"I have been an enormous fan of Irrfan for a very long time. I first saw him in 'The Namesake', 'The Warrior' and in TV series 'In Treatment'. For Dr Ratha, I needed someone who projected sophistication, had lot of strength and a very commanding presence and Irrfan fit that bill. He is in the first half of the film and in several scenes," Webb said.
The 37-year-old director is reluctant to categorise Irrfan's character into good or bad but says he wanted to work with the actor for a long time and 'Spider-Man' provided that opportunity. "I would not call his character a good guy or the bad guy, I would say he has a job to do and he has started about doing it," he said.
Irrfan, now a regular face in Hollywood films, has so far been reluctant to talk about his role in the superhero movie. Webb, however, is more than happy to provide details about the character.
"Dr Ratha works in Oscorp, the company owned by previous villain Norman Osborn. Irrfan plays the boss of Dr Curt Conner. He plays an important role in Conner's transformation as villain 'The Lizard'. Irrfan provides the pressure," Webb said.
The 3D reboot, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans, is being brought to Indian theatres on June 29, a week prior to its US release.
Webb's film will be facing competition from the former Spider-Man Tobey Maguire, who starred in three superhit versions as the web-casting superhero. The director is aware of the pressure but he decided to approach the movie through Peter Parker, whose life, he feels, is still a mystery to fans. "We have seen the original 'Spider-Man' but we haven't seen the original Peter Parker. I always had this question 'What happened to his parents?'
"This film really begins when he discovers the briefcase of his father and he goes out searching for him. The story is about a kid who goes looking for his father and finds himself and I was interested in exploring that cinematically," he said.
As someone who directed an adorable relationship drama '500 Days of Summer', Webb had a lot to add to the love story between Gwen Stacy (Stone) and Parker (Garfield). "Obviously, I am attracted to love stories and that's what attracted me to this film in a big way. Stacy is Peter Parker's first love. I wanted to create a bond which was powerful and intense. It is about being in love at a very young age. Emma is an incredibly powerful actress, very charming, very funny. They had a very dynamic chemistry. She brought something humorous in him and he brought something dramatic in her and that chemistry was simply magical."
Webb says he is interested in taking the story of Peter Parker/Spider-Man forward but a lot depends on how the film is received by the audience. "It really depends on the audience reaction but we certainly see the story continuing," Webb said.