What will the new Spider-Man film look like?

There have been lots of rumors over the last few months regarding the plot and characters of the new Spider-Man film.

No more speculation is necessary, as Sony recently sent out a long-form synopsis of the film, which obviously answers many plot questions.

There are quite a few alterations in the basic origin story, at least in terms of what was presented in the previous trilogy, including a change in the romantic interest.

The tone seems a little darker, and perhaps a bit more mature than the previous incarnation, which is appropriate, though Spider-Man is known for his occasionally dumb banter and cringe-worthy wordplay, so it would be a shame if that completely disappeared. 

Another point to note is the lack of mention of any secondary villain here, which seems remiss. The casting lists appears to be missing this role as well, unless they intend for Flash Thompson (the highschool bully) or Captain Stacy (the astronaut) to fill this role, which would be strange, since they’re more like rivals than villains, and definitely not monsters. Perhaps director Marc Webb, untested in the super hero genre didn’t feel that this film needed another monster.

The real question for me, however, is: what will the film look like?

In a movie like this, the plot is almost secondary. I know Spider-Man. We all know Spider-Man. As long as it’s not campy or dumb, the plot will be adequate, and I’m not expecting anything grand.

A few production photos have come across my desk in the last few months, none of them any more informative than the one before. They’re mostly just Andrew Garfield in costume. Missing from these photos is any depiction of The Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans, other than some concept art.

I’m hoping this means there are no photos to be shown. I haven’t seen any details about the way the villain has been created for the film, but if they use modern facial mo-cap techniques, like was used in the recent Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it could be a really incredible villain. 

Then again, if it just turns out to be yet another dumb-looking rubber mask, it would probably be a major disappointment. I’m not saying the film’s quality hinges on the effects used for this one character, but I know which effects I would prefer to watch.

There would have been a time, only a few years ago, when I would have cringed to find much CGI characterization in a film, but with recent advances, I think a film can be much improved with the replacement of actors by computers, particularly in action heavy, costume heavy scenes. 

Even thinking about the scenes in which Spider-Man will be soaring around on webs: the background will be CGI, the explosions will be CGI, the bullets will be CGI, and the monsters will likely be CGI, so why bother filming an actual actor in a costume? Just do him CGI also, the technology is there, and – no offense to all the great stunt performers out there – it looks better than reality.

Interestingly enough, the fact that this film was shot in 3D, with real 3D cameras, hasn’t really been touted. Still, this makes a world of difference for me, as I try to avoid 3D films which have ‘fake’ post-production 3D. They give me a headache, and look like cardboard puppet-shows.

When I watch Spider-Man, I’ll be sporting my new goggles, for sure. The Amazing Spider-Man is scheduled to hit theaters on July 3, 2012.