Spider-Man premiered in theaters on May 3rd 2002.
Sam Raimi delivered a Spider-Man film that my 12-year-old eyes could not fathom twenty years ago. Initially, Sony was eyeing Leonardo DiCaprio as Peter Parker. Luckily, DiCaprio himself suggested the perfect candidate, his best friend, Tobey Maguire. Despite Raimi being an odd choice as director at the time, he had the passion and knowledge to execute a film that would transcend comic book movies.
In addition to Maguire, the film starred Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, James Franco as Harry Osborne, Rosemary Harris as Aunt May, Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, and Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin/Norman Osborn. This film gave us organic web-shooters, a new version of Green Goblin, and a Spider-Man suit with raised webbing. It also gave us the memorable upside-down kiss between Spider-Man and MJ.
2002’s Spider-Man centers on student Peter Parker, who is bitten by a genetically-altered spider. As a result, he gains superhuman strength, and the spider-like ability to cling to any surface. He vows to use his abilities to fight crime, coming to understand the words of his beloved Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.
The film currently sits at 90% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. It spawned two more sequels before Sony decided to move on to The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield who also returned alongside Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Sam Raimi is also back in the Marvel Director’s chair for Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, releasing this week.