EW.com reports on ''Buffy'''s spinoffs, ''Time Machine'' gadgets, and more
Tobey Maguire
Credit: Tobey Maguire: Bill Davila/Retna

Know a place where you can see previews of the upcoming movies ”Spider-Man” and ”The Time Machine,” talk to ”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” creator Joss Whedon, and buy your very own light saber? The Comic-Con International, held every year in San Diego, has exploded into a four-day festival of all things pop culture. Here are a few of this year’s highlights from the biggest comic-book convention in the country.

The big draw for nearly 2,000 fans was a peek at world-premiere footage from ”Spider-Man,” presented by director Sam Raimi. The clip — which Raimi said he hadn’t yet shown to distributor Sony Pictures — introduces the teenage trio Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), and Harry Osborne (James Franco) as they take a high school class trip to a genetic research lab. While dweeby Peter bores Harry with his knowledge of spiders, he’s actually trying to figure out a way to talk to Mary Jane. But Peter’s too slow: Harry turns right around and uses the same arachno-ledge to break the ice with MJ. Some friend!

As the tour moves on to the genetically altered spiders, MJ notices that one of the critters is missing (the tour guide says it is probably being experimented on, elsewhere in the lab). Peter, already the budding photographer, works up the nerve to ask MJ if he can take her picture in front of the spider cage. She obliges, then wanders off right before the errant spider drops from the ceiling and — we don’t think we’re giving anything away here — bites Peter on the hand. Fade to black.

Though Raimi is best known for the kinetic camerawork of films like ”The Evil Dead” and ”Darkman,” he says ”Spider-Man” — due in May 2002 — is NOT going to be wildly stylized, like Tim Burton’s ”Batman,” or even like his own earlier movies. He says he doesn’t want style to obscure the story. But Raimi devotees will be happy to know that fan favorites Bruce Campbell (”The Evil Dead”) and Ted Raimi (”Xena: Warrior Princess”) will both be making appearances in the film. Of Campbell, the director hinted that ”people enjoy his performance in films in relation to the amount of damage which he sustains.” Of younger brother Ted he would say only, ”My mother made me give him a part.”

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