Spider-Man in other media

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Adaptations of Spider-Man in other media
Created by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Original source Comics published by Marvel Comics
First appearance Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)
Print publications
Novel(s) Spider-Man: Mayhem in Manhattan (1978)
Spider-Man: The Venom Factor (1994)
Spider-Man Super Thriller: Midnight Justice (1996)
Spider-Man: Down These Mean Streets (2005)
Reference book(s) The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide (2007)
Films and television
Film(s) Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
untitled Spider-Man film (2017)
Spider-Man (1967)
The Amazing Spider-Man (1977)
Spider-Man (1981)
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981)
Spider-Man (1994)
Spider-Man Unlimited (1999)
Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003)
The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008)
Ultimate Spider-Man (2012)
Theatrical presentations
Play(s) Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (2011)
Marvel Universe Live! (2014)
Audio presentations
Radio show(s) Spider-Man: From Beyond The Grave (1972)
Soundtrack(s) "Ode to a Superhero" (2003)
Video game(s) Spider-Man (1982)
The Amazing Spider-Man (1990)
Spider-Man (2000)
Ultimate Spider-Man (2005)
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (2010)

Spider-Man is a fictional comic book character who has been adapted in various media including television shows, films, toys, stage shows, books, and video games.


Spider-Man has been adapted to television many times, as a short-lived live-action television series, a Japanese tokusatsu series, and several animated cartoon series. There were also the "Spidey Super Stories" segments on the PBS educational series The Electric Company,[1] which featured a Spider-Man (played by Danny Seagren) who did not speak out loud but instead used only word balloons.[2]

Spider-Man in the 1990s animated series
  • Perhaps as a bit of foreshadowing, Spider-Man's hand appears shooting a web to save a citizen in the third season X-Men episode "Phoenix Saga (Part 5): Child of Light". This episode aired just months before the web-slinger's next series, Spider-Man, which ran for five seasons from 1994–1998, totaling 65 episodes, on Fox Broadcasting's afternoon programming block, "Fox Kids" (in this series, Spider-Man was voiced by Christopher Daniel Barnes in the English version, and by Toshiyuki Morikawa in the Japanese dub, who later played Venom in the Japanese dub of Spider-Man 3). That series continued as Spider-Man Unlimited the following year. Spider-Man Unlimited ended, after only one season, on a cliffhanger that was never resolved.
  • A small reference is made to Spider-Man in the X-Men: Evolution episode "On Angel's Wings", when the Angel is seen reading the Daily Bugle, the place Spider-Man/Peter Parker usually works.
  • In the Iron Man animated series when a hacker causes H.O.M.E.R., the Starks' artificial intelligence, to malfunction he mentions Peter Parker.
  • Loosely based on the 2002 film continuity, Marvel editorial publisher Brian Michael Bendis developed a CGI spinoff for Mainframe Entertainment, with actor Neil Patrick Harris providing vocal talents for Peter Parker. MTV picked up the show from July 11 to September 9, 2003. David and Greenberger p. 173: "It was notable...for being the first and thus far [as of 2010] the only Spidey animated series to be done as CGI."


Main article: Spider-Man in film

All of the official Spider-Man films rank among the list of highest-grossing films.

Live action[edit]

Raimi series[edit]

  • Spider-Man: On May 3, 2002, the feature film Spider-Man was released. It was directed by Sam Raimi and stars actor Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. The film uses various CGI effects to bring Spider-Man to life. Although the film adaptation took liberties with the character's history and powers—notably, he was bitten by a genetically modified rather than a radioactive spider (an idea originating with Ultimate Spider-Man), had organic web-shooters rather than mechanical ones, and had a long-standing crush on Mary Jane Watson—it generally held true to the character and was widely embraced by the viewing public. It opened at a record US$114.8 million and earned more than US$403 million in the U.S. and Canada, the highest North American gross of any film released that year, though surpassed internationally (see 2002 in film). The villain of this film was the Green Goblin portrayed by Willem Dafoe.
  • Spider-Man 2 was 2004's second-most financially successful film in North America and third internationally (see 2004 in film). It premiered in more North American movie theaters (4,152) than any previous film. Its original opening day was July 2, 2004, but was moved to June 30, 2004. Its first-day gross (US$40.5 million) surpassed its predecessor's US$39.4 million record. Spider-Man 2 was also the first motion picture released in the Sony Universal Media Disc format for the PlayStation Portable, included free with the first one million PSP systems released in the United States. The villain of the film was Doctor Octopus, portrayed by Alfred Molina.
  • Spider-Man 3 began production in 2005 under director Raimi. The studio released the film on May 4, 2007, on a budget reported to be more than US$250 million. The film features three villains: the Sandman / Flint Marko (portrayed by Thomas Haden Church), the New Goblin / Harry Osborn (portrayed by James Franco), and Venom / Eddie Brock (portrayed by Topher Grace). Bryce Dallas Howard plays Gwen Stacy. The plot centers on Peter and MJ's relationship problems, which are exacerbated by the arrival of an alien symbiote that takes over Spider-Man's costume and, despite enhancing his powers, also amplifies his anger, arrogance and other negative personality traits. Despite mixed reviews by critics, Spider-Man 3 opened to record-breaking sales with $59 million on its first day.
  • Spider-Man 4 began production in 2008 with Raimi attached to direct and the core cast of the previous films to return. Come 2009, however, Raimi dismissed the rumors that all three films were being made, instead confirming that only the fourth was under development. Sony hired James Vanderbilt in October of 2008 to pen the screenplay, after contacting David Koepp, the writer of the first film. The script underwent further revision by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and once more by Gary Ross in October of 2009. Sony had also hired Vanderbilt to pen scripts for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6. On the subject of villains, Raimi considered showcasing the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into the Lizard, with Dylan Baker reprising his role. He also had plans to upgrade Bruce Campbell to a more significant role than his prior cameos. In December 2009, it was reported that John Malkovich was in talks to play the Vulture, with Anne Hathaway playing Felicia Hardy. Hardy would be taking a departure from her prior portrayals in this film, becoming "Vulturess" instead of the familiar Black Cat. Disagreements between Raimi and Sony threatened to push the release date back. Raimi reportedly doubted that he could adhere to the film's May 6, 2011 release date without sacrificing quality. Further complicating things, Raimi reportedly went through four revisions of the script, with different writers, and still "hated it". With so many issues, Sony cancelled the film in January 2010.

Webb series[edit]

  • Sony Pictures announced that they had set release dates for the next two Spider-Man films. A third film was set for release on June 10, 2016, and a fourth for May 4, 2018.[11][12] Sony also announced two spin-offs of the film series that will focus on Spider-Man villains, Venom and the Sinister Six.[13][14] Sony had pushed back the third and fourth Spider-Man films, with their intended release dates respectively taken by an adaptation of the video game Uncharted and Avengers: Infinity War - Part I.[15][16][17] After Sony and Marvel Studios reached a deal to reintroduce Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the sequels of The Amazing Spider-Man series, including the proposed spin-off were officially cancelled.[18]

Marvel Cinematic Universe[edit]

  • On February 9, 2015, it was announced that Sony and Disney made a deal for Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a new film to be released on July 7, 2017. The companies announced on June 23, 2015 that after many auditions, Tom Holland had been cast to play Spider-Man within the MCU.


  • Nicholas Hammond portrayed Peter Parker/Spider-Man on-screen in the 1970s TV films The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Strikes Back and Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge.
  • A film based on the Toei Spider-Man TV series was shown at the Toei Manga Matsuri film festival on July 22, 1979. It was released on VHS in the 1980s and on DVD in 2004.
  • During the production of the X-Men film, Spider-Man made a brief cameo appearance in an outtake during the scene when Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey, and Storm head into the inside of the Statue of Liberty.
  • The Green Goblin's Last Stand: a 1992 fan film, based on The Amazing Spider-Man comic book story "The Night Gwen Stacy Died", directed, written, and starring actor-stuntman Dan Poole. It was acclaimed for its high-risk stunts and guerrilla marketing.


Novels and books[edit]

Spider-Man features in three original Marvel novels published in the 1970s by Pocket Books -- Mayhem in Manhattan by Len Wein and Marv Wolfman, and Crime Campaign and Murder Moon, both by Paul Kupperberg.[24] In the 1990s, Byron Preiss published a series of novels based on Marvel Comics, edited by Keith R. A. DeCandido, and written by various authors including Adam-Troy Castro, Tom DeFalco, and Diane Duane; Preiss also published two Spider-Man short-story anthologies. Byron Preiss' license eventually lapsed, and the new licensee, Pocket Star (an imprint of Pocket Books), released Down These Mean Streets, by DeCandido, in 2005. In 2006, they released The Darkest Hours by Jim Butcher, and in 2007, Drowned in Thunder by Christopher L. Bennett. Some of the Preiss novels were team-ups with other Marvel characters (including the X-Men, Iron Man, and the Hulk), while others were solo adventures. The Byron Preiss novels shared a common continuity and occasionally referenced events in earlier novels, while later novels included a time-line.

A number of Spider-Man children's books have also been published, from early readers and picture books to novels. Guide books include DK Publishing's Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide, by Tom DeFalco[25] and Spider-Man: Inside the World of Your Friendly Neighborhood Hero by Matthew K. Manning.[26]

Comic strip[edit]

The daily newspaper comic strip The Amazing Spider-Man debuted on January 3, 1977.[27] Produced by Marvel and syndicated by the Register and Tribune Syndicate through 1985, Cowles Media Company in 1986, and King Features Syndicate since,[28] the comic strip was successful in an era with few serialized adventure strips. The strip slowly grew in circulation and as of 2015 is still being published. It was first written by Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee and illustrated by John Romita Sr..[29] Stan Lee's brother, Larry Lieber, illustrated and later wrote the strip for much of its run. In 1992, Paul Ryan took over the penciling (with Joe Sinnott inking) on the Sunday version of the strip and drew that feature for three years. Since 1997, the daily strips are pencilled by Larry Lieber and inked by Alex Saviuk, while the Sunday strips are pencilled by Saviuk and inked by Joe Sinnott.[citation needed]

Early story arcs in the newspaper strip were paced much like a comic book, and a complete story unfolded in about two months of Sunday and daily strips. While the strip and the comic book feature the same characters, they do not share the same continuity. The strip differs from the established story lines of the comic books, most notably in the villains Spider-Man fights and the women Peter Parker dates. Many villains were introduced that have never appeared in other media, including a 1977 story about the Rattler, a man who acquired snakelike characteristics. The 1987 wedding of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson occurred in both the comic book and the comic strip.

On December 31, 2008, the strip announced major changes. The following day, the strip underwent a reboot restoring Peter Parker as an unmarried young man living alone in a renovated apartment, attending college, and dating longtime best friend Mary Jane whenever she is available. On January 3, it was revealed in a caption that the timeline of the rebooted strip is set "in the days before Peter and Mary Jane were married". On May 24, 2009, the marriage was restored to the dailies, with the previous storyline involving Electro having been revealed to be a dream. The revelation dawns on Peter as Mary Jane walks out of the shower, paying homage to the infamous cliffhanger of Dallas involving the return of Patrick Duffy as Bobby Ewing, while at the same time taking a jab at the mainstream comics' storyline "One More Day".

Guest stars in the newspaper strip include Wolverine, Daredevil, and Doctor Strange. Villains include Doctor Doom, Kraven the Hunter, the Rhino and Mysterio. One storyline featuring the Sandman referenced the events of Spider-Man 3.


Pocket Books released two paperbacks reprinting stories from the strip in 1980.[30] [31]

Panini Publishing UK published The Daily Adventures of the Amazing Spider-Man in the United Kingdom in 2007. The black-and-white trade paperback collection reprints the first two years of the newspaper strip.[32]

Marvel has published two hardcover volumes of newspaper strips, reprinting stories from 1977-1980. The first, Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 1, was published in 2009, reprinting stories by Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.[33] Spider-Man Newspaper Strips Volume 2 was published in 2011, reprinting stories by Lee, Romita, and Larry Lieber.[34] In 2014, both volumes were later published in softcover editions.

Radio series[edit]

In 1995, BBC Radio commissioned a Spider-Man audio book which aired on BBC Radio 1 over 50 episodes on week days between January 15, 1996 and March 24, 1996. The performance was co-produced by Brian May, who also contributed to the musical arrangement and wrote and performed the theme tune.[35]

The scope of the story included a number of familiar characters from the Spider-Man comic books as well as key figures from the Marvel Universe such as the Fantastic Four, Namor the Submariner, and Doctor Doom. The role of Spider-Man was performed by William Dufries. The cast list included EastEnders star Anita Dobson.

Spider-Woman motion comics[edit]

Spider-Man appears in the Spider-Woman motion comics. In this series, he is voiced by Geoff Boothby.


Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark promotional poster.

At the Butlins family entertainment resorts in the United Kingdom, a musical titled Spider-Man On Stage played in 1999. The show contained music by Henry Marsh and Phil Pickett and a book and lyrics by David H. Bell. The original cast album by Varios Records runs 44 minutes.

In 2002, the company 2MA produced the first live-action Spider-Man stunt show, staged in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The same show played at Thorpe Park in Surrey, England in 2003 and 2004. Spider-Man has also made stage appearances in Pantomime at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre and the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, United Kingdom. In 2003 a similar stage show called Spider-Man Live! toured North America.

At Universal Studios Hollywood in Los Angeles, a musical stage version (loosely based on the 2002 live-action film and based on the comics) titled Spider-Man Rocks! was produced, combined singing and action stunt sequences similar to a Broadway musical. The attraction ran from May 2002 to August 2004, when it was replaced by Fear Factor Live! Because it is loosely based on the 2002 film, Green Goblin is basically in his comic book form instead of his movie form.

A Broadway musical titled Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark opened at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York on June 14, 2011. The show is directed by Julie Taymor and features music by Bono and The Edge. The production stars Reeve Carney, Jennifer Damiano, T.V. Carpio and Patrick Page.[36] The much-in-the-news troubled musical, is the most expensive piece of live theatre to date,[37] and features high-flying action sequences and stunts. It holds the record for the most preview performances, with 182 before its opening.[37]

Spider-Man will be featured in Marvel Universe Live!, a 2014 arena show.[38]

Video games[edit]

Dozens of computer and video games starring Spider-Man have been released for over 15 different gaming platforms.

The Amazing Spider-Man, a puzzle-oriented action game developed by Oxford Digital Enterprises and released in 1990 for the Amiga, then later ported to PC:DOS, Commodore 64, and Atari ST. The title was published by Paragon Software Corporation and features over 250 screens.[39]

In 1990, The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, developed and published by Sega, premiered on the Sega Master System and was later ported to the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1991, the Sega Game Gear in 1992, and the Sega Mega-CD in 1993. Fundamentally, the game is the same on each platform with each iteration including new levels, enhanced graphics and a few incremental improvements to the game play. The story involves Spider-Man trying to collect six keys from six villains to defuse a bomb in New York planted by the Kingpin. Spider-Man has a finite supply of webfluid and the only way to replenish is to take photos, most profitably of the supervillains, to sell to the Daily Bugle.

The Amazing Spider-Man is the title of a video game released for the original Nintendo Game Boy. It was published in 1990 by LJN Ltd. (a subsidiary of Acclaim), and developed by Rare. It is a platform side scrolling action game. The game play involves running across New York chasing supervillains to locate Mary Jane Watson.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released the following year and was developed by B.I.T.S. The game is a side-scrolling beat-'em up. Spider-Man attempts to clear his name after he is accused of a crime committed by the Hobgoblin. In 1993, B.I.T.S. released the third in the series titled, The Amazing Spider-Man 3: Invasion of the Spider-Slayers.

As well as various games based on the Spider-Man license, Spider-Man has also appeared in a few cross-over titles. He appears as a guest character in X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, as well as appearing in both Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games. He is also a playable character in Capcom's series of Marvel-based fighting games, first appearing in Marvel Super Heroes as well as every game in the Marvel vs. Capcom series of games starting from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter. While not appearing in the main series due to licensing issues, Spider-Man appears in Marvel Super Hero Squad, Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, and Marvel Super Hero Squad Online as a playable character. He appears as a playable character in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.

Spider-Man appears an a non-playable character in the 2003 game, X2: Wolverine's Revenge and is voiced by Rino Romano. He is also mentioned in the 2013 video game Deadpool.

Spider-Man is a playable character in the 2014 and 2015 games Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes and Disney Infinity 3.0, with Drake Bell reprising his role.


  • Hanno ucciso L'uomo ragno ("Spider-Man was killed"), a song by the Italian band 883, one of the most famous songs by Max Pezzali.

Web series[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]