Spider-Man in film

Modern Spider-Man feature film actors: (clockwise from top left) Tobey Maguire in the Sam Raimi films; Andrew Garfield in the Marc Webb films; Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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 seven live-action films since his inception. 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 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, 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 met mixed reviews. 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.

Raimi's trilogy grossed nearly US$2.5 billion worldwide on a $597 million total budget, while Webb's films grossed over $1.4 billion on a $480 million total budget. The Spider-Man films are the eighth highest-grossing film franchise, having grossed over $3.9 billion collectively. In February 2015, Sony, Disney and Marvel Studios announced a deal to share the Spider-Man film rights, leading to a new iteration of Spider-Man being introduced and integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This younger version of Peter Parker is played by Tom Holland, and appears in Captain America: Civil War (2016) (distributed by Disney) before starring in Spider-Man: Homecoming (distributed by Sony) in 2017.

Early films

The Amazing Spider-Man (1977–1979)

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. In 1978, episodes from the television series were re-edited and released outside of the United States as a feature film titled Spider-Man Strikes Back. In 1979, a film made using the same method was released as Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge.

Spider-Man (1978)

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.


Cannon Films

The underperformance of 1983's Superman III made feature-film adaptations of comic book properties a very low priority in Hollywood until the 1990s.[1] In 1985, after a brief option on Spider-Man by Roger Corman expired,[2] 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.[3] However, the rights would revert to Marvel if a film was not made by April 1990.[4]

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)[5] 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.[5][6]

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.[7] 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.[8] 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.[3]

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.[9] Lauren Bacall and Katharine Hepburn were considered for Aunt May, Peter Cushing as a sympathetic scientist, and Adolph Caesar as a police detective.[7] 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.[6]

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."[9] Due to Cannon's assorted financial crises, the project shut down after spending about $1.5 million on the project.[5] 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.[4]

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.[10] 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."[11] 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.[12] 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.[13] 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."[14]

Carolco Pictures

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).[15]

Toward the end of shooting True Lies, Variety carried the announcement that Carolco Pictures had received a completed screenplay from James Cameron.[16] 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.[17] 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 Dr. Octopus.[18][19]

James Cameron "scriptment"

Months later, James Cameron submitted an undated 47-page "scriptment" with an alternate story (the copyright registration was dated 1991), part screenplay, part narrative story outline.[5] 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 Dillion) 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.[20]

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.[6] In 1991, Carolco Pictures extended Golan’s option agreement with Marvel through May 1996,[4] but in April 1992, Carolco ceased active production on Spider-Man due to continued financial and legal problems.[21]


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.[4] 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.[6] Eventually, Carolco sued Viacom and Columbia to recover broadcast and home video rights, and the two studios countersued.[3] 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.[5] 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."[22] 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.[4] 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.[23] MGM disputed the legality, claiming it had the Spider-Man rights via Cannon, 21st Century, and Carolco.[24]

Columbia Pictures

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.[25] (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.[26]

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.[27] Columbia acquired the rights to all previous scripts in 2000,[13] but exercised options only on the "Cameron Material", i.e., both the completed multi-author screenplay and the subsequent "scriptment."[5] After more than a decade of attempts, Spider-Man truly went into production[3] and 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.[28]

Sam Raimi films

Sam Raimi series logo

Spider-Man (2002)

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)

Main article: Spider-Man 2

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)

Main article: Spider-Man 3

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.

Canceled films

Spider-Man 4

In 2008, 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.[29][30][31][32] James Vanderbilt was hired in October 2007 to pen the screenplay after initial reports in early 2007 that Sony Pictures was in contact with David Koepp, who wrote the first Spider-Man film.[33][34] The script was being rewritten by Gary Ross in October 2009.[35] Sony also engaged Vanderbilt to write scripts for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6.[34]

In 2008, 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.[36][37][38] Raimi also discussed his desire to upgrade Bruce Campbell from a cameo appearance to a significant role,[39] later revealed to be Quentin Beck / Mysterio.[40] 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.[41] However, several years later, in 2013, Raimi stated that Anne Hathaway was going to be Black Cat if Spider-Man 4 had been made.[42] 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.[40]

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 canceled 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.[43] Raimi purportedly went through four iterations of the script with different screenwriters and still "hated it".[44]


In July 2007, Avi Arad revealed a Venom spin-off was in the works.[45] 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.[46] Stan Lee signed on to make a cameo in the film.[47] Rhett Reese later revealed that they had written two drafts for the film and that the studio was pushing the film forward.[48] 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.[49] In March 2012, Chronicle director Josh Trank negotiated with Sony about his interest in directing the film after Ross left development to direct The Hunger Games.[50] 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."[51]

Marc Webb films

Marc Webb series logo

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. He fights the Lizard, the monstrous form of Dr. Curt Connors, 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 high school, continues his relationship with Gwen Stacy, and combats the electricity-manipulating Electro.

Canceled films


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.[52][53] Paul Giamatti confirmed that Rhino would return in the third film.[54] 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."[55] Andrew Garfield stated that his contract is for three films, and is unsure of his involvement for the fourth film.[56] In February 2014, Sony announced that Webb would return to direct the third Amazing Spider-Man film.[57] 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.[58] On July 11, 2014, Orci told IGN that he is not working on the third film due to the third Star Trek film.[59] Kurtzman revealed in an interview that the third film is still continuing production and there is a possibility of seeing a Black Cat film.[60] On July 23, 2014, Sony Pictures announced that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was delayed to 2018.[61] After the announcement in February 2015 of a new franchise with Marvel Studios, the sequels to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were canceled.[62]


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 will oversee the development and production of these films for the studio.[63][64] In April 2014, it was announced that Goddard would direct the Sinister Six film,[65] and that both spin-offs would be released before a fourth Amazing Spider-Man,[66] with Spider-Man potentially appearing in both spin-offs.[67] Later in the month, Tolmach and Arad revealed the Sinister Six film would be a redemption story[68] and that the film's lineup might differ from the comics.[69] On July 23, 2014, Sony Pictures announced that The Sinister Six was scheduled for release on November 11, 2016.[61] 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.[70]

Despite the announcement in February 2015 of a new franchise with Marvel Studios, the Sinister Six, Venom, and the 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.[62] However, the Sinister Six film was canceled due to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 underperforming commercially,[71] and by November 2015, the other prospective spin-off films were canceled as well.[72]

Licensing agreement with Marvel Studios

In December 2014, following the hacking of Sony Pictures' computers, both Sony and Marvel 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.[73]

However, on February 9, 2015, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced that Spider-Man would appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the character appearing in a Marvel Cinematic Universe 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.[74] The next month, Marvel Entertainment CCO Joe Quesada indicated that the Peter Parker version of the character would be used,[75] which Feige confirmed in April.[76] Feige also stated that Marvel had been working to add Spider-Man to the MCU since at least October 2014.[77] 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."[78] In November 2016, Holland revealed that he was signed for "three Spider-Man movies and three solo movies".[79]

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Reports indicated that the MCU film that Spider-Man would appear in as part of the deal would be Captain America: Civil War.[80][81] Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Captain America: Civil War, had lobbied for months to include the character in the film.[82] 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."[83] 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.[84][85] The six were chosen out of a search of over 1,500 actors to test in front of Feige, Pascal and the Russo brothers.[84] 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.[85] On June 23, 2015, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios jointly announced that Holland would play Spider-Man.[86] The following month, Marisa Tomei was in talks for the role of May Parker,[87] later appearing in Civil War.[88]

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled to be released on July 7, 2017.[89][90] The film is directed by Jon Watts,[91] from a screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.[92] Holland, Tomei, and Downey reprise their roles as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, May Parker, and Tony Stark / Iron Man, respectively,[93] and are joined by Michael Keaton, who plays the Vulture.[92][94] Production began in June 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia and ended in October.[95][96][97]


On April 2015, Sony announced that Phil Lord and Chris 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. The Spider-Man animation would be independent of any live-action adaptations,[98] and is currently set for release on December 21, 2018.[99] 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.”[100] On June 20, 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Bob Persichetti will direct the animated film.[101]

Recurring cast and characters

Character Spider-Man
Sam Raimi films Marc Webb films Marvel Cinematic Universe
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 3
The Amazing

The Amazing
Spider-Man 2

Captain America:
Civil War


Peter Parker
Nicholas Hammond Tobey Maguire Andrew Garfield
Max Charles
Tom Holland
Benjamin Parker Cliff Robertson Martin Sheen
May Parker Jeff Donnell Rosemary Harris Sally Field Marisa Tomei[88][102]
J. Jonah Jameson David White J. K. Simmons
Robbie Robertson Hilly Hicks Bill Nunn
Norman Osborn
Green Goblin
Willem Dafoe Chris Cooper
Harry Osborn
New Goblin / Green Goblin
James Franco Dane DeHaan
Mary Jane Watson Kirsten Dunst
Betty Brant Elizabeth Banks
Ted Hoffman Ted Raimi
Mr. Ditkovich Elya Baskin
Ursula Ditkovich Mageina Tovah
Flash Thompson Joe Manganiello Joe Manganiello Chris Zylka Tony Revolori[103]
Dennis Carradine
Michael Papajohn Michael Papajohn Leif Gantvoort
Curtis Connors
The Lizard
Dylan Baker Rhys Ifans
Gwen Stacy Bryce Dallas Howard Emma Stone
George Stacy James Cromwell Denis Leary
Helen Stacy Kari Coleman
Howard Stacy Skyler Gisondo
Richard Parker Campbell Scott
Mary Parker Embeth Davidtz
Gustav Fiers
Michael Massee
Tony Stark
Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr.[93][104]

Stan Lee, one of the co-creators of Spider-Man, has appeared in varied cameos in all films except the 1977 film. 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 theater for Mary Jane's play when arriving late. In Spider-Man 3, Campbell appears as a French maître d'.[105]


Occupation Film
Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 3
The Amazing

The Amazing
Spider-Man 2


Director Sam Raimi Marc Webb Jon Watts
Producer(s) Laura Ziskin,
Ian Bryce
Grant Curtis
Laura Ziskin,
Avi Arad
Grant Curtis
Laura Ziskin,
Avi Arad,
Grant Curtis
Laura Ziskin,
Avi Arad,
Matt Tolmach
Avi Arad,
Matt Tolmach
Kevin Feige,
Amy Pascal
Executive producer(s) Avi Arad,
Stan Lee
Stan Lee,
Kevin Feige,
Joseph M. Caracciolo
Stan Lee,
Kevin Feige,
Michael Grillo
E. Bennett Walsh,
Stan Lee,
Alex Kurtzman,
Roberto Orci
Louis D’Esposito,
Victoria Alonso,
Patricia Whitcher,
Jeremy Latcham,
Stan Lee
Writer(s) Screenplay by
David Koepp
Screenplay by
Alvin Sargent
Story by
Alfred Gough,
Miles Millar,
Michael Chabon
Screenplay by
Sam Raimi,
Ivan Raimi,
Alvin Sargent
Story by
Sam Raimi,
Ivan Raimi
Screenplay by
James Vanderbilt,
Alvin Sargent,
Steve Kloves
Story by
James Vanderbilt
Screenplay by
Alex Kurtzman,
Roberto Orci,
Jeff Pinkner
Story by
Alex Kurtzman,
Roberto Orci,
Jeff Pinkner,
James Vanderbilt
Screenplay by
John Francis Daley,
Jonathan M. Goldstein,
Jon Watts,
Christopher Ford,
Chris McKenna,
Erik Sommers
Composer(s) Danny Elfman Christopher Young James Horner Hans Zimmer,
Pharrell Williams,
Johnny Marr,
Junkie XL,
Mike Einziger,
Steve Mazzaro,
Andrew Kawczynski
Michael Giacchino
Director of photography Don Burgess Bill Pope John Schwartzman Daniel Mindel TBD
Editor(s) Bob Murawski,
Arthur Coburn
Bob Murawski Alan Edward Bell,
Michael McCusker,
Pietro Scalia
Pietro Scalia TBD

Home media

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.[106] 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.

All three films which comprise the Raimi trilogy are available in the U.S. on iTunes.[107][108][109]


Box office

Film Release date Box office gross Box office ranking Budget Ref(s)
North America Other
North America Other
Worldwide All time
North America
All time
Spider-Man May 3, 2002 $403,706,375 $418,002,176 $821,708,551 21 54 $140 million [110]
Spider-Man 2 June 30, 2004 $373,585,825 $410,180,516 $783,766,341 29 58 $200 million [111]
Spider-Man 3 May 4, 2007 May 1, 2007 $336,530,303 $554,341,323 $890,871,626 41 41 $258 million [112]
The Amazing Spider-Man July 3, 2012 June 27, 2012 $262,030,663 $495,900,000 $757,930,663 85 69 $230 million [113]
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 2, 2014 April 16, 2014 $202,853,933 $506,128,390 $708,982,323 163 84 $250 million [114]
Total $1,578,707,099 $2,384,552,405 $3,963,259,504 7 5 $1.078 billion [115]
List indicator(s)
  • (A) indicates the adjusted totals based on 2015 ticket prices (calculated by Box Office Mojo).

The first three Spider-Man films set new opening day records in North America in their opening weekend.[116] The films are among the top of North American rankings of films based on Marvel Comics, with Spider-Man ranking second, Spider-Man 2 ranking third, and Spider-Man 3 ranking fourth.[117] In North America, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3 are ranked third, fourth and fifth for all superhero films, with the third film ranking fifth worldwide for superhero films (behind The Avengers, Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises).[118] Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3 are the most successful films produced by Sony/Columbia Pictures in North America.[119]

Critical and public response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Spider-Man 89% (236 reviews)[120] 73 (37 reviews)[121] A−[122]
Spider-Man 2 93% (261 reviews)[123] 83 (41 reviews)[124] A−[122]
Spider-Man 3 63% (249 reviews)[125] 59 (40 reviews)[126] B+[122]
The Amazing Spider-Man 72% (306 reviews)[127] 66 (42 reviews)[128] A−[122]
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 52% (277 reviews)[129] 53 (49 reviews)[130] B+[122]

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."[131] 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."[132] 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."[133]

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."[134] 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."[135] 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."[136]

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External links

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