2012 marks the 50th anniversary of Spider-Man. The classic Marvel comic book character made his debut in 1962 in Issue #15 of the anthology series Amazing Fantasy (August 1962). Amazing Fantasy ended with this issue and Spider-Man’s adventures continued in a new series, The Amazing Spider-Man, beginning in 1963.
Andrew Garfield is a lifelong fan of Spider-Man – he remembers an old snapshot of himself, at age 3, dressed as Spider-Man for Halloween.
Emma Stone portrays Gwen Stacy, a key character in Spider-Man lore and Peter Parker’s first love. Gwen Stacy made her first appearance in December 1965 The Amazing Spider-Man #31.
• The Amazing Spider-Man employed over 1,000 people. The film’s sets occupied seven stages at Sony Studios’ Culver City lot.
• Andrew Garfield worked with personal trainer Armando Alarcon six days a week for six months to prepare for the role of Spider-Man. Garfield also worked with stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong and his team, doing trampoline work, power core moves, basketball skills, martial arts, gymnastic, and parkour work, as well as skateboard skills.
• Andy Armstrong and his stunt team maintained a training camp in a warehouse near Sony Pictures Studios, where Andrew Garfield worked with top instructors in each of several disciplines. The warehouse featured several elements of buildings, walls and other environments from the film, which the team used to recreate, rehearse and perfect the action sequences.
• Costume designer Kym Barrett collaborated with director Marc Webb to realize his vision for Spider-Man’s suit to reflect a more lean and athletic, less muscular silhouette. For inspiration, Barrett imagined what would happen if a spider web was being blown by the wind and wrapped itself around the body.
• Costume designer Kym Barrett studied the lightweight, stretchy materials used by Winter Olympics athletes and bicycle racers, among other fabrics, in order to create a Spider-Man suit which allowed for the special acrobatics Spider-Man employs as he swings though Manhattan.
• 56 Spider-Man suits were created for the film, including 17 suits for Andrew Garfield and multiples for each stunt person. The suits varied from pristine condition to various stages of distress, as dictated by the story.
• Costume designer Barrett utilized printing techniques incorporating shadows in the suit’s fabric, which enhanced the 3-D nature of the print and gave the person wearing the suit depth and density.
• It took Andrew Garfield 20 minutes, assisted by costumer Robert Moore, to put on the Spider-Man suit for shooting.
• The lenses for Spider-Man’s mask are custom made, with a blue-tinted optical lens and a gold hexagon mirrored pattern printed on top. They are also coated to reduce reflection.
• 100 sets of lenses were on hand in the costume department to use in the Spider-Man suits, featuring variegated tints for nighttime and daytime.
• The Lizard, one of the most formidable of Spider-Man’s foes, made his first appearance in 1963 in Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #6.
• In order to portray the role of the one-armed Dr. Curt Connors, Rhys Ifans learned to complete various tasks with one arm tied behind his back. He became quite skilled at tying a tie, making coffee and many other tasks using only his free arm.
• Gwen Stacy serves as Dr. Connors’ lead intern at OsCorp, so Emma Stone went on lab field trips along with Rhys Ifans. The two actors spent one trip observing scientific research on axolotl regeneration. Axolotls, a type of salamander, are famous for their ability to re-grow limbs and even portions of the brain and spine.
• The OsCorp Lab set, one of the largest sets built for the film, took over three months to build. Constructed on Sony’s Stage 30 in Culver City, CA, its massive footprint occupied over 14,000 square feet of stage floor.
• The ceiling of the OsCorp Lab hallway is actually egg crate soundproofing foam. A three-man team spent three weeks custom cutting, gluing and fireproofing the 3,000 square foot ceiling.
• The reptile skeletons and other macabre accessories seen in Connors’ OsCorp Lab offices come from two aptly named Los Angeles shops: Necromance and Dapper Cadaver.
• The “mice” seen in the OsCorp Lab are actually catted toys. There are approximately 200 of them, and crew members had to remove the ears of each mouse, which were a very un-lifelike fluorescent pink!
• In Peter Parker’s father’s study, created for flashback scenes, Dr. Parker’s passion for jazz is represented by a collection of jazz CDs and a framed photograph of Duke Ellington, which hangs on the study wall. The same Ellington image can be seen as a postcard on the bulletin board of Peter’s bedroom years later, a symbol of his memories of his father.
• Much of the children’s artwork that appears in the film was created by Jaden Tell, the seven-year-old daughter of two set decoration buyers for the film.
• Interiors of Midtown Science High School were constructed on Sony Studios’ Stage 15. The stage housed four classrooms, five hallways, a restroom, a principal’s office, and the secretary’s office. The chemistry class was constructed of breakaway materials, to accommodate several fight sequences. Over 400 pieces of breakaway glass flasks, cylinders and beakers were acquired for this classroom alone.
• The high school library, the site of a fierce and destructive battle, required a separate stage and was comprised of almost 3,000 feet of faux books, constructed of real book covers with recyclable styrofoam inserts.
• In Captain Stacy’s office at the Police Precinct, a certificate of commendation from The Leary Firefighters Foundation hangs on the wall. This real-life organization was established in 2000 by actor Denis Leary in response to a tragic fire that claimed the lives of six firefighters, including Leary’s cousin and a childhood friend.