Six months after Andrew Garfield was cast as Spider-Man in Sony’s reboot of the storied comic book franchise, the first official image of the 27-year-old as the web-slinging boy wonder has appeared online.
In the photo, Spider-Man — a.k.a. Peter Parker — strides forward in his red-and-blue suit. His hair seems wet from perspiration and a bloody scratch is etched across one cheek. He’s also carrying a backpack, underscoring Parker’s dueling ambitions of trying to be a normal kid with a normal life while at the same time assuming the great power and responsibility that comes with being a superhero.
The choice of this image as the first from the rebooted franchise is an intriguing one: This is a darker, grittier Spider-Man than we’re used to seeing. His suit is filthy and a bloody cheek appears to be just one of his wounds as this Spidey has got a lot weighing on his mind.
It is, then, a very human portrait of a boy who’s been transformed into a hero simply because of one fateful bite from a radioactive spider. In that way, it jibes with how Garfield has been talking about the character in the months since he won the role.
“I realized that even Peter Parker is trying to live up to that symbol of Spider-Man he’s created,” Garfield explained to MTV News in November, making a comparison between his apprehension about the role and his character’s superhero ambitions. “That’s what makes him so special: He’s undeniably human and going through the same struggles as everyone else. So you try to live up to that symbol and then you have to be OK not living up to it, because not even Peter Parker can do it.”
Directed by Marc Webb and co-starring Emma Stone as Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy , “Spider-Man” hits theaters on July 3, 2012.
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