Martin Sheen and Sally Field star in "The Amazing Spider-Man." Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
NEW YORK, June 25 (UPI) -- Hollywood actress Sally Field says she signed up for a role in "The Amazing Spider-Man" as a favor to her cherished friend, producer Laura Ziskin, who died of breast cancer last year.
In the upcoming action picture, the 65-year-old Oscar winner plays Aunt May to Martin Sheen's Uncle Ben. Together they help Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker navigate adolescence, as well as figure out what to do with the new superpowers he acquires through a bite from a genetically mutated spider.
"For me, I have one main, real big main reason why I did the movie. But I loved the idea of [director] Marc [Webb]. I saw his first movie ['500 Days of Summer'] and I thought it was just exquisite and I met with him and he is who he is and I had no doubt he was going to push the envelope and it was going to be exciting. It was going to be in a young, fresh voice because that's what his first film was. ... And the cast, wow! And the script was dark and really different," Field said at a recent New York press conference.
"But, for me, the reason that I absolutely had to do it was that my first producing partner was Laura Ziskin and we produced [the 1985 movie] 'Murphy's Romance' together. It was her first film and my first film that I produced and she was a good friend and she was a spectacular hero," Field emphasized. "She is Spider-Man. She really is. I say 'is' because the work that she started really is continuing, the fight against cancer. She asked me to do the movie and I said, 'Absolutely!' Before I read it. Before I knew who was involved in it. Before I met Marc. Before I knew Marty was there. Because my instinct was she wasn't going to do another one after this. So I would have done it no matter what. So I am very proud to have been part of her first film and her last film. She was a hero."
Ziskin, who was 61 when she died, also produced three previous "Spider-Man" blockbusters for Columbia Pictures and co-founded the organization Stand Up to Cancer.
In her memory, Columbia teamed up with the group to sell a line of special co-branded T-shirts featuring "The Amazing Spider-Man" artwork and a message encouraging everyone to take action against cancer.
The shirts are available for purchase online at store.standup2cancer.org/shop with proceeds benefiting SU2C.
"One of the great things about Peter Parker is he's a regular guy from Queens who is transformed into a hero," Garfield said in a statement last month. "These shirts underscore the idea that anyone has the power to be a hero. Cancer is one of our greatest villains. I'm proud to join others in standing up to this disease."
"We're grateful to everyone at Columbia and Marvel for enlisting this iconic superhero in the fight against cancer," said Pam Williams, SU2C co-founder. "Part of the Spider-Man mythology is the idea that 'with great power comes great responsibility,' and Sony, Marvel and everyone on the film is holding up that pledge with this campaign. Our beloved co-founder Laura Ziskin, who was key to the success of both the Spider-Man franchise and SU2C, would have absolutely loved these designs and their message of empowerment."
Co-starring Emma Stone, Denis Leary and Rhys Ifans, "The Amazing Spider-Man" opens in theaters July 3.