It’s been ten years since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man dominated the summer of 2002. I remember nothing but absolute adoration for the film, but looking back at the trailer for that film, it’s hard to escape how much it looks like a 90s movie.
In the interim, Christopher Nolan really did change the shape and energy of superhero films, and it’s never more apparent in the differences between Raimi’s Spider-Man and the final trailer for Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man.
I’m not super-excited about Webb’s film, and I hardly see the need for a reboot so soon after the original — in fact, I made the joke yesterday that the twist in Marc Webb’s film is that, halfway through the film, the entire movie will be recast and start again from the beginning. But it’s clear that — while both are origins stories — the shift in superhero movies from sort of cheesy action heroes with costumes to more emotionally complex humans burdened with the responsibility of superhero-dom makes the two distinctly different films, in tone at least. Their palates are different: Raimi’s was bright red and blues, while Webb’s is stark red and blues contrasted against dark backgrounds. You can also see how far special effects work has come in just the last decade.
It’s an interesting contrast — not enough to merit a reboot so soon — but enough to show that two origins films involving the same character can be decidedly different.