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Search for dad sets Spidey on superhero course

It's not just a random mutant spider bite that sets Hollywood's new Peter Parker on the superhero career track.
/ Source: The Associated Press

It's not just a random mutant spider bite that sets Hollywood's new Peter Parker on the superhero career track.

From the trailer of "The Amazing Spider-Man" and footage previewed Friday at the Comic-Con fan convention, it's clear that something dark and deep is at the heart of Peter's fateful encounter with that spider. He may even be a Spider-Man of destiny.

The footage offers glimpses of the orphan boy's natural father (Campbell Scott), a man shrouded in a mystery that Peter (Andrew Garfield) needs to unravel as a youth.

Garfield, co-star Emma Stone and director Marc Webb would not divulge details, but they did acknowledge that a personal quest puts Peter on a collision course with the spider whose bite imparts superpowers.

"I love the idea of destiny having a hand in Peter Parker's fortune, and not just being a slip and a fall," Garfield said in an interview. "I love the idea of him being meant to assume this symbol."

Due in theaters in July 2012, "The Amazing Spider-Man" maintains the classic Parker family structure of the Marvel Comics and the three previous big-screen blockbusters that starred Tobey Maguire as Peter. Garfield's Peter is raised by his upright Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and loving Aunt May (Sally Field).

In Maguire's version, a school field trip took Peter to the lab where that spider gave him the momentous nip. In the new film, Peter's on a mission when fate strikes.

"There's a lot that leads him to that spider bite in this one," Stone said. "It's not just a school field trip. He snuck in there for some reason."

The film just finished shooting a few weeks ago, but Sony Pictures showed some significant portions of footage setting up Peter's transformation into the web-slinging hero, along with the mutation of a one-armed scientist (Rhys Ifans) into a hulking green villain known as the Lizard.

Though Scott as Peter's father appears only briefly, the footage indicates that his character is pivotal to the fortunes of his son.

"It's about a kid who goes out looking for his father, and he finds himself," Webb said. "I don't want to get too specific beyond that, but that's certainly a big part of what the story's about, my angle on the Peter Parker character. The fact that he's sort of an orphan, I think that's something really interesting to explore."