The Many Faces of Spider-man
The first reaction of many people hearing of this latest Spider-man film was ‘Another one?’ This reboot of the franchise came shortly after the Andrew Garfield films from 2012 and 2014. So the question of whether we need another incarnation of the webbed wonder was front and centre. In truth, this film has moved so far from the source material, it doesn’t really matter! Spider-man now has a super suit given to him by Tony Stark along with many other items that don’t feature in the comics.
So, what of Spider-man himself? When was his first film incarnation? Well, the first deserving a mention was the 1977 film, which was a pilot for the later TV series of The Amazing Spider-man (1977 – 79). The main trivia point of this film is that it starred Friedrich from The Sound Of Music as Peter Parker (Nicholas Hammond) and David White (Larry Tate from Bewitched) as J. Jonah Jameson.
My personal favourite version of Spider-man was Sam Raimi’s version starring Toby Maguire. The first film Spider-Man (2002) was quickly followed by Spider-Man 2 (2004). Unfortunately, the final instalment killed the franchise, with Spider-Man 3 (2007) being easily Raimi’s worst film. Raimi said of the film himself –
Raimi: [But] directors don’t like to talk about their bad films.
Hardwick: I don’t think that “bad” is the right word.
A fairly blunt assessment of his work, given the distance of a few years.
“It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well. I tried to make it work, but I didn’t really believe in all the characters, so that couldn’t be hidden from people who loved Spider-Man. If the director doesn’t love something, it’s wrong of them to make it when so many other people love it. I think [raising the stakes after Spider-Man 2] was the thinking going into it, and I think that’s what doomed us. I should’ve just stuck with the characters and the relationships and progressed them to the next step and not tried to top the bar.”
The Marc Webb films followed surprisingly closely after. They made a find with casting Andrew Garfield as Parker, who has since gone on to bigger and better things. The first film was The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) with the second instalment two years after. It did feel too soon after the other series!
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is the latest reboot, complete with Tom Holland as Parker. It is the first one to place Spider-man within the Marvel Comic Universe after a deal between Marvel and Sony. He will shortly feature in the new Avengers film and the sequel to Homecoming is already listed for a 2019 release.
So, for the question of the day, who is your favourite on screen Peter Parker?