Did Marvel Comic legend Stan Lee help write or contribute any advice to the making of Spider-Man? ^ Stan wasn’t involved in the writing of this particular piece. However, everything is based on the 40 years of Stan Lee comic books that he wrote along with many other great Marvel writers. A lot of the contributions of those comic books also came from the artists. There is no question he was integral to this picture and it’s his character. But what really happened was James Cameron did the treatment, David Koepp did a draft based on that and then we dramatically changed that draft — swapping off storylines, characters and villains. But two or more of Cameron’s ideas stayed and Koepp did a number of drafts. A lot of ideas came from the visual effect department I worked with, my storyboard artists, myself, my producers, the actors — everyone contributed. Then Alvin Sargent did some writing on the picture — and he helped me out quite a bit — and that’s how the script came into being. So it wasn’t really Lee.
Could you talk a bit about the Twin Towers scene and how you personally changed some of the images of New York City after September 11? ^ It’s not that big of deal really, but I’ll comment on it. After the terrible attacks on the world trade center by the terrorists we had to make some changes in the picture — we were faced with that. We had a trailer in the theaters that showed criminals, bank robbers, escaping from the scene of the crime, and their helicopter is flying through the canyons of Manhattan. Suddenly, the copter stops and is yanked backward and then halts in midair. The thieves don’t know what’s happened and as the camera pulls back it’s revealed that their helicopter is ensnared in a giant web that is strung between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. That got a tremendous cheer from audiences across America when they saw it in theaters — when they saw, ‘oh, it’s Spider-Man and he’s in New York.’ Then there was the terrorist attack where the towers were destroyed. Sony pulled the trailer and the posters that featured the towers out of respect to the victims and I was planning on using that shot for the movie. That scene was shot for me by director Dick Buckley. He shot the towers and I supervised the web and matting the copter. But anyway, he actually did the photography of the Twin Towers and I didn’t feel it was appropriate to use the images of the towers in our movie for a cheer moment where Spider-Man is victorious.
Will Spider-Man fans be able to see the scene on DVD? ^ I wouldn’t like to use it. Likewise, I have kept all the other images of the Twin Towers in the background of the city because I do want to see the towers.
Finally, you have a close relationship with the Coen brothers and you guys have a history of working on one another’s films. Did they direct any scenes in Spider-Man fans should be aware of? ^ Not this one, no. I’ve worked on their scripts and they’ve worked on mine, and I worked as a second unit director once on a movie for them — “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Joel visited the Spider-Man set one day, though. He could have directed a scene– that would have been fun.
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Posted on May 1, 2002 in Interviews by Heather Wadowski
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