Since his creation by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962, Spider-Man has appeared in seven live-action films. In all the films, Spider-Man’s alter ego is Peter Parker, a young photographer and aspiring scientist who develops superpowers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. With a total production budget of over a billion, the films have a worldwide box office gross of nearly four billion dollars, ranking fifth all time.
Here are a few things you might not have known about Spider-Man’s adventures on and off the silver screen.
39. The First Rodeo
Spider-Man made his live-action debut in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” a television series that aired in 1977. In 1978, episodes from the television series were recut and released outside the US as a feature film titled “Spider-Man Strikes Back.”
38. Spider-Man: Top Gun
A Spider-Man film was almost made in the 80s by Cannon Films, who had bought the rights from Marvel for $225,000 with an expiration clause should a film not be made by April 1990. A script was written with Dr. Octopus as the villain. Rising star Tom Cruise was considered as Spidey while Lauren Bacall and Katharine Hepburn were considered for Aunt May. However, due to lack of money, the film went nowhere.
37. Spider-Man vs. The Terminator
In the 90s, there was another push the make a Spider-Man film, this time with James Cameron penning the screenplay. Arnold Schwarzenegger was attached as Dr. Octopus. Cameron’s script was heavy on profanity, included a climactic battle on top of the World Trade Center, and also included a scene where Spider-Man and Mary Jane get frisky on the Brooklyn Bridge, which cannot be safe.
36. A Complicated Web
Spider-Man had a long convoluted legal history as both MGM and Columbia had reasonable arguments that they owned the film rights to the comic book character. Columbia threatened to make an alternate James Bond film (they had the rights to 007 and related characters via “Thunderball”), which would have undermined MGM’s franchise. In 1999, the studios settled their differences with Columbia agreeing not to start a rival 007 franchise in exchange for MGM doing the same with Spider-Man.
35. Spidey Money
“Spider-Man” (2002) was the first film to gross $100 million on its opening weekend, even after adjusting for inflation.
34. Color Coordination
Because of their costume colors, Spider-Man was filmed in front of a green screen, while the Green Goblin was filmed in front of a blue screen.
33. Watered Down
During the famous upside-down kissing scene in “Spiderman” (2002), Tobey Maguire’s sinuses kept filling up with water, making filming difficult. His hardships were somewhat alleviated by having Kirsten Dunst attached to his face.
32. Total Recall
After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Sony recalled already-released posters that showed a close-up of Spider-Man’s face with a New York skyline that included the World Trade Center towers reflected in his eyes. Not all the posters were recalled, however, and the ones that are still in the wild are now considered highly valuable collector’s items.
31. Together We Stand
The New York citizens on the bridge throwing things at the Green Goblin was added post 9/11 as a way to illustrate the unity of the city.
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