point may sound, it's a microcosm of how these imbeciles view the character to begin with ... absolutely no respect. Fuck 'em both. Yellow eyes on Spider-man. Absolutely mind-boggling.

  • July 1, 2012, 8:31 a.m. CST

    I don't believe for a second

    by animas

    that he gives a shit about anything but money

  • ... That the suits utterly control and shape the script (not the creative team) and they're proud of it.

  • July 1, 2012, 8:45 a.m. CST

    yeah i'm the bad guy

    by animas

    for hating soul-less corporate demons who take a giant shit on our culture.....

  • July 1, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    I wonder when the next Batman reboot will be?

    by donkey_lasher

    I give it 3 years tops, before they announce it.

  • July 1, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    It's a new direction for the suits isnt it?

    by donkey_lasher

    Amazing Spider Man will pull in fans of Raimis film and a new generation, and this will make money. Lets face it. It will give Studios the excuse now, to reboot any franchise from the last 10 years. Imagine if the suits owned Star Wars. What George Lucas has done would pale in comparison to the corporate machine that is Hollywood. We'd have more than one Holiday Special, that's for sure.

  • July 1, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Sony, the studio so fucking stupid...

    by buggerbugger

    ...that it has to "reach out" to a movie geek to ask if 'The Amazing Spider-Man' is a good title for a movie based on a comic-book called 'The Amazing Spider-Man'. Did Arad also phone Harry up in 2004 and ask, "What do you think of the name 'Spider-Man 2' for the sequel?", resulting in an enthusiastic "Awesome!" from Harry?

  • Gee, thanks for giving this reboot your endorsement, Fake Sam Raimi Comment From The Lips Of Avi Arad! I'm sure that'll sway any doubtful Sam Raimi fans into seeing the movie, knowing that your Fake Comment approves of it!

  • July 1, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    They really think we're morons...

    by Melanie Griffiths Sour Patch

    ...and that includes Harry. He goes from Harry saying the film is awesome to telling Webb "I hear you nail it". Why would Harry say "I hear" if he had seen it? Congrats on lowering the bar yet again fellas! I'm gonna go get my giant spoon from some more marketing pablum! Yum!

  • July 1, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Having seen this 2 weeks ago at the London prem

    by Calibos's Ginger JewFro

    I can honestly say I havent thought about it once since then. It left no impression on me at all. The best part of the movie is the origin stuff in the first half (or 2/3rds really). There is nice character interaction, the leads are cute togther, Martin Sheen is excellent and the discovery of the spidey powers scenes are quite funny. However with the exception of few new twists and bells its exactly the same story we all saw 10 years ago so its all for naught. why did I need to see all this again? When the movie moves away from the blueprint established by the comics lore and Raimi it really starts to fall apart in big way. I mean serious plot holes and lapses in narrative logic. But the main thing is the lack of a sense of excitment. The action scenes are fine, but I just didnt care. In trying to set a tone for this new series that is less OTT and broad as Raimi's movies they have drained away most of the fun.

  • Also I'm thankful to Arid because his strategy is was lead the "market" to the position where Marvel could borrow money to make their own movies. The MCU, The Avengers, most (arguably all) of the decent super hero movies of the past 12 - 14 years owe a lot to Arad pushing the studios to use the movie rights they were sitting on. Blade -to- X-Men - Spider-Man, they're all connected. Having said that, he's the one a lot of us see as mostly responsible for "forcing" Rami to shoehorn Venom, badly, into Spider-Man 3. Most of what I read i that interview just seems like complete bullshit. Sure I wasn't there, but I don't remember reading anything that seems remotely like his version of events, certainly the Rami was done with telling Spider-Man stories thing. (All the more with the amount of set up Rami had done (not least with the Lizard) that he apparently wasn't taking anywhere? Oh and I think the mixing of the MCU with Non MCU studio films, which I know Marvel were willing to do with putting the Oscorp building in The Avengers is a risky move. They already have enough issues with people mistaking shit like Ghost Rider for their product. They have very carefully built up a strong brand. Do they really want to risk that getting s=ruined by another studio.

  • July 1, 2012, 9:58 a.m. CST

    Spiderman Schmeiderman,

    by Eric Shea

    I want to see a Magnus: Robot Fighter movie! Who's with me?

  • Don't be such a thick, small minded ass.

  • July 1, 2012, 10:12 a.m. CST

    the next batman reboot

    by JAMF

    is something i'm fine with. the nolan films are great but if we're looking at doing the dc universe then the characters need to be presented more like the marvel cinematic universe - something like the batman animated series is what most people are hoping to see on screen, i think. re-do green lantern and superman (snyder's will be shit you know it) in the new style and finally do wonder woman, flash and aquaman etc... still havent seen this 25 minute segment, i'm trying to find it now.

  • I haven't seen 500 Days of Summer or new Spidey so I can't comment on Marc Webb's direction. It's not an either/or thing for all of us, you know.

  • July 1, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    oh yeah a hindu cam copy is out.

    by JAMF

    i'll wait for a better one though, of course.

  • Mission accomplished. Someone paid attention to you. Won't make that mistake again.

  • without spidey thanks for player...come back next week nolan is a hack

  • July 1, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    Normally I'd probably feel sorry for Arad

    by django_il_bastardo

    because he is just so clueless. BUT when you combine his ignorance with the fact that he literally thinks he is a genius and the absolute go to authority on everything related to Marvel Comics simply based on some confusing business bullshit you have to realize he is just an asshole. A rich fucking asshole, but an asshole. From "Do you know what happens to a toad when it gets struck by lightning" to dancin' Spidey to motherfucking scenery chewing Nicolas Cage, every single shitty thing about otherwise good Marvel movies can be traced back to Arad. Oh, and he calls Harry for advice. That should speak for itself. Sheesh. Douchebag.

  • July 1, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST

    C'mon people, Harry has no pull with producers...

    by Nik

    Otherwise they wouldn't screw around with stuff that should be preserved as canon. Nobody cares about film geeks and fanboys. We are a minority. Avi and shitbag producers like him are like Sandusky...they only care about little boys because they are the ones that buy the toys and happy meals.

  • July 1, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST

    That should have read

    by django_il_bastardo

    WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN good Marvel movies... Anything Arad stuck his grubby fingers into HE FUCKED UP. Arad, YOU SUCK! FUCK OFF! Gee, I hope he reads this...

  • July 1, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST

    So this is why I believe this is such a horseshit interview

    by TheNotoriousDRB

    1) Avi Arad is in COMPLETE revenge mode. Maybe not revenge, per se, but the thing that goes unmentioned here is the fact that Arad (and by extension, his son) were left on the outside looking in after Marvel Studios was created. Arad has no pull within Feige's world, and I think its for the better. 2) What also goes unsaid is that the ONLY reason that Amazing Spider-Man was made was to keep the property at Sony. Laura Ziskin was not happy with Malkovitch as Vulture and Baker as Lizard being the primary villains. So, she conspired with Avi to create a new script as a contingency that they could not get Raimi to see things their way again (remember, it was Avi who FORCED Raimi to use Venom, a character he openly admitted to not understanding at all. The end result was sort of a bit of revenge by Raimi who made the film as a fuck you, which in a bit of calculated irony, still made a TON of money) 3) I do believe that Raimi had a trilogy in mind, but that trilogy was robbed from him, which is why he wanted to make Spider-Man 4, a film he felt would actually allow him to make the movie he wanted to make with the Vulture AND the Lizard. There was no script problems, there was only stonewalling, because Ziskin et al couldn't envision the Vulture as a viable character, and Avi couldn't envision the Vulture selling toys. I'm not going to venture a guess as to whether or not this film will succeed or fail. Reports out this morning state that ASM is opening stronger overseas than even The Avengers. Here, it may be a different story, as the film only has about two-three weeks before The Dark Knight Rises, and the buzz overall is negative at best, so it could go either way. Some people say this is a solid film, others miss Raimi. Others like to manufacture a hatred for the original Spider-Man trilogy that is just unfounded save for the third film, which was a forced exercise at best. I only hope this film fails so that Sony has to reconsider its strategy by doing a) Returning the series to Raimi, or b) negotiating a deal with Disney that will see the property return to Marvel Studios, with a hefty financial caveat that will lead to the sort of profit sharing that will serve as a salve that helps the parent company justify the loss.

  • July 1, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    I meant to say neutral buzz, not negative

    by TheNotoriousDRB

  • July 1, 2012, 12:33 p.m. CST


    by Chris

    Road to Perdition Ghost World A History of Violence The Crow (going back 18 years ago) V for Vendetta All great comic book movies. Maybe you didn't see any of those. You should.

  • July 1, 2012, 12:42 p.m. CST

    I'm neutral about the film as a whole

    by tomdolan04

    I liked Raimi's trilogy and I thought Maguires goofy charm suited the world they created. I agree with the concept someone hinted here that overall nowadays in an attempt to be 'modern' and broad many properties just come across as bland. Sure Raimi's films had a few problems (3 certainly), but all the people triumphing this new reboot cannot seem to do this on its own merits and just have to piss on Raimis to try and solidify their opinion. <p> Completely unrelated - I have a 3 and half year old daughter. She LOVES the old series of the Thundercats I introduced her to following my childhood 80's memories. I've meant to check it out for a while but we got the first two episodes of the new 'reboot' of it yesterday and gave them a try. They are the epitome of trying to be 'broader' and modern. My daughter said she preferred the old one greatly without any persuading from me. The bombast of the old intro. The simple stories and characterisation and yes, the cheese. <p> It reminded me of this Spidey argument - give me brooding angst vs. goofy cheese, sometimes it's better to take cheese.

  • July 1, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST

    This is a poorly produced cash grab

    by Rupee88

    Yes it will make some money but not nearly as much as if they actually put the time and effort into making a good movie.

  • this movie was made by the suits...pretty friggin twisted it does make sense, as arad thinks himself a creative genius

  • July 1, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    Don't listen to the Haters Avi!

    by steverogers5

    I am so sick and tired of this guy getting a bum rap from all the Sam Raimi worshippers around here. Here's a hard truth for you to swallow..Sam Raimi NEVER understood the appeal of Spider-man! But from a lot of the interviews Avi has been giving recently, and what I've seen of the new film, it looks like Avi understood the character a hell of a lot more than Raimi ever did. Raimi just got by on it because every comic fan and kid around was desperate for a big budget Spider-man film, and that's the reason those films made money despite the fact they were msicast and full of really painfully embarassing scenes to watch. Want an example?...Here's one which no-one around here has ever been able to satisfactorily explain or refute. And it's in that so called holy grail of the trilogy that every idiot around here holds up as perfect.i.e Spiderman 2. The scene where Peter after he's started to lose his powers..(through a fricken crisis of confidence of all things-sorry Raimi but that's never been the way his powers work..) well during that period of the film, Tobey's Peter witnesses an old man being beaten up and dragged into an alley by a bunch of thugs. His reaction? He sheepishly skulks away. Right, sure, the guy whose Uncle Ben Died from his own inaction isn't gonna even try and stop a repeat of the same scenario! Both the comic book and the animated versions have been in stories where he's lost his powers, and he's still went up against superpowered villians, but here he's not even gonna try and stop a guy from possibly being killed by thugs because he hasn't got his powers. Yeah sure Raimi, because Spiderman's all about his powers..(Sigh!) He would have intervened, maybe he would have gotton beaten up, but he still would have done so. Because he is supposed to be a heroic character, not just a superpowered one. Thus y'know the phrase..Super-HERO! I've heard that there's a scene in this new movie where Peter, before he gets his powers, try to intervene in bullying and gets his ass kicked as a result. To me this is Avi & Co giving a big middle finger to Raimi, and how much he didn't understand the character. And it's flipping long overdue!

  • July 1, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I wouldnt go to see a movie like this just to see Irfan Khan

    by ajit maholtra

    Hes a good actor but him alone is not enough to make me go see a film. But if they had someone like Sanjay Dutt as the main villain, Id see it no questions asked. Hollywood is picking Bollywood actors, but they are making some of the worst ones famous, like Anil Kapoor. Next thing theyll make Govinda famous. They need a Sanjay Dutt, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, or Shah Rukh Khan. Then things will really blow up.

  • So they would not go see movie like this just to see Irfan Khan. But I agree that producers may be thinking like this when casting just to get more overseas money because people in India watch many more movies than over here.

  • July 1, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST


    by mr teaspoon

    As far as Peter losing his powers psychologically, that's just something you need to accept or not. I have no problem with it. Spider-Man 2, though, is about Peter trying to give up on Spider-Man and live a normal life. The scene with the bully is a harsh reminder that, as a normal guy again, he can't save people. With great power comes great responsibility, and Peter has no power at that point. He never struck me as the type of 98 pound weakling that'd just jump into a brawl.

  • July 1, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by steverogers5

    Oh so you're gonna come up with the whole 'plant' response again? Yeah, way to sidestep the issue. I read the character all my life. I knew the character of Peter Parker from his many, many comic book incarnations and what Raimi gave little resemblence at all. Tobey played him as just this pathetic, cowardly, slow witted moron! That is not the character. As for cheap? Didn't Avi push for Venom in Spiderman 3 in place of the Vulture? After they asked the fans at comicon, over which villain to do next, and the audience overwhelmingly responded, Venom? So what does Raimi do? He uses his position to sabotage the film, because he doesn't like any villain that wasn't around for his childhood. Seriously the special effects guys wre interviewed for the DVD release in Empire and they commented on how the experience was the most unprofessional interaction they'd ever had with a director. As he went out of his way to keep cutting out their work on Venom, just because he didn't like the character. How petty and selfish can you get? No wonder the character of Spiderman came across as that, as well, in those 3 movies. It's probably a good reflection of the director!

  • July 1, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST

    tompiltoff, why are you bothering to debate a shill?

    by walt

    the man just used the same talking point that has been rehashed over and over for the past year raimi grew up on the same comics that i did in 1 and 2, he used story arcs taken from the ditko/romita runs the only issue i had with raimi,is that he gave mj, gwen's personality

  • July 1, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    steverodgers is a PLANT!

    by bat725

  • July 1, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    steverodgers5, dont work for arad

    by walt

    you just amazingly throw out the same talking points a poll taken at the con? you gotta be kidding me ok, reader of everything many times has spidey's origin been retconned? thats right...raimi sabotaged 3...we all knew what? venom sux...and i (unlike you, a shill, plant, liar) have been reading spidey, since the 60s however, the best scene in the history of comics, may be when mr fantastic helps spidey to disengage from the symbiote, and he is forced to wear an oversized, old ff costume and a paperbag over his head to hide his id

  • amazing how wb was much more secure in nolan's work

  • July 1, 2012, 3:02 p.m. CST

    steverodgers pt. 2

    by mr teaspoon

    "As for cheap? Didn't Avi push for Venom in Spiderman 3 in place of the Vulture? After they asked the fans at comicon, over which villain to do next, and the audience overwhelmingly responded, Venom?" First of all, taking opinion polls at comic con is not how to make a good movie. Second of all, Avi Arad couldn't give less of a fuck as to what the fans want. He's there for the paycheck, which makes the canning of Raimi even more perplexing, as Spidey 3 raked in cash.

  • July 1, 2012, 5:40 p.m. CST

    You'd think if they read the site religiously...

    by photoboy

    ... they'd have worked out a reboot was a really bad idea, and that their Lizard design was awful. I still want a "Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends" film with Iceman and Firestar.... :)

  • July 1, 2012, 6:38 p.m. CST

    if they really do read this site/TB every day...

    by Detached

    ... they know it's full of... how does one put this delicately?... less than intelligent people.

  • July 1, 2012, 7:32 p.m. CST


    by Chris

    So by what scale are you judging a movies greatness? Its ratings on Rotten Tomatoes? Is there a slide rule or some scale you're using? I judge a movie on it's artistry and entertainment value. A movie that is stunningly beautiful and well written is a great movie, a movie that is just simply one or the other in my book is just a decent movie. If something looks brilliant and it entertains you and provokes feeling and thought than it is a great movie. Maybe I'm just weird. V for Vendetta is a brilliantly shot film. It is entertaining in not just the story and the action, but also the way it is filmed it is almost composed. Like looking at a painting or just reading the comic one time through just letting the pictures tell the story (which you can do in an Alan Moore comic). Movies like Ghost Rider or DareDevil suck because the director is trying to film a music video, or a commercial, or a cartoon. Films like The Avengers and V for Vendetta feel as though each shot is thought through. Take a look at the trailer for Skyfall (not a comic book movie) and you'll see what I mean, how every single shot looks as though someone thought about it and composed it. Way different than any other Bond movie I've ever seen. The Road to Perdition looked composed, The Crow looked composed. Great comic book movies are put together by thoughtful people, shitty comic book movies are put together by corporate hacks trying to churn out shit to get people to buy toys, or in the case of The Amazing Spider-Man, retain the rights to a character. I think Sam Raimi's Spider-Man worked because it looked good. It looked like someone read the comic and thought through every single shot. Say what you want about Raimi, his movies are shot using interesting angles, lens/lighting combos, et cetera. That's one reason why the new Spidey isn't something I care about because it just looks like a crappy music video. Anyway, that's just what I think about comic book movies and cinema in general.

  • July 1, 2012, 7:33 p.m. CST

    tompiltoff, shows how much you know

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Raimi and Maguire were not canned. They walked. This is the only reason there is now an Amazing Spider-Man, else there would have been a Spider-Man 4. Without Maguire, they had no choice but to reboot or re-cast in Raimi's universe without Raimi.

  • July 1, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST


    by death metal batman

    I wasn't necessarily calling you out, but if you identify yourself as an old fart, oh well. I am a total Raimi fan. He gets a lifetime pass for Evil Dead 2 alone. His take on Spidey was awesome! Perfect? no way, so I don't mind the idea of a new Spider-Man movie by someone else and will certainly pass judgment when I see it. Not beforehand because I don't require the calculated 'authority' of RT scores to determine how I feel about movies.

  • July 1, 2012, 8:59 p.m. CST

    talkbacker with no name

    by mr teaspoon

    You're right, that was a slip-up on my part. The reality is that Raimi wasn't fired, the studio just decided to fuck with him til he couldn't take it anymore. Not much difference for this discussion.

  • July 1, 2012, 9:59 p.m. CST

    James Berardinelli reviews 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

    by seymour_scagnetti

  • July 2, 2012, 3:59 a.m. CST

    Setting superhero movies so hard and fast in the present

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    causes them to date rapidly.

  • wether it's Spiderman TAS or the Blade movies, which helped to usher the ongoing trend of Superhero Films post Batman, Alot of the credit goes to Arad who saw the potentual of these IPs. Sure, there were a few flops here and there, but overall, Most of Marvel's Films are decent if not great. Love how Stan (Lee) got pissed and sued Avi for more royalties from the films seeing as how he did nothing to help Kirby, Ditko,et al for their various contributions. Nice old man, but what a fucking Hypocrite.

  • July 2, 2012, 7:31 a.m. CST

    Spiderman 2=best of the series HANDS DOWN!

    by Stalkeye

  • July 2, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    RE: "both GHOST RIDER travesties"

    by Stalkeye

    Oh, you forgot to include both Fantastic Four travesties as well.

  • July 2, 2012, 8:04 a.m. CST

    stalkeye, agreed. I'd go so far to say

    by P

    Spiderman 2 is the gold standard for post-superman superhero movies.

  • Because it was Sandman who killed Uncle Ben, right? And not the guy who Peter so selfishly lets get away. Which is just like in the comics, right? Right? If the robber doesn't kill Uncle Ben, it's not Peter's fault anymore. Now Spidey can go off and be a rich asshole celebrity with no remorse hanging over his head. Huzzah!

  • July 2, 2012, 9:23 a.m. CST


    by death metal batman

    I saw your equation, but just referenced RT to simplify my point. Which is I don't look to either to form my opinion of what I think is good. They're just tools, much like yourself.

  • July 2, 2012, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Wrong: mrekoletmelive

    by cookylamoo

    Watch the movie again. It's still the burglar who is responsible for Ben's death.

  • July 2, 2012, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Oh okay then.

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

    It's been so long that I forgot. So it's just the singing and dancing, and Venom, and hugging and crying at the end with Sandman that sucked.

  • July 2, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    "Watch the movie again." Never, you sick bastard!

    by MrEkoLetMeLive

  • July 2, 2012, 10:55 a.m. CST

    cookylamoo, mrekoletmelive was right the first time

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Sandman shoots uncle Ben in a panic when his partner (the robber) comes running towards the car. and yeah, mrekoletmelive, I agree, relieving Peter of that guilt in such a bullshit way.

  • Hmmm, that's kind of tricky when you think of the "Swagger Parker" Broadway Showtunesque dancing, Goblin Jr, phoned in Venom and worst.......The Fucking Butler who appears out of nowhere to let harry know that "Petey" did not kill his father. Fuck it as far as I'm concerned, it's a tie all around and that's why Spidey 3 was not for me.

  • Laughed as in how Harry's butler appeared practically out of nowhere to expliain that peter was not responsible for Norman's death. (Not to mention how unintentionally funny that scene was. Almost like a Scooby Doo mystery unraveling.) Laughed at why haven't this "Butler" mention this to Harry awhile ago which would have saved Harry from the anger and hatred toward Spiderman and not to mention, getting his face burned. And..... Laughed at how poorly it got Spidey "off the hook" only to hav esome ill conceived Spidey & Gobby team-up against Sandzilla and Topher Grace whose potrayal of venom came off more like Alice in Wonderland's chesshire the Cat. This guy who nitpicked about the Butler, wasn't the foist yanno.

  • Fucker tells Spidey he didn't mean to do it then blows off into the wind was another "crowning achievement on how silly this sequel has become. Another attempt at humanizing a Comic Villian, been there, done that. At least Brock was a prick to begin with but "Sympathy for the Sandman" was a major cop out IMO.

  • Maybe the Butler was scared of Harry. He was after all, nuts.

  • He's pretty much impossible to hold onto.

  • LMMFAO Now THAT would have been funny. And not to mention how Raimi-esque, considering the crazy shit that went on during his Evil Dead opus. But we did see a bit of raimi cutting loose during that scene in SPiderman 2, wheras Doc Ock being hospitalized awakens while inflicting carnage upon the Doctor and Surgery staff as they attempt to remove his Tenticles. Great stuff, indeed.

  • July 2, 2012, 3:20 p.m. CST

    Avi Arad: "We still dread this stupid site of yours."

    by MaliceHighload

    What a perfect quote.

  • July 2, 2012, 10:57 p.m. CST

    amazing stories

    by duke of url

    Mike Riva directed an episode that was OUTSTANDING!!! check it out... The Eternal Mind---(thank you internet)

  • Sure he had another story to tell. He basically followed the same storylines as the Superman movies, so the fourth movie would have naturally been about Nuclear-Spider-Man.

  • July 3, 2012, 11:09 p.m. CST

    The butler's revelation

    by tao_pilot

    My problem with the butler scene wasn't that he waited so long to tell Harry, but that Norman being impaled by his own glider was enough to let Spider-Man off the hook, as if there was no possible way Spider-Man could have snagged the glider and used it as a weapon, which ironically is exactly what happened to Harry later. I always wondered if Harry looked down right after getting impaled by Venom and thought "Oh, maybe Spider-Man did kill Dad after all..."

  • July 5, 2012, 7:04 a.m. CST


    by the artist formerly known as messi

    lol turns out you were wrong and Arad gets Spidey even less. The cunt is a cancer

  • July 5, 2012, 8:39 a.m. CST

    by the artist formerly known as messi

    "MT: Yeah. And she was rigorous about the written word and as Avi said, she had this unbelievable scribe living in her house [Sargent and Ziskin married in 2010, after living together for 25 years] who ended up collaborating with all of us on subsequent movies. So you had these two people working together--totally different people--but you knew as long as they were both there, something spectacular was going to happen." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Fucking insanity. These guys and Ziskin have/had no idea. Bunch of assholes