With five Spider-Man films already ingrained within the public consciousness, it is wonderful that Spider-Man: Homecoming was able to distinguish itself from what both the Sam Raimi trilogy and the Marc Webb films presented to audiences. It also helps that we had a much younger actor in Tom Holland to bring a believable youthfulness to the character we have yet to see on the big screen.
One of the many aspects within Homecoming that have set it apart from the previous flicks is the swinging sequences. We have seen both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield swing around the skyscrapers of New York City, and both iterations of the character have exhibited swinging as a euphoric experience for Peter and the audience.
However, Homecoming explores swinging in a different route. In one of the funniest scenes in the film, we see Peter sneak out of Liz’s (Laura Harrier) party in his Spidey-suit after he witnesses some commotion nearby. As he escapes, we see him attempt to shoot his webs – only to notice that without any proper sources of support, swinging is pointless. Thus, he must sprint his way to his destination.
In one of the most fascinating exhibitions of Spidey’s swinging, we see him utilize this power during the film’s set-piece on the Staten Island Ferry. Because the Vulture (Michael Keaton) split the boat into two, Spidey must use his webs to build the proper support it needs before both sides sink.
The Staten Island Ferry sequence is one of the most action-packed moments of the film, and director Jon Watts used the scene as a nice alternative to the traditional skyscraper swinging seen in previous films.
Cartoon Brew had the opportunity to speak to the previs team from The Third Floor as well as the VFX crew from Digital Domain to discuss bringing this sequence to life. Third Floor previs supervisor Javier Lopez-Duprey explained the difficulty of this aspect of bringing the scene to life:
“It was tough at first to try to keep the ferry splitting within the small sliver of practical set we had, which was around the front 1/5th of the ship, but we managed to get some great angles by looking up at the ceiling or down towards the floor. Of course, this was all balanced out by wider, more expansive shots of the ferry coming apart. We kept all previs camera work as realistic and grounded as we could, only deviating for a few iconic Spider-Man moments.”
Meanwhile, Digital Domain animation supervisor Jan Phillip Cramer discussed their approach to animating this new version of Spidey for the film:
“They wanted to show he’s just a young kid and he’s new to it. So when he’s shooting a web and starting to swing, we would animate it so he’s not easily absorbing that and not doing it elegantly.”
Cramer also praised Holland’s capabilities to perform some of the stunts for the film:
“This kid is unreal. I can’t believe they found a Spider-Man who is Spider-Man outside of the job. On YouTube you can see he does parkour and there are lots of crazy videos doing what he does in the film. So we wanted to take advantage of that, both on the live-action side and in mocap.”
Spider-Man is one of those superheroes whose cinematic adventures require some of the most dedicated artists to bring his action to life. Thankfully, Homecoming exhibited the webhead that generations know and love in ways that is both true to the spirit of the character as well as something fresh and new for audiences who may have grown tired after two previous incarnations.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is in theaters now.
Source: Cartoon Brew