This past weekend, ComingSoon.net’s Superhero Hype! was invited to a screening of selected Spider-Man 3 footage (watch the clip now online!) on the Sony lot with a small handful of other journalists. In attendance were director Sam Raimi and Marvel producer Avi Arad.
Raimi did a quick introduction of the clips, saying we would be seeing “a scene-let.” Raimi, wearing his trademark suit and tie, was upbeat and as gregarious as we have all come to know him. He seemed very excited to show the footage and noted that some of the crew and FX people were also seeing it for the first time. “I really wanted you all to see this on the big screen, and it’s a collection of selected scenes, not an entire scene a scene-let, just to give a flavor (of the film).”
Raimi sat down a row behind me and the lights dimmed
The ‘scene-let’ opens with Peter and MJ laying in a web in Central Park, Peter professes his love for MJ, we then move into Aunt May’s apartment where she recounts the touching story of how Uncle Ben proposed to her 50 years ago and then gives Peter the engagement ring, that Ben gave her all those years ago, to give to Mary Jane. We then find Peter with a huge smile on his face jetting down the street on his scooter, presumably heading to propose to MJ, when suddenly he’s ripped from the scooter and into the air by Harry on a flying hover board, Harry has obviously dipped into his father’s medicine chest. The two old friends do a battle royal over the skies of New York.
The CGI work here is almost flawless and the camera twists and turns with Harry and Peter. Peter fires off a few web-balls in rapid succession, which I am sure will delight many web-head fans. This fight is brutal. Harry is on a mission to destroy Peter, and Peter in street clothes does his best to avoid a barrage of New Goblin weapons and uses his superior strength and fighting skills to stay one-step ahead of Harry all the while maintaining his grip on the precious engagement ring. The action in this sequence is very intense and the blind hate Harry has for Peter is his ultimate undoing as Peter sends Harry crashing to the ground unconscious.
For me what makes this scene so powerful was not the exciting fight and special effects, but the aftermath. Harry lies lifeless on the ground and Peter, completely understanding the anger in his friends heart (after all, they were friends once and Peter knows all to well the dark-side of revenge), rushes to Harry’s side and tries to revive him. Powerful stuff!
We are then treated to a collection of shots from the film, many we have seen and lots of new footage that has never been seen. Sandman, Spidey in the black suit, Spidey and MJ swinging on webs and a final parting tease of Venom!
When it was over, we were asked if we wanted to see it again YES PLEASE!
We were shown 7 ½ minutes of footage and that 7 ½ minutes looked amazing. We were cautioned that some of the effects shots and music score were temporary, but you could not tell it all looked amazing!
Avi Arad then stepped up and he answered a few questions, not really shedding any new light or secrets about Spidey 3. He did say that the production team has surpassed “Spider-Man” 1 & 2, that the effects help to tell the story and that Peter is tested – he’s beaten harder, he’s testing every bone that he has.
When asked to address the rumor that in 3, Peter discovers that Sandman is responsible for Uncle Ben’s death and how this revelation alters Peter’s motivation, Arad said, “In 1 & 2 it defines Pete, not stopping the robber, that mistake defines his life, and he then takes the law into his own hands. Sandman now makes it more fascinating. Peter must now face the dark side that comes from those issues. All the bad guys are connected to Peter Parker and MJ.”
When asked if there will be more “Spider-Man” movies, Arad simply said, “Peter Parker’s story will continue forever, this is just number three.”