Spider-Man in film
The fictional character Spider-Man, a comic book superhero created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and featured in Marvel Comics publications, has currently appeared in ten live-action films since his inception, not including fan made shorts and guest appearances in other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films. Spider-Man is the alter-ego of Peter Parker, a talented young freelance photographer and aspiring scientist imbued with superhuman abilities after being bitten by a radioactive/genetically-altered spider.
The first live-action film based on Spider-Man was the unauthorized short Spider-Man by Donald F. Glut in 1969. This was followed by Spider-Man, an American made-for-television film that premiered on the CBS network in 1977. It starred Nicholas Hammond and was intended as a backdoor pilot for what became a weekly episodic TV series.
The rights to further films featuring the character were purchased in 1985, and moved through various production companies and studios before being secured by Sony Pictures Entertainment (Columbia Pictures) for $10 million (plus 5% of any movies' gross revenue and half the revenue from consumer products), who hired Sam Raimi to direct Spider-Man (2002), Spider-Man 2 (2004), and Spider-Man 3 (2007) starring Tobey Maguire. The first two films were met with positive reviews from critics, while the third film received a more mixed response. In 2010, Sony announced that the franchise would be rebooted. Marc Webb was hired to direct, with Andrew Garfield starring, and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) was released to positive reviews. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) saw mixed reviews.
In February 2015, Disney, Marvel Studios and Sony announced a deal to share the Spider-Man film rights, leading to a new iteration of Spider-Man being introduced and integrated into the MCU. The deal allows Sony to distribute and have creative control over MCU films where Spider-Man is the main character, while Disney distributes the ones where he is not. Tom Holland portrays this younger version of Spider-Man, appearing in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), as well as a sequel to Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019). All of Spider-Man's MCU appearances have received positive reviews thus far.
Plans for an animated Spider-Man film were officially announced by Sony in April 2015. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) combines Sony Pictures Imageworks' computer animation pipeline with traditional hand-drawn comic book techniques, inspired by the work of Miles Morales's co-creator Sara Pichelli. Completing the animation required up to 140 animators, the largest crew ever used by Sony Pictures Animation for a film. Into the Spider-Verse received universal acclaim and has become the highest-rated film in the Spider-Man franchise.
Raimi's trilogy grossed $2.5 billion worldwide on a $597 million budget, while Webb's films grossed over $1.4 billion on a $480 million budget. Homecoming grossed over $880 million on a $175 million budget and Into the Spider-Verse has grossed over $303 million on a $90 million budget. The Spider-Man films have grossed over $5.1 billion collectively.
- 1 Early films
- 2 Development
- 3 Sam Raimi films
- 4 Marc Webb films
- 5 Licensing agreement with Marvel Studios
- 6 Animated Spider-Verse franchise
- 7 Other films
- 8 Recurring cast and characters
- 9 Crew
- 10 Home media
- 11 Reception
- 12 See also
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The Amazing Spider-Man series (1977–1981)
In 1977, the pilot episode of The Amazing Spider-Man television series was released by Columbia Pictures as Spider-Man outside of the United States. It was directed by E. W. Swackhamer, written by Alvin Boretz and stars Nicholas Hammond as the titular character, David White as J. Jonah Jameson and Jeff Donnell as May Parker. The film premiered on CBS on September 14, 1977, and received a VHS release in 1980.
Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978)
In 1978, the two-part episode "Deadly Dust" from the television series The Amazing Spider-Man was re-edited and released outside of the United States as a feature film titled Spider-Man Strikes Back. Nicholas Hammond reprises his role as Peter Parker / Spider-Man while Robert F. Simon replaces David White in the role of J. Jonah Jameson. The film was theatrically released on 8 May 1978.
Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge (1981)
In 1981, a film made from The Amazing Spider-Man television series finale "The Chinese Web" using the same method used to make Spider-Man Strikes Back was released as Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge in European territories. Nicholas Hammond and Robert F. Simon respectively reprise their roles as Peter Parker / Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson. It was directed by Ron Satlof, written by Robert Janes and stars Nicholas Hammond as the titular character, Rosalind Chao, Robert F. Simon, Benson Fong, and Ellen Bry
On July 22, 1978, Tōei released a theatrical spin-off of their Spider-Man TV series at the Tōei Cartoon Festival. The film was directed by Kōichi Takemoto, who also directed eight episodes of the TV series. The week after the film's release, a character introduced in the film, Jūzō Mamiya (played by Noboru Nakaya), began appearing in episodes of the TV series. Like the rest of the series, the film was made available for streaming on Marvel's official website in 2009.
The low box office performance of 1983's Superman III made feature-film adaptations of comic book properties a very low priority in Hollywood until the 1990s. In 1985, after a brief option on Spider-Man by Roger Corman expired, Marvel Comics optioned the property to Cannon Films. Cannon chiefs Menahem Golan and his cousin Yoram Globus agreed to pay Marvel Comics $225,000 over the five-year option period, plus a percentage of any film's revenues. However, the rights would revert to Marvel if a film was not made by April 1990.
Tobe Hooper, then preparing both Invaders From Mars and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, was mooted as director. Golan and Globus misunderstood the concept of the character ("They thought it was like The Wolf Man", said director Joseph Zito) and instructed writer Leslie Stevens, creator of The Outer Limits, to write a treatment reflecting their misconception. In Stevens' story, a corporate scientist intentionally subjects ID-badge photographer Peter Parker to radioactive bombardment, transforming him into a hairy, suicidal, eight-armed monster. This human tarantula refuses to join the scientist's new master-race of mutants, battling a succession of mutations kept in a basement laboratory.
Unhappy with this perceived debasement of his comic book creation, Marvel's Stan Lee pushed for a new story and screenplay, written for Cannon by Ted Newsom and John Brancato. The variation on the origin story had Otto Octavius as a teacher and mentor to a college-aged Peter Parker. The cyclotron accident which "creates" Spider-Man also deforms the scientist into Doctor Octopus and results in his mad pursuit of proof of the Fifth Force. "Doc Ock" reconstructs his cyclotron and causes electromagnetic abnormalities, anti-gravity effects, and bilocation which threatens to engulf New York City and the world. Joseph Zito, who had directed Cannon's successful Chuck Norris film Invasion USA, replaced Tobe Hooper. The new director hired Barney Cohen to rewrite the script. Cohen, creator of TV's Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Forever Knight, added action scenes, a non-canonical comic for the villain, gave Doc Ock the catch phrase, "Okey-dokey", and altered his goal from the Fifth Force to a quest for anti-gravity. Producer Golan (using his pen name "Joseph Goldman") then made a minor polish to Cohen's rewrite. Zito scouted locations and studio facilities in both the U.S. and Europe, and oversaw storyboard breakdowns supervised by Harper Goff. Cannon planned to make the film on the then-substantial budget of between $15 and $20 million.
While no casting was finalized, Zito expressed interest in actor/stunt man Scott Leva, who had posed for Cannon's promotional photos and ads, and made public appearances as Spider-Man for Marvel. The up-and-coming actor Tom Cruise was also discussed for the leading role. Zito considered Bob Hoskins as Doc Ock. Stan Lee expressed his desire to play Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. Lauren Bacall and Katharine Hepburn were considered for Aunt May, Peter Cushing as a sympathetic scientist, and Adolph Caesar as a police detective. With Cannon finances siphoned by the expensive Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Masters of the Universe, the company slashed the proposed Spider-Man budget to under $10 million. Director Zito opted out, unwilling to make a compromised Spider-Man. The company commissioned low-budget rewrites from writers Shepard Goldman, Don Michael Paul, and finally Ethan Wiley, and penciled in company workhorse Albert Pyun as director, who also made script alterations.
Scott Leva was still associated with the character through Marvel (he had appeared in photo covers of the comic), and read each draft. Leva commented, "Ted Newsom and John Brancato had written the script. It was good but it needed a little work. Unfortunately, with every subsequent rewrite by other writers, it went from good to bad to terrible." Due to Cannon's assorted financial crises, the project shut down after spending about $1.5 million on the project. In 1989, Pathé, owned by corrupt Italian financier Giancarlo Parretti, acquired the overextended Cannon. The filmmaking cousins parted, Globus remaining associated with Pathé, Golan leaving to run 21st Century Film Corporation, keeping a number of properties (including Spider-Man) in lieu of a cash buy-out. He also extended his Spider-Man option with Marvel up to January 1992.
Golan shelved the low-budget rewrites and attempted to finance an independent production from the original big-budget script, already budgeted, storyboarded and laid out. At Cannes in May 1989, 21st Century announced a September start date, with ads touting the script by "Barney Cohen, Ted Newsom & John Brancato and Joseph Goldman." As standard practice, Golan pre-sold the unmade film to raise production funds, with television rights bought by Viacom and home video rights by Columbia Pictures, which wanted to establish a studio franchise. Stephen Herek was attached as director at this point. Golan submitted this "new" screenplay to Columbia in late 1989 (actually the 1985 script with an adjusted "1989" date) and the studio requested yet another rewrite. Golan hired Frank LaLoggia, who turned in his draft but grew disenchanted with 21st Century. Neil Ruttenberg was hired for one more draft, which was also "covered" by script readers at Columbia. Columbia's script analysts considered all three submissions "essentially the same story." A tentative production deal was set. Said Stan Lee in 1990, "21st Century [is] supposed to do Spider-Man and now they're talking to Columbia and the way it looks now, Columbia may end up buying Spider-Man from 21st Century."
Carolco Pictures / MGM
21st Century's Menahem Golan still actively immersed himself mounting "his" Spider-Man, sending the original "Doc Ock" script for production bids. In 1990, he contacted Canadian effects company Light and Motion Corporation regarding the visual effects, which in turn offered the stop-motion chores to Steven Archer (Krull, Clash of the Titans).
Toward the end of shooting True Lies, Variety carried the announcement that Carolco Pictures had received a completed screenplay from James Cameron. This script bore the names of James Cameron, John Brancato, Ted Newsom, Barry [sic] Cohen and "Joseph Goldmari", a typographical scrambling of Golan's pen name ("Joseph Goldman") with Marvel executive Joseph Calamari. The script text was identical to the one Golan submitted to Columbia the previous year, with the addition of a new 1993 date. Cameron stalwart Arnold Schwarzenegger was frequently linked to the project as the director's choice for Doctor Octopus.
James Cameron "scriptment"
Months later, James Cameron submitted an undated 57-page "scriptment" with an alternate story (the copyright registration was dated 1991), part screenplay, part narrative story outline. The "scriptment" told the Spider-Man origin, but used variations on the comic book characters Electro and Sandman as villains. This "Electro" (named Carlton Strand, instead of Max Dillon) was a megalomaniacal parody of corrupt capitalists. Instead of Flint Marko's character, Cameron's "Sandman" (simply named Boyd) is mutated by an accident involving Philadelphia Experiment-style bilocation and atom-mixing, in lieu of getting caught in a nuclear blast on a beach. The story climaxes with a battle atop the World Trade Center and had Peter Parker revealing his identity to Mary Jane Watson. In addition, the treatment was also heavy on profanity, and had Spider-Man and Mary Jane having sex on the Brooklyn Bridge.
This treatment reflected elements in previous scripts: from the Stevens treatment, organic web-shooters, and a villain who tempts Spider-Man to join a coming "master race" of mutants; from the original screenplay and rewrite, weird electrical storms causing blackouts, freak magnetic events and bi-location; from the Ethan Wiley draft, a villain addicted to toxic super-powers and multiple experimental spiders, one of which escapes and bites Peter, causing an hallucinatory nightmare invoking Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis; from the Frank LaLoggia script, a blizzard of stolen cash fluttering down onto surprised New Yorkers; and from the Neil Ruttenberg screenplay, a criminal assault on the NYC Stock Exchange. In 1991, Carolco Pictures extended Golan's option agreement with Marvel through May 1996, but in April 1992, Carolco ceased active production on Spider-Man due to continued financial and legal problems.
When James Cameron agreed to make Spider-Man, Carolco lawyers simply used his previous Terminator 2 contract as a template. A clause in this agreement gave Cameron the right to decide on movie and advertising credits. Show business trade articles and advertisements made no mention of Golan, who was still actively assembling the elements for the film. In 1993, Golan complained publicly and finally instigated legal action against Carolco for disavowing his contractual guarantee credit as producer. On the other hand, Cameron had the contractual right to decide on credits. Eventually, Carolco sued Viacom and Columbia to recover broadcast and home video rights, and the two studios countersued. 20th Century Fox, though not part of the litigation, contested Cameron's participation, claiming exclusivity on his services as a director under yet another contract. In 1996, Carolco, 21st Century, and Marvel went bankrupt.
Via a quitclaim from Carolco dated March 28, 1995, MGM acquired 21st Century's film library and assets, and received "...all rights in and to all drafts and versions of the screenplay(s) for Spider-Man written by James Cameron, Ted Newsom & John Brancato, Menahem Golan, Jon [sic] Michael Paul, Ethan Wiley, Leslie Stevens, Frank Laloggia, Neil Ruttenberg, Barney Cohen, Shepard Goldman and any and all other writers." MGM also sued 21st Century, Viacom, and Marvel Comics, alleging fraud in the original deal between Cannon and Marvel. In 1998, Marvel emerged from bankruptcy with a reorganization plan that merged the company with Toy Biz. The courts determined that the original contract of Marvel's rights to Golan had expired, returning the rights to Marvel, but the matter was still not completely resolved. In 1999, Marvel licensed Spider-Man rights to Columbia, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. MGM disputed the legality, claiming it had the Spider-Man rights via Cannon, 21st Century, and Carolco.
In the meantime, MGM/UA chief executive John Calley moved to Columbia Pictures. Intimately familiar with the legal history of producer Kevin McClory's claim to the rights to both Thunderball and other related James Bond characters and elements, Calley announced that Columbia would produce an alternate 007 series, based on the "McClory material", which Calley acquired for Columbia. (Columbia had made the original 1967 film spoof of Casino Royale, a non-Eon production).
Both studios now faced rival projects, which could undercut their own long-term financial stability and plans. Columbia had no consistent movie franchise, and had sought Spider-Man since 1989; MGM/UA's only reliable source of theatrical income was a new James Bond film every two or three years. An alternate 007 series could diminish or even eliminate the power of MGM/UA's long-running Bond series. Likewise, an MGM/UA Spider-Man film could negate Columbia's plans to create an exclusive cash cow. Both sides seemed to have strong arguments for the rights to do such films.
The two studios made a trade-off in March 1999; Columbia relinquished its rights to create a new 007 series in exchange for MGM's giving up its claim to Spider-Man. Columbia acquired the rights to all previous scripts in 2000, but exercised options only on the "Cameron Material", i.e., both the completed multi-author screenplay and the subsequent "scriptment." After more than a decade of attempts, Spider-Man truly went into production and since then all of the Spider-Man films were distributed by Columbia Pictures, the primary film production holding of Sony. The first three were directed by Sam Raimi, and the reboot and its sequel were directed by Marc Webb. Laura Ziskin served as producer until her death in 2011.
Sam Raimi films
Spider-Man follows Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), an orphaned high schooler who pines after popular girl-next-door Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). While on a science class field trip, Peter is bitten by a genetically-engineered "super spider." As a result, Peter gains superhuman abilities, including increased strength, speed, and the abilities to scale walls and generate organic webbing. After his beloved Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) is murdered, the teenager realizes that he must use his newfound abilities to protect New York City. Meanwhile, wealthy industrialist Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), the father of Peter's best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco), subjects himself to an experimental performance-enhancing serum, which creates a psychotic and murderous split personality. Donning a military battlesuit, Norman becomes a freakish "Green Goblin", who begins to terrorize the city. Peter, as Spider-Man, now must do battle with the Goblin, all while trying to express his true feelings for Mary Jane.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Two years after the events of the first film, Peter struggles to balance his superhero and private lives and still pines after Mary Jane Watson, who is now engaged. Harry Osborn continues to believe Spider-Man is responsible for his father Norman Osborn's death. Spider-Man contends with scientist Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a.k.a. Dr. Octopus, who has four mechanical tentacles fused to his spine and sets out to recreate a fusion-based experiment that could destroy much of New York City.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Spider-Man 3 picks up one year after the events of the second film. Peter is still seeing Mary Jane Watson, while Harry Osborn succeeds his father as the new Green Goblin. Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), who like Peter is a photographer for the Daily Bugle, sets out to defame Spider-Man and incriminate him. Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), an escaped convict, falls into a particle accelerator and becomes a shape-shifting sand monster later known as Sandman. Peter later learns that Marko is the one that killed Uncle Ben, causing Peter's own dark intentions to grow. This vendetta is enhanced by the appearance of the mysterious black alien symbiotic substance that bonds to Peter, resulting in the formation of a new black costume. Once Peter separates himself from the alien, it finds a new host in the form of Brock, resulting in the creation of Venom.
In 2007, Spider-Man 4 entered development, with Raimi attached to direct and Maguire, Dunst and other cast members set to reprise their roles. Both a fourth and a fifth film were planned and at one time the idea of shooting the two sequels concurrently was under consideration. However, Raimi stated in March 2009 that only the fourth film was in development at that time and that if there were fifth and sixth films, those two films would actually be a continuation of each other. James Vanderbilt was hired in October 2007 to pen the screenplay after initial reports in January 2007 that Sony Pictures was in contact with David Koepp, who wrote the first Spider-Man film. The script was being rewritten by David Lindsay-Abaire and Gary Ross in November 2008 and October 2009. Sony also engaged Vanderbilt to write scripts for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6.
In 2007, Raimi expressed interest in portraying the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into his villainous alter-ego, the Lizard; the character's actor Dylan Baker and producer Grant Curtis were also enthusiastic about the idea. Raimi also discussed his desire to upgrade Bruce Campbell from a cameo appearance to a significant role, later revealed to be Quentin Beck / Mysterio. It was reported in December 2009 that John Malkovich was in negotiations to play Vulture and that Anne Hathaway would play Felicia Hardy, though she would not have transformed into the Black Cat as in the comics. Instead, Raimi's Felicia was expected to become a new superpowered figure called the Vulturess. However, several years later, in 2013, Raimi stated that Hathaway was going to be Black Cat if Spider-Man 4 had been made. Concept art revealed in June 2016 showed the inclusion of an opening montage of Spider-Man going up against C and D-list villains, such as Mysterio, the Shocker, the Prowler, and the Rhino, with the Vulture serving as the main antagonist.
As disagreements between Sony and Raimi threatened to push the film off the intended May 6, 2011 release date, Sony Pictures announced in January 2010 that plans for Spider-Man 4 had been cancelled due to Raimi's withdrawal from the project. Raimi reportedly ended his participation due to his doubt that he could meet the planned May 6, 2011 release date while at the same time upholding the film creatively; he admitted that he was "very unhappy" with the way Spider-Man 3 had turned out, and was under pressure to make the fourth film the best that he could. Raimi purportedly went through four iterations of the script with different screenwriters and still "hated it".
In July 2007, Avi Arad revealed a Venom spin-off was in the works. The studio commissioned Jacob Aaron Estes to write a script, but rejected it the following year. In September 2008, Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese signed on to write. Stan Lee signed on to make a cameo in the film. Rhett Reese later revealed that they had written two drafts for the film and that the studio was pushing the film forward. In 2009, Gary Ross, who was then rewriting the latest draft of the unproduced Spider-Man 4, was assigned to rewrite the Venom script and direct the film, in which Venom would be an antihero rather than a supervillain. In March 2012, Chronicle director Josh Trank negotiated his interest in directing the film with Sony, after Ross left development to direct The Hunger Games. In June 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man producer Matt Tolmach, speaking of his and fellow producer Avi Arad's next project, a Venom film, suggested it could follow the shared-universe model of the film The Avengers: "What I'm trying to say to you without giving anything away is hopefully all these worlds will live together in peace someday."
Marc Webb films
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Sony announced that the franchise would be rebooted with a new director and new cast. The Amazing Spider-Man was released on July 3, 2012 in 3D and IMAX 3D, and focused on Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) developing his abilities in high school and his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). He fights the Lizard, the monstrous form of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father's former partner and a scientist at OsCorp.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
The film takes place two years after the first film's events. Peter Parker graduates from high school, continues his crime-fighting duties as Spider-Man, while combating the electricity-manipulating Electro (Jamie Foxx), rekindling his relationship with Gwen Stacy, and encounters his old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who is slowly dying from a genetic disease.
In June 2013, Sony Pictures announced it had set release dates for the next two Spider-Man films. The third film was scheduled to be released on June 10, 2016, and the fourth was scheduled to be released on May 4, 2018. Paul Giamatti confirmed that Rhino would return in the third film. That November, Sony Pictures Entertainment chief Michael Lynton told analysts, "We do very much have the ambition about creating a bigger universe around Spider-Man. There are a number of scripts in the works." Andrew Garfield stated that his contract was for three films, and was unsure of his involvement for the fourth film. In February 2014, Sony announced that Webb would return to direct the third Amazing Spider-Man film. In March 2014, Webb stated that he would not be directing the fourth film, but would like to remain as a consultant for the series. On July 11, 2014, Roberto Orci told IGN that he was not working on the third film due to the third Star Trek film. Alex Kurtzman stated in a 2014 interview that the third film was still continuing production and that there was a possibility of seeing a Black Cat film. On July 23, 2014, Sony Pictures announced that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 had been delayed to 2018. After the announcement in February 2015 of a new franchise with Marvel Studios, the sequels to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were cancelled.
On December 12, 2013, Sony issued a press release through the viral site Electro Arrives announcing that two films were in development, with Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Ed Solomon writing a spin-off to The Amazing Spider-Man focused on Venom (with Kurtzman attached to direct) and Drew Goddard writing one focused on the villain team Sinister Six with an eye to direct. Hannah Minghella and Rachel O'Connor would oversee the development and production of these films for the studio. In April 2014, it was announced that Goddard would direct the Sinister Six film, and that both spin-offs would be released before a fourth Amazing Spider-Man, with Spider-Man potentially appearing in both spin-offs. Later in the month, Tolmach and Arad revealed the Sinister Six film would be a redemption story and that the film's lineup might differ from the comics. On July 23, 2014, Sony Pictures announced that The Sinister Six was scheduled for release on November 11, 2016. By August 2014, Sony was also looking to release a female-centered spin-off film in 2017, with Lisa Joy writing, and had given the Venom spin-off the potential title of Venom: Carnage.
Despite the announcement in February 2015 of a new franchise with Marvel Studios, the Sinister Six, Venom, and female-led spin-off films set in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise were then "still moving forward". Feige was not expected to be creatively involved with these films. However, the Sinister Six film was cancelled due to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 underperforming commercially, and by November 2015, the other prospective spin-off films were cancelled as well.
Licensing agreement with Marvel Studios
In December 2014, following the hacking of Sony Pictures' computers, Sony and Marvel Studios were revealed to have had discussions about allowing Spider-Man to appear in the 2016 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Captain America: Civil War while having control of the film rights remaining with Sony. However, talks between the studios then broke down. Instead, Sony had considered having Sam Raimi return to direct a new trilogy.
However, on February 9, 2015, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced that Spider-Man would appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), with the character appearing in an MCU film and Sony releasing a Spider-Man film co-produced by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Sony Pictures will continue to own, finance, distribute, and exercise final creative control over the Spider-Man films. The next month, Marvel Entertainment CCO Joe Quesada indicated that the Peter Parker version of the character would be used, which Feige confirmed in April. Feige also stated that Marvel had been working to add Spider-Man to the MCU since at least October 2014. The following June, Feige clarified that the initial Sony deal does not allow the character to appear in any of the MCU television series, as it was "very specific... with a certain amount of back and forth allowed." In November 2016, Holland revealed that he was signed for "three Spider-Man movies and three solo movies". In June 2017, Holland, Feige and Watts confirmed that a child wearing an Iron Man mask whom Stark saves from a drone in Iron Man 2 (portrayed by Max Favreau) was a young Peter Parker, retroactively making it the introduction of the character to the MCU.
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Reports indicated that the first MCU film that Spider-Man would appear in as part of the deal, would be Captain America: Civil War. Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Captain America: Civil War, had lobbied for months to include the character in the film. Anthony Russo stated that, despite Marvel telling them to have a "plan B" should the deal with Sony fail, the Russos never created one because "it was very important to us to reintroduce" Spider-Man in the film, adding, "We only have envisioned the movie with Spider-Man." By the end of May 2015, Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland, Judah Lewis, Matthew Lintz, Charlie Plummer and Charlie Rowe screen tested for the lead role, against Robert Downey Jr., who portrays Iron Man, for chemistry. The six were chosen out of a search of over 1,500 actors to test in front of Feige, Pascal and the Russo brothers. In June, Feige and Pascal narrowed the actors considered to Holland and Rowe. Both screen tested again with Downey, with Holland also testing with Chris Evans, who portrays Captain America, and emerged as the favorite. On June 23, 2015, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios jointly announced that Holland would play Spider-Man. The following month, Marisa Tomei was in talks for the role of May Parker, later appearing in Civil War.
In the film, Parker, who has spent the last six months as a local costumed crimefighter named Spider-Man, is recruited by Tony Stark / Iron Man to join his team of Avengers to stop Steve Rogers / Captain America and his rogue faction of Avengers, who oppose the Sokovia Accords, from fleeing with fugitive Bucky Barnes. During the fight with Rogers and his team, Parker, utilizing a Stark-upgraded version of his initial makeshift suit, proves to be a formidable opponent, and implements a tactic with which he and Vision disable Scott Lang / Ant-Man in his giant-sized form. Upon returning home, Parker discovers some of the StarkTech features of the suit he was given by Stark.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Spider-Man: Homecoming was released on July 7, 2017. The film is directed by Jon Watts, from a screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers. Holland, Tomei, and Downey reprise their roles as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, May Parker, and Tony Stark / Iron Man, respectively, and are joined by Michael Keaton, who plays Adrian Toomes / Vulture. Jon Favreau, who appeared as Happy Hogan in the Iron Man films, also appears in the film. Production began in June 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia and ended in October.
The film sees Parker two months after the events of Civil War as he anxiously awaits his next assignment from Stark while simultaneously balancing his life at Midtown High with his vigilante life as Spider-Man. His investigation of a series of highly weaponized robberies leads him to a mysterious weapons trafficker named Adrian Toomes, who turns out to be the father of his high school crush, Liz Allan.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019)
In October 2016, Holland said the possibility of him appearing in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame was "all up in the air", but that "some sort of deal is in the mix," with Sony for him to appear. Holland was confirmed to appear in Infinity War as part of the ensemble cast in February 2017, and in Endgame in April 2017.
Parker joins Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy in battling Thanos in the ruins of his home planet, Titan. However, Parker is among the many heroes who perish after Thanos snaps his fingers with a completed Infinity Gauntlet, which wipes out half of all life in the universe.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
In December 2016, Sony Pictures announced a sequel for Spider-Man: Homecoming, scheduled to be released on July 5, 2019. In June 2017, Feige stated that the film would be titled in a similar fashion to Homecoming, using a subtitle, and would not have a number in the title. A year later, Holland revealed the film's title as Spider-Man: Far From Home. Holland, Keaton, Tomei and Favreau are set to reprise their roles from Homecoming and are joined by Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck / Mysterio. Like in Homecoming other characters from previous MCU installments are set to reprise their roles with Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders appearing as Nick Fury and Maria Hill respectively.
The film, set after the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, features Parker and his friends going to Europe on summer vacation where Parker is drawn back to superheroics when he is forced to team up with Nick Fury and Mysterio in battling the Elementals.
Animated Spider-Verse franchise
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
In April 2015, Sony announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were writing and producing a Spider-Man animated comedy in development at Sony Pictures Animation. As revealed by the e-mail leak one year before, the duo had been previously courted by Sony to take over the studio's animation division. Originally scheduled to be released on December 21, 2018, Sony announced on April 26, 2017 the film would be released a week earlier on December 14, 2018. Sony Pictures Animation president Kristine Belson unveiled the film's logo, with the working title Animated Spider-Man, at CinemaCon 2016, and declared that "conceptually and visually, [the film] will break new ground for the superhero genre." On June 20, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Bob Persichetti would direct the animated film. Sony announced that Miles Morales would be the Spider-Man in the film and Peter Ramsey would serve as co-director.
Untitled Into the Spider-Verse sequel
In November 2018, it was revealed that Into the Spider-Verse had entered into sequel development. The sequel, which will continue Morales' story and feature a romance with Gwen Stacy / Spider-Gwen, is set to be directed by Joaquim Dos Santos and written by David Callaham.
Untitled female-centered spin-off
Along with the announcement of a sequel, a spin-off focused on female Spider-characters was revealed to be in development, with Lauren Montgomery in talks to direct the film, while Bek Smith is set to write. The spin-off will star Spider-Gwen, and is set to feature the characters Cindy Moon / Silk and Jessica Drew / Spider-Woman. Producer Amy Pascal felt that "it’s great that we're going to be able to tell movies about female superheroes in this realm" as she believes "there are going to be characters that really resonate for people". On how the spin-off film will be connected to the sequel to Into the Spider-Verse, Pascal said that it will act as a "launching pad" for the spin-off. Hailee Steinfeld expressed interest in reprising her role as Spider-Gwen in the film.
Into the Spider-Verse producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller expressed interest in developing animated shorts starring Spider-Ham. John Mulaney also expressed interest in a spin-off film starring the character, with the potential plot being a "Watergate-like story" which could focus on the character's career as a reporter.
Marvel Super Heroes 4D (2010)
On May 31, 2010, an animated 4D film, titled Marvel Super Heroes 4D was launched at Madame Tussauds London, featuring Spider-Man and Iron Man leading the Avengers against Doctor Doom. On April 26, 2012, an updated version of the film with a different plot, featuring Spider-Man in a diminished capacity, was opened at Madame Tussauds New York. The film features Tom Kenny as the voice of Peter Parker / Spider-Man.
Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel (2013)
At Comic-Con 2013, Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Worldwide, Inc announced the development of a crossover television film of the animated series Phineas and Ferb, that would feature characters from Marvel Entertainment. The film aired between August 16–25, 2013 on Disney Channel and Disney XD, featuring Drake Bell reprising his role from Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, alongside Danny Trejo as the Venom Symbiote.
Recurring cast and characters
- This table only includes characters which have appeared in multiple "franchises" of Spider-Man film.
- A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in the franchise, or that the character's presence in a film of the franchise has not yet been announced.
- A D indicates that the actor was not in the theatrical release of the film.
- A A indicates the actor or actress appears via archived footage/recordings from previous films.
Stan Lee, one of the co-creators of Spider-Man, has appeared in varied cameos in all films since the Raimi trilogy. Bruce Campbell, a long-time colleague of Sam Raimi, appeared in all three of his films. In Spider-Man, he was the announcer at the wrestling ring Peter was in and gave him the name "Spider-Man", instead of the "Human Spider" (the name with which Peter wanted to be introduced). In Spider-Man 2, he was an usher who refuses to let Peter enter the theatre for Mary Jane's play when arriving late. In Spider-Man 3, Campbell appears as a French maître d'. In the ultimately unmade Spider-Man 4, Campbell's character would have been revealed as Quentin Beck / Mysterio.
- This Spider-Man is known as "Peter B. Parker".
- This Spider-Man is known as "RIPeter Parker".
- This Peter Parker is known as Spider-Man Noir.
- This Spider-Man, stated to be Peter Parker, is credited as "Last Dude".
- Additionally, a student in Peter Parker's university class in Spider-Man 2, portrayed by Brianna Brown, is identified as Gwen Stacy in the film's novelization.
- The version of Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 is "Otto Octavius" as appeared in the source material, while the version in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is female whose name is "Olivia Octavius".
- This character assumes the identities of "New Goblin" in the Raimi series and "Green Goblin" in the Webb films.
- This version of the Burglar is named "Dennis Carradine".
|Spider-Man||Spider-Man 2||Spider-Man 3||The Amazing
Into the Spider-Verse
Far From Home
|Director(s)||Sam Raimi||Marc Webb||Jon Watts||Bob Persichetti,
|Executive producer(s)||Avi Arad,
Joseph M. Caracciolo
|E. Bennett Walsh,
Brian Michael Bendis,
Thomas M. Hammel,
Eric Hauserman Carroll,
John Francis Daley,
Jonathan M. Goldstein,
John Francis Daley,
Jonathan M. Goldstein
|Composer(s)||Danny Elfman||Christopher Young||James Horner||Hans Zimmer,
|Michael Giacchino||Daniel Pemberton||Michael Giacchino|
|Director of photography||Don Burgess||Bill Pope||John Schwartzman||Dan Mindel||Salvatore Totino||Matthew J. Lloyd|
|Bob Murawski||Alan Edward Bell,
|Pietro Scalia||Dan Lebental,
|Robert Fisher Jr.||TBA|
The Sam Raimi trilogy was released on DVD, the first two being released exclusively as two-disc sets and on VHS, with the third film being released in both single and two-disc editions. All three films were later packaged in a "Motion Picture DVD Trilogy" box set.
Spider-Man 3 was initially the only Spider-Man film to be released individually on the high-definition Blu-ray format. The first two films were made available on Blu-ray, but only as part of a boxed set with the third film, called Spider-Man: The High-Definition Trilogy. The first two films lacked the bonus features from the DVDs, although Spider-Man 2 did contain both cuts of the film.
Sony announced on April 2, 2012 that the three films would be re-released on June 12, 2012. The DVDs of the first two films reinstated a selection of the bonus features missing from the earlier Blu-ray releases, although the Spider-Man 3 reissue did not include the bonus disc of additional special features that appeared on earlier Blu-ray releases.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 became the first Spider-Man movie released on Ultra HD Blu-ray on March 1, 2016. October 17, 2017 saw Sony release the home video release of Homecoming on UHD and other home video formats as well as sets featuring all of their other Spider-Man movies on UHD. This included Spider-Man: Limited Edition Collection, which includes all three Raimi films, and The Amazing Spider-Man: Limited Edition Collection, which includes both Webb films.
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|Sam Raimi films|
|Spider-Man||May 3, 2002||$403,706,375||$418,002,176||$821,708,551||30||73||$140 million|||
|Spider-Man 2||June 30, 2004||$373,585,825||$410,180,516||$783,766,341||39||84||$200 million|||
|Spider-Man 3||May 4, 2007||May 1, 2007||$336,530,303||$554,341,323||$890,871,626||52||53||$258 million|||
|Marc Webb films|
|The Amazing Spider-Man||July 3, 2012||June 27, 2012||$262,030,663||$495,900,000||$757,930,663||104||91||$230 million|||
|The Amazing Spider-Man 2||May 2, 2014||April 16, 2014||$202,853,933||$506,128,390||$708,982,323||193||109||$250 million|||
|Marvel Cinematic Universe|
|Spider-Man: Homecoming||July 7, 2017||July 5, 2017||$334,201,140||$545,965,784||$880,166,924||54||56||$175 million|||
|Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||December 14, 2018||December 12, 2018||$148,514,606||$154,600,000||$303,114,606||360||447||$90 million|||
The first three Spider-Man films set new opening day records in North America in their opening weekend. The films are among the top of North American rankings of films based on Marvel Comics, with Spider-Man ranking seventh, Spider-Man 2 ranking ninth, Spider-Man 3 ranking eleventh, and Spider-Man: Homecoming ranking twelfth. In North America, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming are ranked eleventh, thirteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth for all superhero films. Worldwide, Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming are ranked eleventh and twelfth for all superhero films (behind Avengers: Infinity War, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther, Incredibles 2, Iron Man 3, Captain America: Civil War, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dark Knight, and Aquaman). Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming are four of the five most successful films produced by Sony/Columbia Pictures in North America.
Critical and public response
|Sam Raimi films|
|Spider-Man||90% (240 reviews)||73 (38 reviews)||A−|
|Spider-Man 2||93% (269 reviews)||83 (41 reviews)||A−|
|Spider-Man 3||63% (254 reviews)||59 (40 reviews)||B+|
|Marc Webb films|
|The Amazing Spider-Man||72% (318 reviews)||66 (42 reviews)||A−|
|The Amazing Spider-Man 2||52% (296 reviews)||53 (50 reviews)||B+|
|Marvel Cinematic Universe|
|Spider-Man: Homecoming||92% (350 reviews)||73 (51 reviews)||A|
|Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse||97% (326 reviews)||87 (50 reviews)||A+|
David Ansen of Newsweek enjoyed Spider-Man as a fun film to watch, though he considered Spider-Man 2 to be "a little too self-important for its own good." Ansen saw Spider-Man 3 as a return to form, finding it "the most grandiose chapter and the nuttiest." Tom Charity of CNN appreciated the films' "solidly redemptive moral convictions", also noting the vast improvement of the visual effects from the first film to the third. While he saw the second film's Doc Ock as the "most engaging" villain, he applauded the third film's Sandman as "a triumph of CGI wizardry." Richard Corliss of Time enjoyed the action of the films and thought that they did better than most action movies by "rethinking the characters, the franchise and the genre."
Colin Covert of the Star Tribune praised Spider-Man as a "superb debut" of the superhero as well as Spider-Man 2 as a "superior sequel" for filmgoers who are fans "of spectacle and of story." Covert expressed disappointment in Spider-Man 3 as too ambitious with the multiple storylines leaving one "feeling overstuffed yet shortchanged." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times enjoyed the humor of the first two films, but found it missing in the third installment. Dargis also noted, "The bittersweet paradox of this franchise is that while the stories have grown progressively less interesting the special effects have improved tremendously." Robert Denerstein of the Rocky Mountain News ranked the films from his favorite to his least favorite: Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man, and Spider-Man 3. While Denerstein missed the presence of Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus from the second film, he found the third film – despite being "bigger, though not necessarily better" – to have a "satisfying conclusion."
- List of accolades received by Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film trilogy
- List of films based on Marvel Comics
- Spider-Man in television
- Spider-Man in novels
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The trick to making any incarnation of Spider-Man great, whether comics, animation or film is Peter Parker. Get Peter's character right and the rest falls into place.
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