Spider-Man director Marc Webb discusses the particular elements from the comic that he drew on to make his Spider-Man movie unique:
There's this story about Peter's parents and where he came from, and I thought that it was really interesting to explore the emotional consequence of someone whose parents had left them at a very young age. I like that Peter Parker has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder. In 'The Amazing Spider-Man #8' there's this moment where Flash (Thompson) and Peter are sort of going at each other. They're at a boxing match and you sort of hear what Peter is saying and he's a little surly and I like that, but there's this attitude, this sort of punk rock humor and trickster quality that I think probably comes from somebody who is a little distrustful of the world at times. In order for someone like that to become a hero, I think it's a really interesting story and that was something fun. It was really fun to explore, and then of course there's the Gwen Stacy saga, The Lizard. But I think what we tried to do was find something very emotionally grounded and that felt very real. That's a challenge when there's big lizards and soaring through the air, but that's what was really fun about it.
He discusses at length what they hope to bring out in the character of Gwen Stacy, as played by Emma Stone:
The way that Peter Parker eventually learns about sacrifice through Gwen Stacy, but in order to adequately learn that lesson you have to feel that really strong bond. Something for me I think in terms of what we set out to do with this relationship, specifically between Peter and Gwen, I mean, you remember, like, the first time that you meet a girl in high school and that you get to share things with that person that you might not have shared with any other people, that creates a bond and an intensity that I think has a lot of currency. When you get that opportunity to be honest and open with somebody for the first time and share things about yourself that you haven't been able to share things that you haven't been able to before, things that you might be scared of or ashamed about, that's really exhilarating, and I think that's something that people will really identify with. That was something that was fun about the relationship, and then in terms of Gwen as a character, she's really smart. She's got this scientific quality, and maybe you can speak more to this, but she's in sort of a weird position, stuck between the different men in her life.
Emma Stone herself weighs in on the character with an equally lengthy answer:
Yeah, her duty to her father and her duty to her boyfriend, because she's a real confidant for him. Their intimacy is such an incredible element, and I think that Gwen has been in control her whole life. She's the oldest daughter of a police chief, who is constantly terrified that her father is going to die everyday. She has to have an element of being smart because she has to be. She's a valedictorian because she has to be. She has to take care of things and be responsible for her family and I think that being able to let go and trust somebody who puts themselves in the face of death of everyday, too, that's like, great, now she's drawn to another person that could die at any moment and she has to keep his secret and pick and choose between her first love which is her father, of course, like every girl. That's the first man in your life and then her first boyfriend. So, it's a pretty complex situation for Gwen, and there's a lot of, I think, sadness and fear in her life combined with the fact that she's outwardly confident and strong and smart and takes no bullshit. She's soft and 17 underneath it all. There's a great source of drama, and Gwen is at the center of this in a lot of ways – there's competing ideas of what's good. These people, everybody's heart is in the right place, but they execute their plans in different ways and that goes for The Lizard and Curt Connors as well. Gwen in particular is stuck between [her father] the Captain and Peter Parker and Spider-Man who have different ways about going about finding justice in their lives. I think that's a really fun thing to explore in the movie.