For the most part, the trailer released this morning for the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man is exactly what you’d expect. Spider-Man (as played by the only guy in that Facebook movie you didn’t want to punch) cracks wise to armed thugs, swings through the streets of New York City and is a fugitive, being hunted by police captain Dennis Leary. Also, there’s a giant lizard man, a pretty love interest and menacing corporate entities.
This is all pretty typical for any Spider-Man adventure. The new bit here, based on this trailer at least, is that Spidey seems more motivated by his mysterious parents than the death of his Uncle Ben.
Which is fine, by the way. There have been many quality comics focused on Spider-Man’s quest to figure out what happened to his mom and dad, but it seems odd how nowhere in the trailer is the death of Uncle Ben mentioned. We don’t need an entirely new origin story, but we’re now a bit worried that Spidey’s uncle lives a long and happy life in this film. Which would be terrible!
Let’s put it this way: Peter Parker, as a teenager, is shocked into action as Spider-Man by the death of his uncle, the man who has raised him from childhood. If Ben never dies, then why wouldn’t Peter continue life as a somewhat selfish kid, earning cash on the side with his biologically improbably spider powers? That’s what he’s doing at the very moment of Ben’s death, so it only seems likely that it would continue.
“But maybe the film substitutes his parents disappearance for his uncle’s death!” you shout. Perhaps, but if Spidey’s mom and dad disappeared when he was just a little kid, then that wouldn’t really have the necessary impact to motivate him into a life of crime-fighting, would it? Or, if they stayed in his life until he was a teenager — which would provide the necessary dramatic impact — then why is Uncle Ben in the movie at all? They cast Martin Sheen, so you have to assume the character has some kind of meaningful existence.
Of course, this is all just speculation based on this single trailer. Sony could very well release a new trailer tomorrow that is a 1:30 montage of Uncle Ben being shot from various angles and in slow-motion. Morbid though it may be, we’ve kinda got our fingers crossed for that possibility. Spider-Man just isn’t Spider-Man without a dead uncle.