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Spider-Man (2002 film)

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Spider-Man
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Produced by: Laura Ziskin
Ian Bryce
Avi Arad

Written by:

David Koepp

Starring:

Tobey Maguire
Willem Dafoe
Kirsten Dunst
James Franco
Cliff Robertson
Rosemary Harris

Rating:

MPAA: PG-13
BBFC: 12A

Running time:

121 minutes

Music by:

Danny Elfman

Edited by:

Arthur Coburn
Bob Murawski

Released by:

Columbia Pictures

Release date:

May 3, 2002

Previous installment(s):

Spider-Man (different franchise)

Next installment(s):

Spider-Man 2

Budget:

$140 million

Box office:

$821,708,551

"Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: 'With great power comes great responsibility.' This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man."
— Peter Parker


Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi and written by David Koepp.

Based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, the film stars Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, a high-school student who turns to crimefighting after developing spider-like powers. Spider-Man also stars Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn (a.k.a. the Green Goblin), Kirsten Dunst as Peter's love interest, Mary-Jane Watson, and James Franco as his best friend, Harry Osborn.

Synopsis

The film tells the story of Spider-Man's origins, beginning with Peter Parker's life before he became Spider-Man (his life as a geeky science nerd who desperately seeks attention from Mary Jane Watson, who he has had a crush on since he was six years old), all the way up to his web-slinging days as Spider-Man. The main antagonist is Norman Osborn, the co-owner of Oscorp Industries, who goes insane after experimenting with unsafe performance enhancers. He then becomes the "Green Goblin", terrorizing New York with his frightening array of high-tech weapons and armor. It was filmed from January to June 2001, and was released on May 3, 2002. The film proved successful both critically and financially. It grossed over $821 million worldwide. The film won six awards, including the Saturn Award for Best Music (Danny Elfman), the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst) and Best Female Performance (Kirsten Dunst). The film's success led to its sequel, Spider-Man 2.

Plot

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), Harry Osborn (James Franco), and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) visit a genetics laboratory with their high school class. While taking photos in the laboratory, Peter is bitten on the hand by a genetically engineered "super spider", and arrives home and passes out with the bite wound considerably swollen. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn (Williem Dafoe), Harry's father, attempts to preserve his company's military contract from a rival firm, personally experimenting with his company's new but unstable performance-enhancing chemical vapor to increase his speed, strength, and stamina. Afterward, he goes into an uncontrollable rage and kills his assistant. The next morning, Peter finds that his previously impaired vision has improved to 20/20 and that his body has metamorphosed into a more muscular physique. When Peter goes to school, he finds himself producing webbing and having the quick reflexes to avoid being injured in a fight with Flash Thompson. Peter escapes from the school and realizes that he has acquired spider-like abilities from the spider bite. Peter quickly learns to scale walls, long jump across building rooftops and swing using webs from his wrists.

Lying to his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) about where he is going, Peter decides to enter a wrestling tournament to get money to buy a car and impress Mary Jane. During an argument, Uncle Ben advises Peter, "With great power comes great responsibility." Peter lashes out at his uncle and leaves for the tournament. Peter wins, but is cheated out of the contest money; in retaliation he allows a thief to escape with the promoter's gate money. Afterward, Peter finds his uncle has been carjacked and killed. Peter tracks down the carjacker only to find out it was the same thief he allowed to escape earlier. During the struggle, the carjacker falls out of a window and is killed. Upon graduating, Peter decides to use his abilities to fight injustice, and dons a new costume and the persona of Spider-Man. Peter is hired as a freelance photographer when he arrives in newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson's office with the only clear images of Spider-Man.
Spider-man-xl-03-jpg-1

Norman, upon finding out that Oscorp's board members plan to sell the company, attacks them at the World Unity Fair. Jameson quickly dubs Norman as the Green Goblin. The Goblin offers Spider-Man a place at his side as he sees how the authorities mistrust him, but Spider-Man refuses, knowing that it is the right thing to do. The Goblin commits arson to engage him with a final offer, which Spider-Man refuses, and the Goblin becomes set on killing him. At the Osborn and Parkers' Thanksgiving dinner, Norman notices Peter's wound from the masked confrontation and leaves shortly thereafter. Feeling betrayed by Peter, and having found a personal annoyance with Aunt May, he attacks her. Whilst she recovers in the hospital, Mary Jane admits she has a crush on Spider-Man, who rescued her on numerous occasions, and asks Peter whether he ever asked about her. Peter reflects on his own feelings, during which Harry Osborn enters. Feeling betrayed by his girlfriend, Harry becomes fully loyal to his father, and tells him whom Peter loves the most.

The Goblin strikes, holding Mary Jane and a tram car full of children hostage on top the Queensboro Bridge. The Goblin tells Spider-Man to choose who he wants to save, and when Spider-Man refuses to choose, the Goblin drops his hostages. Spider-Man manages to save both Mary Jane and the tram car, whilst the Goblin is pelted at by civilians, showing loyalty to Spider-Man and proving him wrong by telling the Goblin that if "you mess with him, you mess with New York." The Goblin then grabs Spider-Man and throws him into an abandoned building. Upon the rocky arrival, Green Goblin throws a pumpkin bomb into the building, crossing near Spider-Man and eventually exploding, thus subsequently injuring him and weakening his spider senses. The Goblin then taunts him about how he denied their partnership before brutally beating on Spider-Man. Goblin savagely beats on him despite his efforts to strike back. However, the tables turn as the Goblin boasts of how he will later kill Mary Jane slowly, and an enraged Spider-Man clobbers him to the point of taking off his mask, revealing his true identity. Norman begs for forgiveness, but his Goblin persona attempts to remote-control his glider to impale Spider-Man. The superhero evades the attack, causing the glider to impale Norman instead, and he dies asking Peter not to reveal his secret to Harry. At Norman’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance toward Spider-Man, who he believes is responsible for killing his father, and asserts that Peter is all he has left. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she’s in love with him. After exchanging a passionate kiss, Peter, feeling that he must protect her, hides his true feelings. As Peter leaves the funeral, he recalls Uncle Ben's words, "With great power, comes great responsibility."

Rating

Spider-Man received a PG-13 rating for stylized violence and action by the MPAA. The film is rated 12A by the BBFC for some scenes of strong fantasy violence.

Cast

Video Game adaption

Reception

Reaction to the film was very positive among critics. The film currently holds an 89% rating, based on 216 reviews, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Metacritic gave the film an average score of 73 out of 100, which signifies "generally favorable reviews". Many critics also praised the casting of Tobey Maguire as the title character. Eric Harrison of the Houston Chronicle said of Maguire, "within seconds...it becomes hard to imagine anyone else in the role."

The film was, at the time of its release, the highest-grossing superhero film of all-time. It also became the first film to pass $100 million in its opening weekend.

Sequels

Main article: Spider-Man 2
Main article: Spider-Man 3

Trivia

  • In 2013, Hugh Jackman said he was supposed to be in the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man film as Wolverine from X-Men. He said: "In the first 'Spider-Man' -- Kevin Feige reminded me of this -- we really tried to get me to come on and do something, whether it was a gag or just to walk through the shot or something," he revealed. "The problem was, we couldn't find the suit. The suit was stuck in some thing. And so when they were in New York when I was there, we couldn't get it together. I still think, one day, there may be an ability to do it."
  • Due to the color schemes of their costumes, Spider-Man had to film most of his scenes behind a green screen, while Green Goblin had to film his behind a blue screen respectively.
  • The green vapor from the human enhancement formula is just regular steam with computer graphics that made it green. Sam Raimi wanted the steam to be pure green, but there was no way it could happen without making it harmful to breathe.
  • After the 9/11 attacks in New York, Sony recalled the original teaser posters to the movie. The posters show Spider-Man with the New York City skyline reflecting in his eyes, and in his eyes was the Twin Towers. Most of the posters weren't recovered and they are now highly prized collectors items.
  • There was a teaser trailer recalled from theaters after the 9/11 attacks. The teaser involved a gang of bank robbers robbing a bank and escaping via helicopter. As the robbers fly away, the helicopter is stopped by Spider-Man's webs and is stuck in a giant web between the Twin Towers.
  • On top of that, various different sequences that were recorded for the film had the Twin Towers in them. Because filming took place before the 9/11 attacks occurred, these shoots contained the buildings throughout the film, although it is unclear if there were intentions to digitally remove the shoots from the film.
  • Director James Cameron wanted to make a Spider-Man film make in the mid to late 90s' and even written a complete screenplay and had a whole cast lined up. However, the studios turned it down because of the mature content that the screenplay had. But the only thing from Cameron's screenplay that made it into the 2002 movie was the idea of biological web shooters.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was considered to play the lead role.
  • During production, four of the Spider-Man costumes were stolen. Sony even posted a $25,000 reward to anyone who found them. They were discovered two years later and the suspect, a former Sony Studios security guard, was arrested.
  • The Spider-Man suits used silver webbing as opposed to black webbing because the silver helped create depth. The visual effects artists could not correctly make footage of Spider-Man swinging around the city realistic, so the webbing was used instead. A CGI test of Spider-Man climbing up a building, and the sequences with the wrestling suit Spider-Man are examples of this.
  • Tobey Maguire earned himself a $26,000,000 paycheck just for signing on for two sequels.
  • The original Spider-Man suits were hard for Tobey Maguire to wear since it was hard for him to use the bathroom. Eventually the costumes were redesigned to have a vent for Maguire to use the restroom when needed.
  • James Franco auditioned for Spider-Man and he was even considered to play him. But Tobey Maguire auditioned and snagged the role and Franco was offered to play Harry Osborn instead.
  • The sequence where Spider-Man dodges Green Goblin's razor bats in the burning building scene was filmed using bullet time photography, the same photography used in The Matrix.
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