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The newest trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man has a tricky mission statement. It has to remind people why they love a character who has already toplined three mega-grossing films, while also establishing that the reboot will tell a distinctive story. Thus, the trailer leads with the most obvious new addition: Unlike the Sam Raimi trilogy, which opted to make Spidey's web-shooting an outgrowth of his radioactive spiderpowers, Amazing will reinstate the idea that Peter Parker invents the web-shooters. Unfortunately, this brings up the old real-world gripe: If Peter Parker can invent a super-strong elastic substance, why doesn't he sell it to the military-industrial complex and make billions of dollars? (He could be a philanthropist!)
Click here to watch the new Amazing Spider-Man trailer
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The trailer spends a lot of time with Denis Leary's Captain Stacy, a cop who doesn't think much of Spidey's vigilantism. In fact, I think it's fair to say that the Stacy character looks to essentially serve the J. Jonah Jameson role in Amazing: he's the thorn in Spider-Man's side, making the already-difficult task of fighting evil even more impossible. (Later in the trailer, Stacy puts out a warrant for Spider-Man's arrest. Shades of Dark Knight!)
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When you're considering Spider-Man's role in comics history, you have to remember something: He was funny. Co-creator Stan Lee invested the wall-crawler with a sense of humor that was mostly lacking in earlier superheroes. We get a little peek at Amazing's portrayal of Spidey's sense of humor when the hero teases a criminal: ''If you're gonna steal cars, don't dress like a car thief.''
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The original Spider-Man film began with Peter Parker in high school, but quickly sped through graduation into Peter's big-city adult life. Amazing will spend more time with the young Peter, as shown in this scene featuring a bully (Flash Thompson?).
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This is the rare piece of trailer hyperbole which might actually be a helpful clue about the movie's purpose. We already know that Amazing will feature the heretofore unfilmed story of Peter's missing parents. Now, it seems like Amazing will be, at least in part, the story of Peter learning about his own mysterious past. Maybe the better comparison here is to Batman Begins, which neatly tied the Caped Crusader's origin into an original story.
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Oscorp is one of those companies — like LexCorp or Massive Dynamic — which seems to mostly make its money off of evil science experiments. The fact that Peter's absent father apparently had something to do with Oscorp is an intriguing revelation, since the company belongs to future Green Goblin Norman Osborn. Could this be a possible tease for an Amazing sequel? Say, did you hear that Johnny Depp was in talks to play Norman Osborn? Just kidding, that's a fake Internet rumor that will become a genuine Internet rumor in ten minutes.
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The Amazing trailer features the first extended look at Amazing's Big Bad, the Lizard. Curt Connors actually appeared in Spider-Man 2 and 3 as Peter's university professor, but the version of the character we see in Amazing has much closer ties to the superhero. Apparently, Papa Parker actually worked with Connors: ''Your father and I were gonna change the lives of millions. Including mine.'' In the comics, Connors lost his arm in war, and injected himself with a serum that regrew the arm but also turned him into a giant homicidal reptile.
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People hate on the web-shooters, but what I always dug about them was that they added an intriguing limitation on Spidey's powers: He eventually ran out of webbing, typically right when he most needed it. This close-up seems to be of the web-shooters' ammo bar. I am intrigued!
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''I gotta stop him,'' Peter tells his lady love Gwen Stacy. ''I created him.'' This dialogue confirms that Amazing will put much more focus on Peter's scientific acumen — apparently, he'll be helping Dr. Connors create the serum that transforms him into the Lizard. In general, it seems like Amazing is working hard to put all the main characters in close orbit. Peter's father worked with Dr. Connors; Gwen apparently works as a lab assistant at Oscorp; Gwen's dad is hunting her boyfriend; Spider-Man creates his first enemy. If nothing else, the plot sounds a little bit neater than Spider-Man 3, which you'll recall featured evil black space goo that landed a few feet away from Spider-Man and became the movie's main villain.
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Now this is interesting. In a flashback to Peter's younger days, he sees a spider in a glass. Is it a figurine? An early Oscorp experiment? As far as I know, the idea that Spidey's parents left behind a spider-thing is a new addition — although feel free to tell me if I'm wrong. Again, this feels like a Batman-esque note — recall how Bruce Wayne was always obsessed with bats after a childhood fall into a pit. It's also rife with implications. (Could there be other Spider-Men?) Or does Aunt May just have a spider fixation? We'll have to wait till the summertime to find out.