Everyone has their favorite Spider-Man movie, just like everyone has one they feel could be a lot better. Spider-Man has been on movie screens six times in the last 14 years, but his movie appearances started before that. In the late 70s, Spider-Man was brought to screen with material from his TV show of the time, and a Japanese version was also released. There have also been a number of Spider-Man movies that stayed in development, never seeing production. Different companies were involved in negotiations for the rights to make a Spider-Man movie, so ideas were in development for many years until the 2002 Spider-Man finally came to theaters.
If you have yet to see Captain America: Civil War, this articles provides a few spoilers, so be warned. But if you want to know how the newest Spider-Man compares to all the others despite that, keep reading.
Arguably the best representation of Spider-Man before Civil War came in 2004’s Spider-Man 2. For now, that is just about the pinnacle of Spider-Man movies, although 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man ranks a close second place. Spider-Man 2 shows that director Sam Raimi got closer to understanding more about why Spider-Man works. It also brought to screen one of Marvel’s all-time most difficult opponents, Doctor Octopus. This sequel had smoothed out the bumps from the previous movie, offering a more polished experience that corrected the mistakes from the first film, mainly by not including an overly stiff villain like the 2004 film’s mechanical Green Goblin, not the best adaptation of a comic book character.
— Mashable Australia (@mashableAU) April 29, 2016
In 2012, The Amazing Spider-Man was the reboot meant to correct the downfall of Tobey Maguire’s representation of Peter Parker, which lost it’s footing with the release of Spider-Man 3, the worst film of the newer Spider-Man movies. But Andrew Garfield’s representation of Peter Parker made this Spider-Man movie a bit more authentic to comic book fans. Spider-Man had regained his sense of humor and sarcasm. Spidey also had a lot more fun. At least from the aspect of capturing Peter Parker’s personality, this was a superior movie. But as Cinema Blend reports, that wouldn’t be enough to save The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which ended up losing focus in a way that sort of resembled Spider-Man 3.
— Gizmodo (@Gizmodo) May 8, 2016
But the Captain America: Civil War Tom Holland Spider-Man both brought the humor back and provided a younger, more innocent portrayal of Peter Parker, this time with Avengers at his side. His suit was crafted by Iron Man instead of himself, unlike previous movies. The suit’s function brought a new feature that allowed movable eyes. Comic book fans remember such a look from some of Spider-Man’s most popular comic book art and were amazed it was adapted faithfully to the screen. But this wasn’t a Spider-Man movie, so next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming will offer enough screen time to see if Tom Holland’s representation can stand up to Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire.
The 1970s Spider-Man movies are cute and probably amazing for the time, with special effects that show Spider-Man swinging on a thread that can hardly hold his weight, but they don’t aim for the characters and personality that made Spider-Man a favorite in comics. The Japanese Spider-Man movie takes things even further off course from the comic books, providing an almost totally different interpretation.
But some of the most interesting material about the Spider-Man moviemaking saga are the movies that never got made. As SlashFilm explains, Avatar director James Cameron tried to push his version at one point. During the 1990s, he wanted to make Spider-Man into a foul-mouthed pervert. Maybe it’s better that Spider-Man movie didn’t get made, but it would be interesting to see him try again since his Avatar success and all the exquisite visual effects and graphics that it brought to movie screens.
[Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images]