How Andrew Garfield (and Spider-Man) punked the Comic-Con crowd

Spider-man punks us allBy Don Kaye, via

The new Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, didn’t come out for the movie’s Comic-Con presentation in the usual way. He showed up in costume!

Well, not quite. But as the moderator was about to introduce the cast of The Amazing Spider-Man after the teaser trailer unspooled on the screen in 3-D, a frantic “fan” in a homemade Spidey costume came up to the mic where audience members usually line up to ask questions and started babbling about how excited he was to be there. Then he whipped off his mask—and it was Garfield himself!

But the young British actor wasn’t finished yet. Still at the audience mic, he made a heartfelt and even moving speech about what Spider-Man has meant to him ever since he was little kid: “Peter Parker has inspired me to be stronger. He inspired Andrew, me, to be braver,” adding, “Spider-Man saved my life. I owe webhead a lot.”

After saying, “I’m humbled to be here,” Garfield concluded by thanking the thousands of cheering fans in the hall for “the coolest day of my life.”

He then jumped onstage to join director Marc Webb, producer Avi Arad and fellow cast members Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) and Rhys Ifans (Dr. Curt Connors) for the rest of the panel, which unveiled even more never-before-seen footage from the summer 2012 reboot of the Spidey franchise.

In addition to seeing Peter awkwardly ask Gwen on a date, we observed him get roughed up by Flash Thompson, interact with his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field) and work on inventing and perfecting his mechanical webshooters. There was plenty of wallcrawling footage leading to shots of him in full costume swinging over the streets of New York, and even a short scene where Garfield smacks down a thief and unleashes the kind of barrage of quips that are the comic-book Peter’s trademark.

Some of the darker footage had Spider-Man on the run from the cops, with Gwen’s dad Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) launching an all-out manhunt for him. But the biggest surprise was a series of scenes revealing the transformation of Curt Connors into the fearsome Lizard for the long-awaited arrival of one of Spidey’s oldest and deadliest foes.

Not exactly an overgrown reptile in a white lab coat anymore (not that we don’t love that version of him), the new Lizard is still big, green, scaly, bulging with muscles and with a slightly more humanoid snout than his print incarnation—a truly mutated, freakish monster.

How Spidey and the Lizard ultimately clash has yet to be revealed, but there are still more surprises in store for us before The Amazing Spider-Man opens next year. But if the response in Hall H was any indication, fans are already sold on Garfield taking over the role from Tobey Maguire.

The actor said that he hesitated for a month before accepting the part, adding, “To assume the responsibility of this was a weight that I didn’t quite understand until I stepped into the suit.”

It’s all yours now, kiddo—don’t let us down!

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