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.
30. Exhaust Port
Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man costume had to be slightly modified because the original version didn’t have any way for him to go to the bathroom. They added a vent to allow him to void his innards without having to take the entire costume off.
29. Ohhhh Yeaaaaahhhhh
Bonesaw, the wrestler that the 2002 Spider-Man fights for money, was played by “Macho Man” Randy Savage who used to wrestle under the name Spider.
The scene in 2002’s “Spider-Man” where Peter Parker catches Mary Jane’s lunch on a tray didn’t involve any CGI or camera tricks. Toby Maguire actually performed the trick as seen on screen. It took 156 takes.
27. It’s Not a Metaphor
In the comics, Peter Parker’s web is a synthetic fluid fired from mechanical wrist guns of Parker’s own design. In the movie, the web originates from Parker’s body. To defend himself against angry nerds, director Sam Raimi said it made much more sense that the web would be produced this way, rather than invented by a high school student living with his aunt who has no resources and little spare time.
26. Will the Real Tobey Maguire Please Stand Up?
When two studio executives were shown footage of the computer-generated Spider-Man, they actually believed that it was the real Tobey Maguire doing his own stunts.
25. Spider-Man: Oscar Winner
Leonardo DiCaprio was considered for the role of Spider-Man. Had he gotten the role, he likely would have played a version of Spider-Man that was eaten by a bear.
While on the set of Spider-Man (2002), James Franco referred to Tobey Maguire’s features as “frog-like,” which Maguire did not appreciate very much at all. This led to a rivalry between the two actors that still exists to this day. That’s the problem with frogs. They have no sense of humor.
23. Named Tentacles
In “Spider-Man 2” (2004), Alfred Molina, who played Dr. Octopus, named his four tentacles Larry, Harry, Flo, and Moe. Flo was so named because that particular tentacle was deemed the “most motherly,” removing his sunglasses and feeding him sips of his drink.
22. Baby Got Back
Tobey Maguire almost dropped out of filming the sequel because of a bad back. Jake Gyllenhall was fully prepared to take the role, but at the last minute, Maguire returned and Gyllenhall went on to become the whitest Persian ever in “Prince of Persia.”
21. Red State
Kirsten Dunst dyed her hair red for the sequel. In the original film, she wore a wig. Apparently, she liked having red hair because nerdy dudes dug it. “I attract a different kind of boy when my hair’s red. I get more quality men—like a more thoughtful, nerdy dude.”
20. Fist of Legend
In the third movie, the aptly named “Spider-Man 3,” Thomas Haden Church injured himself during the scene in which he punches out part of a wall. The effects team told him that while the top and bottom bricks were real, the one in the middle was fake. Unfortunately, the fake brick hadn’t yet been installed, and on the first take, Haden Church turned, and promptly broke three knuckles on a real brick.
This probably also hurt…
19. The Littlest Stuntman
Bryce Dallas Howard performed all her stunts in the third film while completely unaware she was pregnant at the time and defying death for two.
Kirsten Dunst, who is a natural blonde, played a redhead in the film, while Bryce Dallas Howard, a natural redhead, played a blonde.
17. Enter Sandman
In the fight scene where Spider-Man punches through Sandman’s chest, amputee boxer Baxter Humby stood in for Maguire. Born without a right hand, Humby made the effect of punching into Sandman’s chest more believable.
16. Ze Goggles, They Do Nossin’
Real sand was used for Sandman, except for when characters were buried, which might have been hazardous. In those instances, they used ground up corn cob, which made an excellent snack for the cast and crew.
15. Cry Me a River
Stepping into Tobey Maguire’s role, Andrew Garfield put on the Spidey costume for the 2012 reboot “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and he admitted that, the first time he put it on, he cried. To be fair, he also cried the 100th time he put it on. And when Betty Spaghetti died in “A League of Their Own.” And at the smell of freshly cut grass. Garfield is a sensitive soul.
14. Little Genius
In the rebooted franchise, the web that Spider-Man shoots come from artificial devices, much to the satisfaction of the comic book purists who were angered by the alterations in Sam Raimi’s trilogy. New director Marc Webb explained that this was a creative decision to emphasize that Peter Parker was already special. The fact that he was bitten by a radioactive spider and didn’t immediately die of cancer was a bonus.
13. Escape Room
During the filming of the otherwise silent scene in which Peter goes into the web harvesting room with the spiders, Garfield requested that they play the song “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We would have gone with No Doubt’s “Spiderwebs.”
12. Take that, Jackie Chan.
Most of the stunts were performed by the actors and stuntmen rather than via CGI because Marc Webb wanted a more realistic and physical film. When filming in New York, the crew built a rig that was hundreds of feet long over Riverside Drive in Harlem while a car rig was also built to help with VFX, which required serious acrobatic skills.
In the sequel to “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the graduation speech given by Gwen Stacy was written by Emma Stone, who given her white hot career, will be giving a lot of speeches.
10. Black History
Jamie Foxx, who played Electro, was the first African-American to play a villain in any of the Spider-Man films.
Shailene Woodley was meant to be in the sequel as Mary-Jane Watson and had even filmed some of her scenes. However, she was cut from the film because the filmmakers felt there were already too many characters.
Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone met during screentests for “The Amazing Spider-Man” and became a real life couple for at least three years. While the status of their relationship is currently tabloid fodder, it is clear that Garfield still has quite a bit of affection for Stone based on the look of adoration he gave her during her Oscar win for Best Actress in “La La Land,” which won the Oscar for Best Pict- oh, sorry, that was “Moonlight.”
7. Puppy Love
The dog that Gwen walks while Peter spies on her from a rooftop was adopted by Garfield and Stone in 2013. No word on who got to keep the dog following their breakup.
6. Behind Every Superhero…
When asked about Gwen’s relationship to Peter, Emma Stone said that, “She saves him more than he saves her. She’s incredibly helpful to Spider-Man. He’s the muscle, she’s the brain.”
5. Not My Tempo
Jonah Jameson, the hateful news boss, was one of the most iconic characters in the Spider-Man universe. And yet, he didn’t make an appearance in the rebooted series. Producers claim that it was because they couldn’t find an actor who could measure up to J.K. Simmons’ legendary portrayal.
4. News Man
Stan Lee said that if he were 30 to 40 years younger, he would have happily taken a stab at playing J. Jonah Jameson.
3. Guess Who’s Not Coming to Dinner?
A Sony e-mail hack revealed that Garfield got fired because he insulted Sony chief Kaz Hirai by snubbing him at a big gala celebrating the end of the World Cup. Hirai was planning on introducing Garfield as the star of “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” in a speech before 750 guests, but Garfield never came down for dinner, much to Sony’s consternation. Hirai then fired Garfield and cancelled the next film. Overreaction, much?
We think they should have continued with the movie and had this kid replace Andrew:
2. Change of Plans
There was originally supposed to be an “Amazing Spider-Man 3” and 4 and a spin-off of the Sinister Six. However, none of that will happen because Garfield got himself fired. Instead, Sony and Marvel teamed up and Spider-Man became a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making his debut in
“Captain America: Civil War.”
1. A Whole New World
“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” coming in 2017, will be the first Spider-Man set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and will feature Iron Man, the first time a MCU character will ever appear in a standalone Spider-Man film.
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