As soon as we saw Spider-Man's new look in the Captain America: Civil War trailer, it's all we can talk about. The eyes! The webbing! The gadgets! Tony Stark has given Spidey one hell of an update, which looks massively different from previous movie iterations (and is much more in-line with the hero's original comic book look). Taking centre stage in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, the new costume was brought to life by costume designer Louise Frogley. Having worked on Iron Man 3 and the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp, she knew what Marvel was after, but making the new suit was far from easy. GR+'s sister publication SFX magazine recently quizzed the costume designer on how she did it, so read on to find out what was the trickiest part of the new suit, why this version has webbing, and more.
How does it feel to be handed one of the most iconic costumes on the planet?
Because Marvel have the long history of the comics they have very specific plans for how they want things to be. They come up with the concept and then they have you execute it. It’s sometimes very straightforward and sometimes it’s like doing a staircase by Escher – it’s a thing that you can illustrate but it’s impossible to make!
What was the hardest part of creating the costume?
Endless experimenting to get the texture right. We were printing on a dyed textile. The dots we were printing looked a bit like a ping pong bat. If you got the dots too high, too raised, they would collapse. If they were too close together or too far apart they would strobe. The dots drove me nuts for weeks and weeks! It’s all the tiny details. The only way to get it to look simple and perfect is for the work to be impeccable. It drives people crazy – these poor women would be in the work room crying, or throwing scissors!
Spidey’s got the underarm webbing he had in the first comics...
Sony allowed Marvel to take a Marvel approach to it, which was more classic. The webbing was actually very tricky. The concept artist came over and spent a day with us, placing the webbing. It became a group effort to get everything exactly right.
Tell us a secret about the costume...
The black lines we didn’t do in black, because the red made the black look green. It looked Christmassy! So I did them in very, very dark grey. And there’s a little tiny shadow on them, if you look closely.
What is it about Steve Ditko’s design that resonates to this day?
I absolutely love Steve Ditko because his art was so simple, so incredibly graphic. It eched itself into the collective consciousness. It’s almost like he invented a trademark by accident.