Spider-Man swings into Tokyo for "Amazing" premiere
By Chris Gallagher and Elaine Lies
TOKYO (Reuters) - Andrew Garfield and the stars of "The Amazing Spider-Man" swung into Tokyo on Wednesday, bringing the comic book crime-fighter back to the big screen in the world premiere of one of the summer's most anticipated movies.
Fans swarmed around the red carpet in Tokyo's posh Roppongi Hills area for a glimpse of Garfield, co-star Emma Stone and other cast members as a stuntman dressed as Spider-Man swung over the crowd, then scaled a wall into a large "web."
Garfield, who plays Peter Parker said the role had appealed for many reasons.
"Spider-Man has always been the only teenage superhero, and the most human one in my humble opinion, and that's just one of the things that sets him apart," he told Reuters.
"He's all too human, that's what's wonderful about him."
The Amazing Spider-Man, which opens on limited release in Japan on June 23 and hits North American theaters on July 3, reboots the franchise that started in 2002 with Tobey Maguire in the lead role.
Now it is Garfield, 28, who dons Spider-Man's famous red-and-blue suit in a story that explores the origins of teenager Peter Parker and how he became a superhero.
Stone, who portrays Gwen Stacy, Parker's first love interest and has been linked romantically with Garfield off-screen, said the change offered fresh perspective on the tale.
"New love interest, the story of Peter's life, there's a lot of stuff to learn about Peter Parker," said Stone, 23, who wore a burgundy dress.
"He's a real underdog, and he's bullied, and I think everyone can relate ... He's an incredibly inspirational character."
Among the changes was the use of 3D, made possible due to recent advances in technology, said producer Matt Tolmach at a news conference earlier in the day.
"In so many ways, what's magical about Spider-Man is that we all identify with this character - he's all of us, he's everyman. So what would it feel like if you could experience flight, and sailing through the city, what it feels like to swing on a web through New York?" he said.
"It was very, very clear to all of us that this is a movie that was meant to be told in 3D. 3D is a form of storytelling, not just a way to sell the movie to audiences."
Japan has proved to be a strong draw for the Spider-Man movies. It was the top overseas market for the first two movies, according to Box Office Mojo, and Spider-Man 3 premiered in Tokyo in 2007.
"I came to see Emma, she's gorgeous," said Keita Fukushima, 23, who said he was interested in seeing the new Gwen Stacy role. Mary Jane Watson had been Parker's girlfriend in the other movies.
But eight-year-old Yu Suguro, who wore a red Spider-Man costume, was there for his hero. "I love Spider-Man," he said.
Though Garfield said at the news conference that being named Spider-Man gave him "the purest joy you could ever feel," he added that the role was not without difficulties.
"When I put on the suit, I got very itchy and uncomfortable, and it took me a long time to go to the restroom."
(Reporting by Elaine Lies and Chris Gallagher; editing by)