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Thursday, June 28, 2012
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'The Amazing Spider-Man' -- Part I
This summer, the world's most famous wall-crawling superhero Spider-Man celebrates his 50th anniversary; so in more ways than one, the Marvel Comics creation is a pop-culture icon that sticks. That should be nothing but good news for the filmmaking team behind this summer's "The Amazing Spider-Man," but instead they view that history as part of their challenge — just like the towering shadow cast by the three previous Spider-Man films and the incredible US$3.5 billion (approximately NT$105 billion) they earned at the box office.

"Our movie — with this hero, at this time — has to be great, and we know we have to show people that we know what we're doing," said producer Matt Tolmach, who — like director Marc Webb — is making his first Spider-Man film. "But we're excited about that because we know what we've got."

Webb, Tolmach and veteran producer Avi Arad, whose name has appeared in the credits of two dozen films based on Marvel characters, hope that they can overcome the skepticism that has greeted this fourth Spider-Man movie since the January 2010 announcement that it would reboot the story and bring in new faces.

It wasn't that long ago that director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst were spinning the tales of the hero on the silver screen — the May 2007 opening weekend of "Spider-Man 3" set box office records with a massive US$381.7 million (approximately NT$11.5 billion) worldwide.

Indeed, Dunst herself is among those who wonder if it's too soon to hit the restart button. "They have a lot to live up to," Dunst said in late 2010. "They're going to tell the story from the beginning again but in a different way. But it wasn't that long ago that we told that story."

The new film retells the tale of Peter Parker, who, bitten by fate (and a scientifically altered spider), gets superpowers. But this version adds a back story about his dead parents and turns the romantic emphasis to Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane Watson. It also introduces the Lizard as the bad guy.

These are not the only differences in the reboot, however. The film is aiming for a darker tone, has fewer special effects and more street-level grit — all of which helped keep the budget lower than the enormous US$258 million (approximately NT$7.7 billion) Sony spent on "Spider-Man 3."

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