No, that’s not a mistake in the headline. During the WonderCon panel for The Amazing Spider-Man, Emma Stone revealed that, prior to the film’s script being written and Gwen Stacy being made the central love interest in Sony’s Spidey reboot, she was originally brought in to meet to play Mary Jane (originally played by Kirsten Dunst in Sam Raimi’s trilogy).

Find out what else we learned from the panel below!

Though the eight minutes of rough footage that Sony previewed has already been covered on the site, director Marc Webb, producer Matthew Tolmach and the aforementioned Emma Stone were in attendance to help put what we’ve seen from the film thus far into a more meaningful context.

A major priority for Marc Webb was to
“create a world that feels emotionally and physically grounded”. Even though CGI is important in that it helps create a sense of awe and splendor, it was important to Webb that the world start practically before evolving into that. And at the core of this grounded world is Peter Parker.

This time around, instead of relying on the death of Uncle Ben to motivate Parker’s transformation into Spider-Man, the emphasis has been placed on his growing up without parents. Being abandoned at the age of seven has made the young web-slinger sour, resulting in a more aggressive, sarcastic Peter Parker. Webb claims to have taken ownership of Parker’s “quippy, trickster” attitude from the comic.

The complexities of the character can also be felt in other ways, such as his relationship with Gwen Stacy, which will consist of far more than a few cute moments of what Tolmach referred to as “organic awkwardness” (something we got a taste of during a scene where Parker asks out Gwen in a school hallway). Emma Stone notes that their story together always has “tragedy that’s looming under the surface”, with her character already struggling to deal with the death that surrounds her. This plays into the conflicted relationship Parker has with her father, a police captain (played by Denis Leary) who opposes Spider-Man. Stone observed how, despite her being trying to escape the life of her father, she’s still drawn to Peter, someone who is in many ways identical to her father.

Webb also commented on Parker’s “adversarial relationship” with the police, teasing that the film would confront the “philosphical difference” that divides them.

You can look forward to seeing all that when The Amazing Spider-Man is released on July 3.

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