New ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ trailer exposes his secret past

Matt McDaniel
Movie Talk

You know that Peter Parker was raised by his Aunt May and his Uncle Ben, whose tragic death inspired him to use his great power to fight crime as Spider-Man.  But did you ever wonder why?  What happened to his parents?

It's a question that wasn't addressed in the first three big-screen "Spider-Man" films, but it's a major factor in this summer's new movie, "The Amazing Spider-Man."  In the just-released trailer, the mystery of his missing parents drives Peter Parker, played this time by Andrew Garfield ("The Social Network").  He says, "I never really knew my father... My parents left when I was very young."

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Peter's search for answers about his parents takes him to Oscorp -- the company founded by Norman Osborn (better known to Spidey fans as the villainous Green Goblin).  That is where his father Richard Parker (played by Campbell Scott) worked as a research scientist alongside Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans).  Having lost his arm, Connors is looking for a treatment that would allow him to regrow his limb.  Connors's experiment will end up turning him into The Lizard, a 9-foot-tall monster that terrorizes New York.

In another departure from the previous films, this story puts a particular on Peter's brilliance in the field of science.  We see him building his web-shooters -- in accordance to the original comics, they are mechanical inventions, not something that grows out of his arms.  But it does explode in his face, showing he still is working out the kinks.

The most intriguing part of this mystery comes in a flashback, where the young Peter watches his father erase his work from a blackboard.  Written on the board are the words "Delivery Agent: Arachnid Genome," and we see a preserved spider under glass.  Later, he is asked, "Do you think what happened to you, Peter, was an accident? Do you have any idea what you really are?"  It seems to be presenting the idea that the spider bite that gave Peter his superpowers was related to his father's research. Was it a coincidence that Peter was bitten, or was some greater plan at work?

For the record, in the comics Peter Parker's parents were killed in a plane crash when he was six years old.  In the books, Richard Parker was actually a secret agent who was recruited by Nick Fury.

[Related: 'Dark Knight Rises' trailer prompts speculation]

You'll find the truth about Peter's past when "The Amazing Spider-Man" hits theaters on July 3.

Watch more trailers from "The Amazing Spider-Man":

Theatrical Trailer Teaser Trailer