The Amazing Spider-Man - On Screen History
Quick Facts: Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee (1922-) and Steve Ditko (1927-) and first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 published by Marvel Comics in August 1962.
Peter Parker was an orphan raised by his aunt and uncle, he gains superpowers when he is bitten by a radioactive spider.
The Amazing Spider-Man comic book premiered in March 1963 and quickly became a success, one of Marvel's best-selling titles and now nearing it's 700th issue.
Despite his strange powers, Peter Parker was still basically a normal young man with normal problems, difficulty paying the rent, finding a job, problem with girls, he suffers loneliness, grief and depression. Spider-Man became a cultural icon.
The success of Sam Raimi's trilogy of Spider-Man movies (2002-2007) and a reboot released in 2012, has helped keep the character in the top tier of popular comic book heroes.
The Amazing Spider-Man (1977-1979) TV series starring Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Chip Fields, Ellen Bry, Michael Pataki and Robert F. Simon as J. Jonah Jameson.
14 one-hour episodes.
A re-edited version of the two-part pilot episode was released theatrically in Europe in 1978.
Nicholas Hammond (1950-) was the first actor to play Peter Parker / Spider-Man, he was also best known as Friedrich, one of the Von Trapp children in the highly popular musical The Sound of Music (1965).
IMDB rating 6.3
Spider-Man (1994-1998) Animated TV series starring the voices of Christopher Daniel Barnes as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Sara Ballantine as Mary Jane Watson, Linda Gary as Aunt May, Edward Asner as J. Jonah Jameson, Gary Imhoff as Harry Osborn, Roscoe Lee Brown as The Kingpin, Eddie Albert as The Vulture, Joseph Campanella as The Lizard, Efrem Zimbalist Jr as The Green Goblin, Richard Moll as The Scorpion, Don Stark as The Rhino, Scott Cleverdon as Carnage and Hank Azaria as Venom.
65 x 21 minute episodes.
One of the most highly rated and popular superhero cartoon series in TV history, an entire library of Marvel superheroes and supervillains featured in the series.
IMDB rating 8.3
Spider-Man (2002) Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn / The Green Goblin, James Franco as Harry Osborn, Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben, Rosemary Harris as Aunt May and J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. Music by Danny Elfman. 121mins.
Uncle Ben: Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
James Cameron was interested in making a Spider-Man movie after he finished Titanic, he even wrote a script treatment, his storyline was scrapped when Sam Raimi took over the project.
The studio wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for Spidey. James Franco and Scott Speedman tested for the role which went to Tobey Maguire who had to bulk up for the part.
Green Goblin: You're an amazing creature, Spider-Man. You and I are not so different.
Spider-Man: I'm not like you. You're a murderer.
Green Goblin: Well, to each his own. I chose my path, you chose the way of the hero. And they found you amusing for a while, the people of this city. But the one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you've done for them, eventually they will hate you.
Nicolas Cage and John Malkovich were considered for the role of Norman Osborn aka The Green Goblin.
J. Jonah Jameson: If we can get a picture of Julia Roberts in a thong, we can certainly get a picture of this weirdo.
Sam Raimi (1959-) was the perfect director for the film, he is an avid comic book reader with over 25,000 comics in his collection.
Tobey Maguire (1975-) wasn't a comic book reader but did like the script, he was paid $36m for the three Spider-Man movies plus a percentage of the gross making him a very wealthy young man.
A teaser trailer was produced showing robbers making their getaway in a helicopter and getting caught in a giant web spun between the World Trade Center buildings. After the terrorist attacks on September 11 the trailer had to be changed, it can still be seen on the DVD / Blu-ray.
Peter Parker: No matter what I do, no matter how hard I try, the ones I love will always be the ones who pay.
Spider-Man cost $140m and was a huge success grossing $821m worldwide, the third biggest film of the year following Lord of the Rings II The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
IMDB rating 7.4
Spider-Man 2 (2004) Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius aka Dr. Octopus, Rosemary harris, J.K. Simmons and Donna Murphy. Music by Danny Elfman. 127mins (135mins Dir. Cut)
Ed Harris, Sam Neill and Robert De Niro were all considered for the role of Dr. Octopus.
More supervillains were to be featured in the second film joining Doc Ock, including The Lizard, The Black Cat and Harry Osborn as the new Green Goblin but it was decided to stick with one main villain.
J. Jonah Jameson: What are we gonna call this guy?
Hoffman: 'Doctor Octopus'?
J. Jonah Jameson: That's crap.
Hoffman: 'Science Squid'?
J. Jonah Jameson: Crap.
Hoffman: 'Doctor Strange'.
J. Jonah Jameson: That's pretty good. But it's taken! Wait, wait! I got it! 'Doctor Octopus'.
Hoffman: But... uh... I like it.
J. Jonah Jameson: Of course you do. 'Doctor Octopus'. New villain in town: 'Doc Ock'.
J. Jonah Jameson: What, are you looking for a raise? Get out!
Unlike the first film Spider-Man 2 was filmed in full widescreen because director Sam Raimi wanted the extra screen space so he could include both Spider-Man and Doc Ock along with his tentacles all in one shot during the action scenes.
Alfred Molina gave each mechanical tentacle a name - Larry, Harry, Moe and Flo.
Harry Osborn: Dad? I thought you were...
Green Goblin: No. I'm alive in you, Harry. You swore to make Spider-Man pay, now make him pay.
Harry Osborn: But Pete's my best friend!
Green Goblin: And I'm your father. You're weak. You were always weak and you will always be weak until you take control! Be strong Harry. Avenge me.
Harry Osborn: No.
Green Goblin: AVENGE ME!
Harry Osborn: NOOOO!
The film's opening title sequence contains artwork from renowned comic book artist Alex Ross.
Spidey 2 was critically acclaimed and is considered one of the best superhero movies ever made.
Spider-Man 2 cost a massive $200m to make, $54m was spent on the Oscar winning visual effects alone. The film grossed $783.8m worldwide, the third biggest film of the year following Shrek 2 and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
IMDB rating 7.5
Spider-Man 3 (2007) Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church as Flint Marko / Sandman, Topher Grace as Eddie Brock / Venom, Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, Theresa Russell, Dylan Baker as Dr. Curt Connors, Elizabeth Banks, Bill Nunn, Ted Raimi and Bruce Campbell. Music by Christopher Young. 139mins.
Scarlett Johansson and Elisha Cuthbert were considered for the role of Gwen Stacy.
Peter Parker: Eddie, the suit, you've got to take it off.
Eddie Brock: Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you?
Peter Parker: I know what it feels like. It feels good. The power. Everything. But you'll lose yourself. It'll destroy you. Let it go.
Eddie Brock: I like being bad. It makes me happy.
Topher Grace is a big comic book fan but disliked wearing the costume for Venom, which took an hour to put on and he couldn't use the bathroom with it on. The fangs were uncomfortable too.
Sam Raimi hated the character of Venom because he was too unsympathetic and he didn't want to add him to the film but Marvel studios producer Avi Arad convinced him that Venom was very popular with comic book fans and so he was written into the script.
Sam Raimi's friend Bruce Campbell (Ash in The Evil Dead films) has played a different part in each film, "Ring Announcer" in 1, "Snooty Usher" in 2 and "maitre d" in 3.
Spider-Man: Flint Marko. Remember Ben Parker? The old man you shot down in cold blood?
Flint Marko: What does it matter to you, anyway?
The special effects for the Sandman took months to perfect, the dynamics of sand were studied carefully by the special effects company. The film received 4 nominations from the Visual Effects Society.
Spidey 3 had mixed reviews, with critics complaining that the film had too many villains and that none of them were on a par with Doc Ock.
Spider-Man 3 cost $258 to produce, making it one of the most expensive films in history. Luckily it was hugely successful grossing $890m worldwide, the third biggest film of the year following Pirates of the Caribbean III At Worlds End and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
IMDB rating 6.3
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors / The Lizard, Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Sally Field as Aunt May, Denis Leary as Captain Stacey, Campbell Scott as Richard Parker and Embeth Davidtz as Mary Parker. Music by James Horner. 136mins.
A decision was made by the studio in 2010 not to make a 4th Spider-Man film starring Tobey Maguire but instead to reboot the franchise with a new director and a younger actor as Peter Parker.
Andrew Garfield (1983-) is the 3rd actor to play Spider-Man, he was born in California and moved to England with his parents when he was 4. Other films he has appeared in include - Lions for Lambs (2007), The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009), Never Let Me Go (2010) and The Social Network (2010).
Director Marc Webb (1974-) has only helmed one other film - (500) Days of Summer (2009).
Peter Parker: Ahem, you know, if you're going to steal cars, don't dress like a car thief.
Car Thief: You a cop?
Peter Parker: You seriously think I'm a cop in a skintight red and blue suit?
Other actors considered for the role of Spider-Man include - Jamie Bell, Aaron Johnson, Logan Lerman, Anton Yelchin, Zac Efron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Robert Pattinson.
Dr. Curt Connors (The Lizard) appeared in Spider-Man 2 & 3 where he was played by Dylan Baker.
George Stacy: [at a press conference] I am issuing an arrest warrant for the masked vigilante known as Spider-Man.
At one point Anne Hathaway was to have played Felicia Hardy (The Black Cat) in Spider-Man 4, when that movie was cancelled she went on to play Selina Kyle (Catwoman) in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Filming on The Amazing Spider-Man began in December 2010 and wrapped in May 2011.
The film cost $215m and has gone on to gross an impressive $752.2m worldwide.
IMDB rating 7.1
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) Directed by Marc Webb. 142mins.
Andrew Garfield - Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Emma Stone - Gwen Stacy
Jamie Foxx - Max Dillon / Electro
Dane DeHaan - Harry Osborn / Green Goblin
Colm Feore - Donald Menken
Felicity Jones - Felicia
Sally Field - Aunt May
Embeth Davidtz - Mary Parker
Campbell Scott - Richard Parker
Marton Csokas - Dr. Ashley Kafka
Chris Cooper - Norman Osborn
Paul Giamatti - Aleksei Sytsevich / The Rhino
Necessity is the mother of invention, which is why Marc Webb’s 2012 superhero do-over “The Amazing Spider-Man,” for all its polished proficiency and kicky star casting, felt so perfunctory: Rebooting the blockbuster Marvel franchise just five years after Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 3,” it couldn’t claim to be a film anyone needed. The swiftly delivered “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” finds no solution to that redundancy, but it acrobatically spins enough sound and fury to distract from the issue, while the tinderbox chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone delights once more. Continuing Peter Parker’s investigation of his shady family history while serving up a brace of villains — one more familiar than the other — for him to contend with, this bloated but enjoyable outing will pull in enough crowds to justify Sony’s reluctance to relinquish this heavily built-up creative property. (Variety)
The last time Spider-Man swung into sight, it was to fight a lizard man in a lab coat and cozy up to a living doll. The lizard landed in the clink, but the doll, Gwen Stacy, is back for the good of Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) and the franchise. As played by Emma Stone, who has the zing of a screwball heroine and the depthless eyes of an anime character, Gwen brightens “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” a sequel that, until a late, lamentably foolish turn, balances blockbuster bombast with human-scale drama, child-friendly comedy and gushers of tears. (New York Times)
IMDB rating 7.6