Look out, New York City -- there's a new wall-crawler in town.
We have to admit, we were pretty skeptical when it was first announced that, instead of going forward with "Spider-Man 4" with director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire, Sony was going to completely reboot the franchise with a brand-new director and cast. We agreed that dumping plans for "Spider-Man 4" was a good idea ("Spider-Man 3" was a bit of a mess, and Maguire certainly isn't getting any younger), but as it hasn't even been ten years since Raimi unveiled his first "Spider-Man," was it really already time to start from scratch?
Our skepticism continued as the talent for the new project -- called, rather inevitably, "The Amazing Spider-Man" -- was assembled. Andrew Garfield is great, but if you're going to concentrate on a high-school-aged Peter Parker, why would you cast an actor who's pushing 30? And can you really not include Mary Jane Watson and J. Jonah Jameson in a Spidey story? And sure, Marc Webb can direct Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel being cute and all in "(500) Days of Summer," but can he direct a big tentpole action movie that's designed to give a shot of adrenaline to one of the most lucrative film franchises ever?
The film's teaser trailer, released last summer, was rather brilliantly designed to not answer any of our questions. What it did give were brief glimpses of what promised to be a darker, more brooding Spidey, which some detractors claimed made the whole thing comeacross more as a comic-book variation on "Twilight" than a "Spider-Man" movie. We were intrigued and pleased by the teaser, especially by the film's unique visual approach (it doesn't look anything like Raimi's films, even if the story covers familiar ground), but we still weren't thrilled about the movie quite yet.
Now, with the release of the official trailer, we most definitely are.
Webb's take on the legend of one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time looks to bring a complexity and maturity to the story of a young man who gains extraordinary powers -- and whose life is destined to be wrought with tragedy. The new trailer brings a genuine sense of awe and mystery to the character and his epic journey, with emphasis put on the themes of family, loyalty and responsibility as he takes the long, hard road to becoming a superhero. It just feels big, like "The Dark Knight" big.
Plus, it features Spider-Man swinging around New York City, cracking wise and kicking ass, reminding us that there's also a lot of fun to be had in the story of a kid who gets bitten by a radioactive spider (or whatever new variation thereof) and can suddenly do spider-stuff.
(And, for the record, yes, there are a few quick glimpses of the Lizard, who looks to be quite the formidable foe indeed.)
Check out the applause-inspiring trailer below, courtesy of YouTube. "The Amazing Spider-Man" swings into theaters on July 3.