Andrew Garfield has come a long way since he was announced as "the new Spider-Man" almost four years ago ... and he just keeps on going.
Or, rather, swinging, wallcrawling, webslinging and all those other cool Spider-Man kind of actions.
Garfield — and what he's brought to the role of Peter Parker — is the subject of this behind-the-scenes featurette on "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," director Marc Webb's highly anticipated follow-up to 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man." Now that this new series' take on the all-too-familiar origin story is out of the way, Webb, Garfield and the rest of the "Spider-Man" cast and crew can take this new narrative arc — and its central superhero — to some more unique and unexplored territory.
The featurette begins with Garfield himself admitting that when he first found out that he had been chosen for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in July 2010, it was "overwhelming ... it was everything I ever dreamed of as a kid." The young actor took that youthful fanboy enthusiasm to San Diego Comic-Con a year later, where he made his now-legendary appearance in a makeshift Spider-Man costume at the "Amazing Spider-Man" panel — not as participant on stage, but "as a fan" in the audience.
Garfield made something of a variation on his crowd-pleasing 2011 stunt at Comic-Con in 2013, where he actually participated in the "Amazing Spider-Man 2" panel ... in character as Spider-Man, complete with a decidedly upgraded costume.
Andrew Garfield was one of many contenders for the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, with other hopeful wallcrawlers including Jamie Bell, Alden Ehrenreich, Frank Dillane, Josh Hutcherson, Aaron Johnson, and Anton Yelchin. It wasn't any sort of super-heroism demonstrated during the audition process that got director Marc Webb's spider-sense tingling about Garfield, though.
"We were doing a scene that's not in the movie, where he was eating a cheeseburger and telling Gwen to like calm down or to ... trying to put her at ease, while he is eating food," said Webb in an April 2012 interview with Yahoo Movies. "And the way he ate this food — it was such a dumb task — such a dumb independent activity that you give to an actor to do, and he did it. [Laughs] I just felt like we were in a diner. We were in the back of the soundstage and I felt like there's something in the way he embodied and committed to that really tiny minutia — I just hadn't seen before. I can't explain exactly what I felt like it worked, but that was it."
Besides his eating skills, Webb was also taken with Garfield's sense of gravitas ... and his sense of humor.
"There was this humor that he had and that he can do, and there was this emotional weight that he can do, but there's also a physical capability that he can do," said Webb. "There was something just compelling about his behavior, his physical behaviors that I thought people would really react to. I think that there's the language of the script, which is words, often in dialogues. And then there's the behavior that those words have to emerge from. And he's a master of understanding of what's going on underneath the surface."
Garfield is now taking all those qualities to his second cinematic adventure as Spider-Man, with the featurette demonstrating the actor's knack for physical comedy (some of Peter Parker's moves and pratfalls are downright Chaplin-esque) ... and physical exertion, as he performs a lot of the crazy stunts himself.
Garfield seems to take such challenges as all part of playing this internationally recognized and beloved character, which has won the admiration of longtime Spidey producer and Marvel bigwig Avi Arad.
"Very few people would be willing to sit in this corner looking over the world and saying, 'I want to feel this,'" says Arad in regards to a stunt in which Garfield is perched on the top of a very high building. "'Because if I can feel it, I can make you believe I'm sitting in a place no one else can.''
Take us there, Spidey!
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2"opens May 2.