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Spider-Man (2002 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sam Raimi
Produced by
Screenplay by David Koepp
Based on The Amazing Spider-Man 
by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • April 30, 2002 (2002-04-30) (Philippines)
  • May 3, 2002 (2002-05-03) (North America)
Running time
121 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $140 million
Box office $821.7 million[1]

Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi. Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, the film stars Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, a high school student living in New York, who turns to crimefighting after developing spider-like super powers. Spider-Man also stars Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn (a.k.a. the Green Goblin), Kirsten Dunst as Peter's love interest Mary Jane Watson, and James Franco as his best friend Harry Osborn.

After being stuck in development hell for nearly 25 years, the film was licensed for a worldwide release by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 1999 after it acquired options from MGM on all previous scripts developed by Cannon Films, Carolco and New Cannon. Exercising its option on just two elements from this multi-script acquisition (a screenplay credited to James Cameron, Ted Newsom, John Brancato, Barney Cohen and "Joseph Goldman" (the pen name of Menahem Golan) and a later treatment credited solely to Cameron), Sony hired David Koepp to create a working screenplay from this "Cameron material". Directors Roland Emmerich, Ang Lee, Chris Columbus, Jan de Bont, M. Night Shyamalan, Tony Scott and David Fincher were considered to direct the project before Raimi was hired as director in 2000. The Koepp script was rewritten by Scott Rosenberg during preproduction and received a dialogue polish from Alvin Sargent during production.

Filming of Spider-Man took place in Los Angeles, and New York City from January 8 to June 30, 2001. Spider-Man premiered in the Philippines on April 30, 2002, and had its general release in the United States on May 3, 2002. It became a critical and financial success. For its time, it was the only film to reach $100 million in its first weekend, had the largest opening weekend gross of all time, and was the most successful film based on a comic book. With $821.7 million worldwide, it was 2002's third-highest-grossing film and is the 48th-highest-grossing film of all time (7th at the time of release).

The film was nominated at the 75th Academy Awards ceremony for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Mixing. Due to the success of the film, Columbia Pictures and Marvel created two sequels, Spider-Man 2 in June 30, 2004, and Spider-Man 3 in May 4, 2007. A third sequel entered development in 2008 and was originally planned for a May 6, 2011 release date, but a disagreement between Raimi and Sony resulted in Raimi leaving the project and Sony canceling Spider-Man 4. Sony instead decided to reboot the series with The Amazing Spider-Man which was released on July 3, 2012. A sequel titled, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was released in May 2, 2014. After the sequels and spin-offs to The Amazing Spider-Man were canceled, a new trilogy will take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Spider-Man set to make his debut in Captain America: Civil War, which would be released on May 6, 2016, followed by a solo film set to be released on July 28, 2017.


High-school senior Peter Parker visits a genetics laboratory with his friend Harry Osborn and love interest, Mary Jane Watson for a school field trip. There, Peter is bitten on the hand by a genetically engineered "super spider". Shortly after arriving home to his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, he goes unconscious. Meanwhile, Harry's father, scientist Norman Osborn, owner of Oscorp, is attempting to preserve his company's critically important military contract. He experiments on himself with a new but unstable performance-enhancing chemical vapor that increases his speed, strength, and stamina. However, it also drives him insane and he kills his assistant, Mendel Stromm. The next morning, Peter finds that his previously impaired vision has improved and his body has metamorphosized into a more muscular physique. At school, he finds that his body can produce webs and his quickened reflexes let him avoid injury during a confrontation with bully Flash Thompson. Peter discovers he has developed superhuman speed, strength, the ability to stick to surfaces, and a heightened ability to sense danger.

Brushing off Uncle Ben's advice that "With great power comes great responsibility," Peter enters a wrestling tournament to get money to buy a car and impress Mary Jane. He wins his match, but the promoter cheats him out of the contest money. When a thief steals money from the promoter, Peter accidentally allows the thief to escape. He later discovers that Uncle Ben has been carjacked and shot dead. Peter confronts the carjacker, only to realize it was the same thief he let get away. After Peter disarms him, the fleeing carjacker falls out a window and dies. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn kills several scientists and the military's General Slocum.

Upon graduating, Peter begins using his abilities to fight injustice, donning a costume and the persona of Spider-Man. Newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson hires him as a freelance photographer, since Peter is the only person providing clear images of Spider-Man.

Norman, upon learning Oscorp's board members plan to sell the company, assassinates them at the World Unity Fair. Jameson quickly dubs the mysterious killer the Green Goblin. The Goblin offers Spider-Man a place at his side, but Spider-Man refuses. At the Osborn and Parkers' Thanksgiving dinner, Norman deduces Spider-Man's true identity after noticing a cut on Peter's arm which he saw on Spiderman; the Green Goblin subsequently attacks and hospitalizes Aunt May.

Mary Jane admits she has a crush on Spider-Man, who has rescued her on numerous occasions, and asks Peter whether Spider-Man ever asked about her. Harry, who loves Mary Jane, arrives and learns she does feel likewise towards Peter. Devastated, Harry tells his father that Peter loves Mary Jane, unintentionally revealing Spider-Man's biggest weakness.

The Goblin holds Mary Jane and a Roosevelt Island Tram car full of children hostage alongside the Queensboro Bridge. He forces Spider-Man to choose who he wants to save, and drops Mary Jane and the children. Spider-Man manages to save both Mary Jane and the tram car, while the Goblin is pelted by civilians showing loyalty to Spider-Man. The Goblin then grabs Spider-Man and throws him into an abandoned building where they fight. When the Goblin boasts about how he will later kill Mary Jane, an enraged Spider-Man overpowers the Goblin.

Norman regains control of his insanity and reveals himself to Spider-Man. He begs for forgiveness, but his Goblin persona attempts to remote-control his glider to impale Spider-Man from behind. The superhero dodges the attack, causing the glider to accidentally impale Norman instead. As he dies, Norman tells Peter not to tell Harry about the Green Goblin. Spider-Man takes Norman's body back to Norman's house and hides the Green Goblin's equipment. At Norman’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance toward Spider-Man, believing he is responsible for killing his father, and asserts that Peter is all the family he has left. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she is in love with him, but Peter, feeling that he must protect her from the unwanted attentions of Spider-Man's enemies, hides his true feelings and tells her that they can only be friends. As Peter leaves the funeral, he recalls Ben's words about responsibility, and accepts his new life as Spider-Man.


"I felt like I was an outsider. I think what happened to me made me develop this street sense of watching people and working out what made them tick, wondering whether I could trust them or not. I went to a lot of schools along the coast in California, made few friends and stayed with aunts, uncles and grandparents while my folks tried to make ends meet. It was tough. We had no money."
— Tobey Maguire on identifying with Peter Parker.[2]
  • Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker / Spider-Man:
    Peter is an academically brilliant but socially inept boy who is bitten by a genetically modified spider and gains spider-like abilities. Maguire was cast as Peter in July 2000,[3] having been Sam Raimi's primary choice for the role after he saw The Cider House Rules.[4] The studio was initially hesitant to cast someone who did not seem to fit the ranks of "adrenaline-pumping, tail-kicking titans",[3] but Maguire managed to impress studio executives with his audition. The actor was signed for a deal in the range of $3 to $4 million with higher salary options for two sequels.[3] To prepare, Maguire was trained by a physical trainer, a yoga instructor, a martial arts expert, and a climbing expert, taking several months to improve his physique.[5] Maguire studied spiders and worked with a wire man to simulate the arachnidlike motion, and had a special diet.[6]
The studio had expressed interest in actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Furlong and Freddie Prinze, Jr,[7] Chris Klein, Wes Bentley, and Heath Ledger.[8] Edward Furlong had been considered by James Cameron for the role in 1996,[9] while Raimi joked of Prinze that "[he] won't even be allowed to buy a ticket to see this film."[8] In addition, actors Scott Speedman, Jay Rodan, and James Franco were involved in screen tests for the lead role but Franco was casted as Harry Osborn.[10]
  • Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin:
    Founder ,Owner and CEO of Oscorp and brilliant scientist who tests an unstable strength enhancer on himself and becomes the insane and powerful Green Goblin. Unaware of Spider-Man's true identity, he also sees himself as a father figure for Peter, ignoring his own son, Harry. Dafoe was cast as Osborn in November 2000,[11] after Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, and John Travolta turned down the role.[12][13] Dafoe insisted on wearing the uncomfortable costume as he felt that a stuntman would not convey the character's necessary body language. The 580-piece suit took half an hour to put on.[8]
  • Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson:
    The girl whom Peter Parker has developed a crush since he was six years old. Mary Jane has an abusive father, and aspires to become an actress, but becomes a waitress at a run down diner, a fact she hides from her boyfriend, Harry. Before Raimi cast Dunst, he had expressed his interest in casting Alicia Witt.[14] Dunst decided to audition after learning Maguire had been cast, feeling the film would have a more independent feel.[15] Dunst earned the role a month before shooting in an audition in Berlin.[8]
  • James Franco as Harry Osborn:
    Before being cast as Peter's best friend and flatmate, Franco had screen tested for Spider-Man himself.[16]
  • Cliff Robertson as Ben Parker:
    May Parker's husband and Peter Parker's uncle, a fired electrician who is trying to find a new job. He is killed by a carjacker whom Peter failed to stop, and leaves Peter with the message, "With great power comes great responsibility."
  • Rosemary Harris as May Parker:
    Ben Parker's wife and Peter Parker's aunt who is supportive of Peter's love for Mary Jane.
  • J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson:
    The grouchy publisher of the Daily Bugle who despises Spider-Man. Nonetheless, he has a good side and pays Peter for photos of Spider-Man, and refuses to tell the Green Goblin the identity of the photographer.
  • Joe Manganiello as Eugene "Flash" Thompson:
    A repugnant high school bully who bullies Peter, and is defeated in a fight after Peter inherits his spider powers.
  • Bill Nunn as Joseph "Robbie" Robertson:
    The kindly editor at the Daily Bugle, who on occasion helps Peter.
  • Michael Papajohn as the Carjacker:
    The criminal who robs the wrestling manager who refuses to pay Peter Parker for his ring performance and later murders Ben Parker when he carjacks him in the course of his escape. He is killed in a fall from a window when confronted by Peter.
  • Elizabeth Banks as Betty Brant:
    As seen in past Spider-Man comics, Betty Brant is Jameson's secretary who has a bit of a soft spot for Peter.
  • Ron Perkins as Dr. Stromm:
    A scientist employed by Oscorp that assists Norman Osborn in developing the Human Performance Enhancers that eventually transforms Osborn in the Green Goblin.

Bruce Campbell, a long-time colleague of director Sam Raimi, has a cameo as the announcer at the wrestling ring Peter takes part in. Ted Raimi, Sam Raimi's actor brother, plays a small role as editor's assistant "Hoffman". Sam Raimi himself appeared off-screen, throwing popcorn at Peter as he enters the arena to wrestle Bonesaw McGraw (played by former professional wrestler "Macho Man" Randy Savage).[17] Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee also has a cameo, in which he asks Peter, "Hey kid, would you like a pair of these glasses? They're the kind they wore in X-Men." The scene was cut, and Lee only briefly appears in the film to grab a young girl from falling debris during the battle between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin in Times Square. R&B/soul singer Macy Gray appears as herself. Lucy Lawless, star of Xena: Warrior Princess (produced by Raimi), also appears as a punk rock girl. One of the stunt performers in the film is actor Johnny Tri Nguyen.[4] Octavia Spencer has a brief appearance as the check-in girl who signs Peter Parker into the wrestling match and warns him that they are not liable for the injuries he will sustain. Robert Kerman, best known for his performances in pornographic and exploitation films, has a bit part as a tugboat captain.



For more details on this topic, see Spider-Man in film § Development.

In April 1999, although Sony Pictures optioned from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer all preceding script versions of Spider-Man, it only exercised the options on "the Cameron material," which contractually included a multi-author screenplay and a forty-five page "scriptment" credited only to James Cameron. The studio announced they were not hiring Cameron himself to direct the film nor would they be using his script.[18] The studio lined up Roland Emmerich, Tony Scott, Chris Columbus, Ang Lee, David Fincher, Jan de Bont and M. Night Shyamalan as potential directors. Fincher did not want to depict the origin story, pitching the film as being based on The Night Gwen Stacy Died storyline, but the studio disagreed.[8] Sam Raimi was attached to direct in January 2000,[19] for a summer 2001 release.[20] He had been a big fan of the comic book during his youth, and his passion for Spider-Man earned him the job.[21]

Cameron's work became the basis of David Koepp's first draft screenplay, often word for word.[22] Cameron's versions of the Marvel villains Electro and Sandman remained the antagonists. Koepp's rewrite substituted the Green Goblin as the main antagonist and added Doctor Octopus as the secondary antagonist.[23] Raimi felt the Green Goblin and the surrogate father-son theme between Norman Osborn and Peter Parker would be more interesting.[24] In June, Columbia hired Scott Rosenberg to rewrite Koepp's material. Remaining a constant in all the rewrites was the "organic webshooter" idea from the Cameron "scriptment".[25] Raimi felt he would stretch the audience's suspension of disbelief too far to have Peter invent mechanical webshooters.[5]

Rosenberg removed Doctor Octopus and created several new action sequences.[26] Raimi felt adding a third origin story would make the film too complex. Sequences removed from the final film had Spider-Man protecting Fargas, the wheelchair-using Oscorp executive from the Goblin, and Spider-Man defusing a hostage situation on a train.[8] As production neared, producer Laura Ziskin hired her husband, award-winning writer Alvin Sargent, to polish the dialogue, primarily between Peter and Mary Jane.[27] Columbia offered David Koepp's name to the WGA as sole screenwriter, despite the fact that it had acquired Cameron's script and hired two subsequent writers. Without reading and comparing any of the material, the Writers Guild approved sole credit to Koepp.[22]


With Spider-Man cast, filming was set to begin the following November in New York City and on Sony soundstages. The film was set for release a year later,[3] but when the film was postponed to be released on May 3, 2002,[28] filming officially began on January 8, 2001[27] in Culver City, California. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, certain sequences were re-filmed, and images of the Twin Towers were digitally erased from the film.[29][30] Sony's Stage 29 was used for Peter's Forest Hills home, and Stage 27 was used for the wrestling sequence where Peter takes on Bonesaw McGraw (Randy Savage). Stage 27 was also used for the complex Times Square sequence where Spider-Man and the Goblin battle for the first time, where a three-story set with a breakaway balcony piece was built. The scene also required shooting in Downey, California.[31] On March 6,[32] forty-five-year-old construction worker Tim Holcombe was killed when a forklift modified as a construction crane crashed into a construction basket that he was in. The following court case led to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health to fine Sony $58,805.[33]

In Los Angeles, locations included the Natural History Museum (for the Columbia University lab where Peter is bitten and receives his powers), the Pacific Electricity Building (the Daily Bugle offices) and Greystone Mansion (for the interiors of Norman Osborn's home). In April, 4 of the Spider-Man costumes were stolen, and Sony put up a $25,000 reward for their return.[34] They were recovered after 18 months and a former movie studio security guard and an accomplice were arrested.[35] Production moved to New York City for two weeks, taking in locations such as the Queensboro Bridge, the exteriors of Columbia University's Low Memorial Library and the New York Public Library, and a rooftop garden in the Rockefeller Center.[31] The crew returned to Los Angeles where production and filming ended in June. The Flatiron Building was used for the Daily Bugle.[27]


Although it wound up being faithful to the comics, many designs were made for Spider-Man's costumes: one concept costume designer James Acheson became fond of had a red emblem over a black costume.[8] To create Spider-Man's costume, Maguire was fitted for the skintight suit, being covered with layers of substance to create the suit's shape.[36] It was designed as a single piece, except for the mask. The webbing, which accented the costume, was cut by computer. The mask eye lenses were designed to have a mirror look.[37]


Visual effects supervisor John Dykstra was hired to produce the film's visual effects in May 2000.[38] He convinced Raimi to make many of the stunts computer generated, as they would have been physically impossible. Raimi had used more traditional special effects in his previous films and learned a lot about using computers during production.[21] Raimi worked hard to plan all the sequences of Spider-Man swinging from buildings, which he described as, "ballet in the sky." The complexity of such sequences meant the budget rose from an initially planned $70 million to around $100 million.[4] Shots were made more complicated because of the main characters' individual color schemes, so Spider-Man and the Green Goblin had to be shot separately for effects shots: Spider-Man was shot in front of a greenscreen, while the Green Goblin was shot against bluescreen. Shooting them together would have resulted in one character being erased from a shot.[8]

Saki said the biggest difficulty of creating Spider-Man was that as the character was masked, it immediately lost a lot of characterization. Without the context of eyes or mouth, a lot of body language had to be put in so that there would be emotional content. Raimi wanted to convey the essence of Spider-Man as being, "the transition that occurs between him being a young man going through puberty and being a superhero." Dykstra said his crew of animators had never reached such a level of sophistication to give subtle hints of still making Spider-Man feel like a human being.[39] When two studio executives were shown shots of the computer generated character, they believed it was actually Maguire performing stunts.[8] In addition, Dykstra's crew had to composite areas of New York City and replaced every car in shots with digital models. Raimi did not want it to feel entirely like animation, so none of the shots were 100% computer generated.[40]


Original Spider-Man teaser poster, which was recalled from theatres following 9/11 (the World Trade Center is reflected in Spider-Man's eyes)

After the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, Sony recalled teaser posters which showed a close-up of Spider-Man's face with the New York skyline (including, prominently, the World Trade Center towers) reflected in his eyes. The film's original teaser trailer, released in 2001 and shown before Jurassic Park III, featured a mini-film plot involving a group of bank robbers escaping in a Eurocopter AS355 Twin Squirrel helicopter, which gets caught from behind and propelled backward into what at first appears to be a net, then is shown to be a gigantic spider web spun between the World Trade Center towers. According to Sony, the trailer did not contain any actual footage from the film itself and is consequently one of the most popular "Special Shoot" trailers since Terminator 2: Judgment Day.[41] The trailer and poster were pulled after the events of the attacks, but can be found on the internet on websites such as YouTube.[42]

Before the film's British theatrical release in June 2002, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) gave the film a "12" certificate. Due to Spider-Man's popularity with younger children, this prompted much controversy. The BBFC defended their decision, arguing that the film could have been given a "15". Despite this, North Norfolk and Breckland District Councils, in East Anglia, changed it to a "PG", and Tameside council, Manchester, denoted it a "PG-12". The U.S. rated it "PG-13"[43] for "stylized violence and action". In late August, the BBFC relaxed their policy to "12A", leading Sony to re-release the film.[44]


Box office performance[edit]

Spider-Man became the first film to pass the $100 million mark in a single weekend.[citation needed] With the release in the United States and Canada on May 3, 2002 on 7,500 screens at 3,615 theaters, the film earned $39,406,872 on its opening day, averaging $10,901 per theater ($5,524.25 per screen). This was the highest opening day at the time until it was surpassed by its sequel, Spider-Man 2, in 2004. Spider-Man also set an all-time record for the highest earnings in a single day with $43,622,264 on May 4, 2002, a record later surpassed by Shrek 2 in 2004. The film earned a total of $114,844,116 during its opening weekend, averaging $31,769 per theater ($15,312.55 per screen) and became the fastest theatrical release to reach $100 million at the time, crossing the milestone in three days. Spider-Man also had the highest opening week in North America box office film for a non-sequel, with $114 million, which was surpassed eight years later by Alice in Wonderland in 2010.[45] The film's three-day record was later surpassed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in 2006.[46] The film stayed at the top position in its second weekend, dropping only 38% in its second weekend, grossing another $71,417,527, averaging $19,755.89 per theater ($9,522.34 per screen) and bringing the ten-day total to $223,040,031. The film dropped to the second position in its third weekend, behind Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, but still made $45,036,912, dropping only 37%, averaging $12,458 per theater, and bringing the seventeen-day tally to $285,573,668. It stayed at the second position in its fourth weekend, grossing $35,814,844 over the four-day Memorial Day frame, dropping only 21% while expanding to 3,876 theaters, averaging $9,240 over four days, and bringing the twenty-five day gross to $333,641,492.[47] In the box office, Spider-Man became 2002's highest-grossing film with $403,706,375 in the U.S. and Canada, defeating The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.[48] Spider-Man currently ranks as the sixteenth-highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S. and Canada, not adjusted for inflation. The film also grossed $821,708,551 worldwide, making it 2002's third-highest-grossing film behind The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and the 45th-highest-grossing film of all time.

International markets which generated grosses in excess of $10 million include Australia ($16.9 million), Brazil ($17.4 million), France, Algeria, Monaco, Morocco and Tunisia ($32.9 million), Germany ($30.7 million), Italy ($20.8 million), Japan ($56.2 million), Mexico ($31.2 million), South Korea ($16.98 million), Spain ($23.7 million), and the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta ($45.8 million).[49]

Spider-Man became the highest-grossing superhero film of all time at the time of its release. It was eventually outgrossed in 2007 by Spider-Man 3. In 2008, Spider-Man 3 was outgrossed by The Dark Knight. In 2012, The Dark Knight was outgrossed by The Avengers. Spider-Man currently ranks as the sixth-highest-grossing superhero film of all time.[citation needed]

The film's U.S. television rights (Fox, TBS/TNT) were sold for $60 million.[50] Related gross toy sales were $109 million.[50] Its U.S. DVD revenue as of July 2004 stands at $338.8 million.[50] Its U.S. VHS revenue as of July 2004 is $89.2 million.[50]

Critical response[edit]

Spider-Man received strong positive reception from critics upon release. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes calculated an 89% overall approval based on 216 reviews.[51] The casting, mainly Tobey Maguire, is often cited as one of the film's high points. Eric Harrison, of the Houston Chronicle, was initially skeptical of the casting of Tobey Maguire, but, after seeing the film, he stated, "within seconds, however, it becomes hard to imagine anyone else in the role."[52] USA Today critic Mike Clark believed the casting rivaled that of Christopher Reeve as 1978's Superman.[53] Owen Gleiberman, of Entertainment Weekly, had mixed feelings about the casting, particularly Tobey Maguire. "Maguire, winning as he is, never quite gets the chance to bring the two sides of Spidey – the boy and the man, the romantic and the avenger – together."[54] The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt thought, "the filmmakers' imaginations work in overdrive from the clever design of the cobwebby opening credits and Spider-Man and M.J.'s upside down kiss – after one of his many rescues of her – to a finale that leaves character relationships open ended for future adventures."[55]

Conversely, LA Weekly's Manohla Dargis wrote, "It isn't that Spider-Man is inherently unsuited for live-action translation; it's just that he's not particularly interesting or, well, animated."[56] Giving it 2.5/4 stars, Roger Ebert felt the film lacked a decent action element; "Consider the scene where Spider-Man is given a cruel choice between saving Mary Jane or a cable car full of school kids. He tries to save both, so that everyone dangles from webbing that seems about to pull loose. The visuals here could have given an impression of the enormous weights and tensions involved, but instead the scene seems more like a bloodless storyboard of the idea."[57] Stylistically, there was heavy criticism of the Green Goblin's costume, which led IGN's Richard George to comment years later, "We're not saying the comic book costume is exactly thrilling, but the Goblin armor (the helmet in particular) from Spider-Man is almost comically bad... Not only is it not frightening, it prohibits expression."[58]

Entertainment Weekly put "the kiss in Spider-Man" on its end-of-the-decade "best-of" list, saying, "There's a fine line between romantic and corny. And the rain-soaked smooch between Spider-Man and Mary Jane from 2002 tap-dances right on that line. The reason it works? Even if she suspects he's Peter Parker, she doesn't try to find out. And that's sexy."[59] Empire magazine ranked Spider-Man 437 in its 500 Greatest Movies of All Time list the following year.


The film won several awards ranging from Teen Choice Awards to the Saturn Awards, and was also nominated for two Academy Awards ("Best Visual Effects" and "Best Sound Mixing" (Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Ed Novick), but lost to The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Chicago, respectively.[60][61] While only Danny Elfman brought home a Saturn Award, Raimi, Maguire, and Dunst were all nominated for their respective positions. It also took home the People's Choice Award for "Favorite Motion Picture."[61] The film was nominated for Favorite Movie at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, but lost to Austin Powers in Goldmember.

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
Academy Awards[62] March 23, 2003 Best Sound Mixing Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Ed Novick Nominated
Best Visual Effects John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara and John Frazier Nominated
BMI Film and TV Awards[63] May 14, 2003 BMI Film Music Award Danny Elfman Won
British Academy Film Awards[64] February 23, 2003 Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, John Frazier, Anthony LaMolinara, John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, John Frazier and Anthony LaMolinara Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association[65] January 17, 2003 Best Song Chad Kroeger ("Hero") Nominated
Empire Awards[4] February 5, 2003 Best Actress Kirsten Dunst Won
Golden Trailer Awards[66] March 14, 2002 Best Action Spider-Man Nominated
Best Music Spider-Man Nominated
Best of Show Spider-Man Nominated
Best Voice Over Spider-Man Won
Grammy Award[67] February 23, 2003 Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Danny Elfman Nominated
Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media Chad Kroeger ("Hero") Nominated
Hugo Awards[68] August 30, 2003 Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form Spider-Man Nominated
MTV Movie Awards[69] May 31, 2003 Best Female Performance Kirsten Dunst Won
Best Kiss Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire Won
Best Male Performance Tobey Maguire Nominated
Best Movie Spider-Man Nominated
Best Villain Willem Dafoe Nominated
People's Choice Awards[70] January 12, 2003 Favorite Motion Picture Spider-Man Nominated
Satellite Awards[71] January 12, 2003 Best Film Editing Eric Zumbrunnen Nominated
Best Visual Effects John Dykstra Nominated
Saturn Awards[72] May 18, 2003 Best Fantasy Film Spider-Man Nominated
Best Actor Tobey Maguire Nominated
Best Actress Kirsten Dunst Nominated
Best Director Sam Raimi Nominated
Best Music Danny Elfman Won
Best Special Effects John Dykstra, Scott Stokdyk, Anthony LaMolinara
and John Frazier
World Soundtrack Awards[73] October 19, 2002 Best Original Soundtrack of the Year – Orchestral Danny Elfman Nominated
World Stunt Awards[74] June 1, 2003 Best Fight Chris Daniels, Zach Hudson, Kim Kahana Jr., Johnny Nguyen and Mark Aaron Wagner Nominated
Young Artist Awards[75] March 29, 2003 Best Family Feature Film - Fantasy Spider-Man Nominated


Main articles: Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3

In January 2003, Sony revealed that a sequel to Spider-Man was in development, and would be produced and directed by Sam Raimi. On March 15, 2003, a trailer revealed that the film, Spider-Man 2, would be released in June 30, 2004. Spider-Man 3, the second sequel to Spider-Man and the final film in the series to be directed by Raimi, was released on May 4, 2007. Another sequel was planned for a May 6, 2011 release, but instead was canceled.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Spider-Man (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  2. ^ "Tobey's Lonely Childhood Will Help Him In Spider-Man Role". Internet Movie Database. January 31, 2001. Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  3. ^ a b c d Michael Fleming; Claude Brodesser (July 31, 2000). "Maguire spins 'Spider-Man'". Variety. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d Chris Hewitt, Simon Braund (July 2002). "Spider-Man". Empire. pp. 58–62. 
  5. ^ a b Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (TV). BBC One. April 27, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Raimi Talks Up Spider-Man, But Still No Goblin". IGN. October 5, 2000. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  7. ^ Ronald Grover (April 15, 2002). "Unraveling Spider-Man's Tangled Web". Business Week. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i David Hughes (2003). Comic Book Movies. London: Virgin Books. pp. 235–241. ISBN 0-7535-0767-6. 
  9. ^ David Hughes (2003). Comic Book Movies. London: Virgin Books. p. 233. ISBN 0-7535-0767-6. 
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