Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT -

“We’ve been pretty open about the fact that we tried back in the day to make an­other in­stal­ment of the Raimi/Tobey movies,” says co-pro­ducer Matt Tol­mach. “Sam was the first one to fi­nally say, ‘My story has been told. My ver­sion, my tril­ogy has run its course, but some­one else should tell the story.’

“I think the power of this char­ac­ter is he be­longs to every­body and there’s so many dif­fer­ent ways to in­ter­pret him and he’s so rel­e­vant for dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions.”

The pro­duc­ers and Webb de­cided to re­turn to the ori­gin story to estab­lish Garfield as the new Spi­der-Man with a new girl­friend and to ex­plore the mys­tery of what happened to his par­ents.

“Spi­der-Man is a peren­nial char­ac­ter,” Webb says. “It’s not like Harry Pot­ter that has a closed canon. There’s a 50-year canon of Spi­der-Man comics; there’s a lot of sto­ries to tell from that.”

Garfield, a long­time fan of the su­per­hero, ad­mit­ted be­ing more than a lit­tle ner­vous to pull on the Span­dex suit.

“I (was) ter­ri­fied to take on this role be­cause it means so much to me so I know how much it means to other peo­ple,” he said. “I ded­i­cated my­self to it, re­ally, I did.

“It’s a weird thing: we all have that one fic­tional char­ac­ter at least that we care about so, so much and if ever that op­por­tu­nity came along for any of us to play it, serve it, to do it jus­tice, when that mo­ment comes you go, ‘Oh my God. I’m not al­lowed to sleep; I’m not al­lowed to think about anything else. I need to ded­i­cate ev­ery­thing to this per­son that’s given me so much in my life I want to give all of my­self to it.’”

Stone, 23, ad­mits she had no sense of Spidey prior to be­ing cast, but af­ter learn­ing about Stacy (who dies in the comics) she was at­tracted to the char­ac­ter and the whole world of Spi­derMan.

“He’s the only teenage su­per­hero, which is ma­jor be­cause a lot of times when peo­ple start read­ing comic books you are a kid or a teenager, so he’s the most iden­ti­fi­able in­stantly,” she says. “You can re­late to him.

“Not to men­tion he’s bul­lied, which is huge for a girl or boy. I think ev­ery­one has ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing along those lines.”

As for Stacy, Stone says her look was copied from the comics — the sig­na­ture head­band, thigh-high boots, stylish coats, hair and makeup — but notes the char­ac­ter was drawn to be more “volup­tuous” than Stone is.

“I’m by no means a su­per­model or an unattain­able-look­ing per­son so that ele­ment of Gwen was a bit dif­fer­ent in some ways, be­cause she was such a beauty queen in the comic books and I’m more of a (girl) next door,” she says.

Spi­der-Man’s cold-blooded en­emy, the Lizard, was cre­ated through a com­bi­na­tion of com­put­er­ized ef­fects and good-old fash­ioned makeup for the tran­si­tional shots when Dr. Con­nors was mor­ph­ing into the Lizard and vice-versa.

Ifans sat in the makeup chair for up to eight hours at a time while four makeup artists ap­plied sil­i­cone pieces and painted in­di­vid­ual scales, he re­calls.

“Af­ter seven hours in a chair with not more than enough cig­a­rettes, I was kind of in the right men­tal state to play a man about to trans­form into a nine-foot lizard with a dan­ger­ous tail,” he says.

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