After being bitten by a radioactive spider, a nerdy teenage genius named Peter Parker
soon learns that he has gained strange powers. Before long Parker swings over the New
York buildings gripping his silken weblines under the guise of the friendly neighborhood
Spider-Man. According to Insider operative Vick Halen, James Cameron's version of
the Spidey story has our hero encountering Electro and the Sand Man.
A number of pieces of info regarding the Spider-Man movie have turned up this
First, according to Variety, two actors are currently the strongest candidates for the
coveted title role of the webslinger. The trade reports that at this time, Columbia is said
to be favoring Wes Bentley (American Beauty) taking the role. Previously, Bentley
abruptly chose to pass on Warner Bros.' Queen of the Damned movie project claiming
he needed a break. At that time, pundits were suggesting that the actor may have been
attempting to make himself available for Spider-Man. In addition, there were some
rumblings that WB might take some action that would prevent the actor from taking any
roles while Queen was in production. According to the Hollywood Reporter, both parties
came to an amicable resolution of the situation.
Still Bentley's possible participation in Spider-Man may not be possible with word that
the actor is in final negotiations to join Heath Ledger in the drama called Four Feathers,
this according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film, which will be directed by Shekhar
Kapur (Elizabeth), would seem to have a schedule that would be in conflict with
Spider-Man. Should Bentley jump into Feathers, he is still obliged to move over to the
title role of the Montgomery Clift biopic, Monty, which is scheduled to start shooting in
Meanwhile, though Columbia may like Bentley, Variety is also reporting that director
Sam Raimi's favorite Spidey candidate may be Tobey Maguire.
No matter what, the trade is reporting that casting of the film will be finished within the
next six weeks.
Sam Raimi / Director
David Koepp / Screenwriter
James Cameron / Story
Laura Ziskin / Producer
Stan Lee, Avi Arad and Eric Ellenbogen / Executive Producers
Digital Domain / Special Effects
Sony / Distributor
Summer 2001 (unconfirmed)
News and Rumors:
July 20, 2000
Via the Marvel comics booth at this year's San Diego Comic-Con International, director Sam Raimi is talking about the
Spider-Man movie. On a video loop playing at Marvel's big booth, the director talks of the film to come. The Comics
Continuum posted the full transcript of what Sam Raimi says as follows:
"We've assembled a great team of artists and technicians. We don't have anyone yet cast for Spider-Man, but we're
talking to all of Hollywood's hottest young men. I'm not at liberty to say their names, but almost every young great actor
has come to me and said that they must play Spider-Man because he is the hero of their youth.
"I've been a fan of Spider-Man since I was a kid. What is so exciting about Spider-Man is that Peter Parker, his alias,
the human being that Spider-Man is, lives in our world, in the real world. And he has problems that we identify with. He's
misunderstood. Unlike Batman and Superman, where you have the whole crowds actually cheering for him, Spider-Man
does good but he's misunderstood, and people boo Spider-Man. They don't know that he's doing good.
"What I'd like Spider-Man to be is not be a muscleman that is Superman or Batman, those stiff characters, but rather this
very, lithe, thin graceful dancer of a super-hero who performs his ballets 80 stories up, above the city.
"His outfit will be different that any of the super-heroes you've seen in the past, modern fabrics that you see them on
snowboarders or windsurfers. They're kind of a high-tech look.
"The web-shooters that are classic to the comic book, those metal bands that shoot the web fluid…in James Cameron's
original treatment of the Spider-Man movie, he's changed that. And I think he's done the right thing, because now
Spider-Man's webs come right out of his wrists. I think it's more interesting because it's one more thing he's got to be
embarrassed of. When he walks around high school, he'll be like this now (Raimi holds sleeves over his wrists).
"Of course, we're going to have lots of big action and stunts. We're going to have two of our favorite villains, the Green
Goblin and the terrible Doctor Octavius, also known as Doc Ock. And they do battle amongst the rooftops of Manhattan,
and the Goblin uses his devices from his Goblin glider, his own personal winged transport, to his infamous pumpkin
bombs, stun bombs, blast bombs and he also uses his bag of razor bats - you don't want to know what those things do.
Doc Ock is a brilliant scientist, and he has developed these snake-like arms. And they are expanding arms that can work
with great dexterity and fluidity, which I think is going to be quite interesting with visual effects, which are going to have to
be created digitally. And we have a great designer in Sony Imageworks to help pull that off.
"One of the big illusions of the picture is to make Spider-Man really fly through the city. It's got to have a graceful, soaring
quality. It uplifts the audience. Unlike some of the other super-hero pictures, where the guys are stiff on wires.
"We've got a lot of great hopes for Spider-Man. We think it's going to be very entertaining, create great new visuals that
the audience hasn't seen before and we hope it will be very, very successful because, at its heart, it is a young man we
can identify with and his problems, which hopefully we can relate to, and we'll get to watch him as he grows beyond the
limitations of his character and becomes a responsible young man."
July 7, 2000
A number of pieces of info regarding the Spider-Man movie have turned up this morning.
First, according to Variety, two actors are currently the strongest candidates for the coveted title role of the webslinger.
The trade reports that at this time, Columbia is said to be favoring Wes Bentley (American Beauty) taking the role.
Previously, Bentley abruptly chose to pass on Warner Bros.' Queen of the Damned movie project claiming he needed a
break. At that time, pundits were suggesting that the actor may have been attempting to make himself available for
Spider-Man. In addition, there were some rumblings that WB might take some action that would prevent the actor from
taking any roles while Queen was in production. According to the Hollywood Reporter, both parties came to an amicable
resolution of the situation.
Still Bentley's possible participation in Spider-Man may not be possible with word that the actor is in final negotiations to
join Heath Ledger in the drama called Four Feathers, this according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film, which will be
directed by Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth), would seem to have a schedule that would be in conflict with Spider-Man.
Should Bentley jump into Feathers, he is still obliged to move over to the title role of the Montgomery Clift biopic, Monty,
which is scheduled to start shooting in Spring 2001.
Meanwhile, though Columbia may like Bentley, Variety is also reporting that director Sam Raimi's favorite Spidey
candidate may be Tobey Maguire.
No matter what, the trade is reporting that casting of the film will be finished within the next six weeks.
In related news, the Spider-Man movie now has a producer. According to a number of sources, Laura Ziskin (To Die
For, Pretty Woman, No Way Out) has been given the nod to produce the film.
June 28, 2000
Though his name has been tossed rumored before, the London Evening Standard (via TheForce.net) is reporting that
The Phantom Menace actor is in the running for the Spider-Man role. Director Sam Raimi is said to be keen on having
McGregor take on the role of Peter Parker. Given how soon shooting is likely to start on Spidey and that McGregor is
likely to still be involved with Star Wars: Episode Two, this one doesn't sound very likely to happen.
June 27, 2000
Sony's Showbiz Scoop e-newsletter has been talking about those recent auditions for the casting candidates for the
Spider-Man movie. The most recent slightly tongue-in-cheek info says:
"Felicity's Scott Speedman read for the role, impressing producers who were anxious to pluck his brows, buff him up
and dye him dark brown...much to the actor's chagrin.
"Caveman's Valentine actor, Jay Rodan infused his grueling audition with athletic ability that impressed Sony skeptics
& Union stuntdoubles.
"And Whatever It Takes troublemaker, James Franco, who has already been cast as James Dean in a TNT flick, had
the spandex GIFT, but not the lift to scale scary Parker heights."
In addition, the newsletter passed along that Tobey Maguire may be testing for the film's title role as well. They're also
keeping alive that old rumor that Liam Neeson was up for the role of the Green Goblin.
June 26, 2000
Yep, there's a little bit more info about the Spider-Man production trickling out again. According to columnists Marilyn
Beck, Stacy Jenel Smith and Stephanie DuBois, scouts for the production are currently in New York looking at potential
locations for the film.
June 19, 2000
Finally, after months of rumors about who might be putting on the red and blue tights in the Spider-Man movie, there's
word of at least three actors who have done screen tests for director Sam Raimi.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the three actors brought in to try out for the role were Scott Speedman from the
WB network's Felicity, Jay Rodan, who just finished up his work on Caveman's Valentine which stars Samuel L.
Jackson, and James Franco from the critically loved and canceled Freaks & Geeks, Whatever It Takes and the
upcoming TV movie James Dean: An Invented Life.
The trade also mentions Tobey Maguire (Pleasantville, Cider House Rules) as being rumored to be in the mix, though
they may simply be passing along the previously reported, though not confirmed, Internet buzz.
June 16, 2000
This week on AOL, Freddie Prinze Jr. participated in an online chat to promote his film Boys & Girls. According to IGN
Filmforce, Prinze was asked about the Spider-Man movie which prompted the actor to reveal, "Um, I have spoken with
the director Sam Raimi but no decision has been made yet. One will be made soon but, I think they want to go kind of
young and make him little and scrawny and if that's the case, you probably won't see me slinging webs."
June 16, 2000
The Spider-Man movie has picked up yet another scribe to rewrite the previous script written by David Koepp.
According to Variety, the latest addition to the film's writing pool is Scott Rosenberg (Gone in 60 Seconds, High
Fidelity, Con Air). The trade reports that Rosenberg will rework the current script by David Koepp (The Lost World,
Stir of Echoes), for which the latter has already written two versions.
In addition, that same script is said to have, initially, been based on James Cameron's scriptment, though rumors making
the rounds since suggest that Koepp and director Sam Raimi are taking a different approach with different villains.
Cameron's original scriptment is rumored to have featured Electro and Sandman as Spidey's foes while more recent
unconfirmed rumors have often brought up The Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. Time will tell.
June 14, 2000
Freddie Prinze Jr. is still talking about how he wants the role of Spider-Man. While talking to the Boston Herald, the actor once again
confirmed that he wants to be the webslinger. Prinze also revealed that Fox had been seeking him for a part in X-Men, but he chose to
pass with hopes of putting on the red and blue tights.
Back on May 4, 1999, the actor was talking to columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith when he was informed that the legal tangle
for the character had finally been resolved. Prinze said at that time, "The moment we hang up, I'm making phone calls. I read comic books
to this day. Spider-Man was one of my favorites when I was growing up. I used to think I could walk up walls when I was just a little
June 13, 2000
Unless he's putting up a smoke screen, odds are that Spider-Man will not be played by Heath Ledger (The Patriot).
While talking to IGN Movies. Ledger set the record straight (sorta) on his possible participation in Sam Raimi's movie.
When asked if he had been approached about the role of Peter Parker, Ledger said, "Yeah, I guess [I've been
approached]. I'm not a really big fan of putting on the tights or anything though."
May 31, 2000
Comics Continuum has posted some information on the upcoming Spider-Man movie, and its animated spin-off. Arad
said he's reading the latest draft for the Spider-Man movie, written David Koepp and which will be directed by Sam
Raimi. "It's terrific. We're really getting there," he said. And he confirmed the movie's villains: "It will be Green Goblin and
Doc Ock," he said. In terms of casting, Arad said he expects it to get underway in the next 60 days.
Arad also said that there will be a computer-generated Spider-Man animated television series to follow the live-action
Spider-Man movie. "We're going to do that at Sony," Arad said. "We haven't selected a network yet, but that's not going
to be a big problem." Arad said the series would probably start in the spring of 2002. "Because the movie is coming out
Thanksgiving, 2001, we'll follow the show right after the movie," he said
May 22, 2000
Former Disney big shot Joe Roth already has a deal with Sony to distribute films created under his production banner,
but is the studio giving him one of their biggest properties, Spider-Man, to manage? According to the [INSIDE] website,
besides being a very important project for the studio, Sony is said to be worried about the handling of the film overseas.
Enter Roth. Word has it that Roth may be assigned the project to make sure everything goes smoothly for the webslinger
around the world.
May 8, 2000
Finally, Sam Raimi, himself, is talking about the Spider-Man movie to come. In a major coup, Eon Magazine managed
to corner the very busy director and got him to talk about his feelings on the character, the movie version and even
casting, though he isn't saying any names at this time.
Raimi spoke about his first encounters with the comic book webslinger, saying, "Ever since I was a little kid, I loved
Spider-Man. My older brother, who was the smartest guy I knew, was reading him and for some reason was enamored
of these comics. I finally put down my Superman and Batman comics and took a look at one of them. Then, I understood
why. The writers, Stan Lee primarily, got into the character of Peter Parker. He's a real human being. He's not from the
planet Krypton. He's not some mutant. He's one of us who wins the spider lottery. He becomes this super-powered
person, but he still has the everyday troubles that we all experience when he's not in the outfit. That makes him interesting
Having said that about the character, Raimi reveals his plans for the film version of Spidey, saying, "What I hope to put
into the movie is what I found so attractive about the comic books. He is not pretending to be somebody, like Superman
pretends to be Clark Kent. Superman is really cool and unstoppable and he winks at us with the glasses and says, 'I'm
just pretending to be a nerd.' But Peter really is. He never loses sight of who he is and that's what's great about him. He's
still us in that costume. It makes a big difference as you follow the action of the picture. But like any high school kid, Peter
goes through a lot of teenage angst and he's got a lot of learning to do. And I think in some sense it'll be a very simple
coming of age story. A story of a teenager who has teenage goals, but when he becomes Spider-Man and has the power
to achieve these goals, he forsakes them to accept a greater responsibility - the responsibility of great power."
Raimi also feels that at no previous time could films do justice to the character the way the readers of the comics would
have expected. Raimi explains, "I don't think there's ever been a time in history up until now - this year and next year - that
you really could've made this Spider-Man picture. Where you can really create these digital cities and we can soar with a
Spider-Man above Manhattan. What I want to do is show it like you'd show a great Olympic skating routine. He's not a
muscle bound brute. He is a live and beautiful dancer who soars above the skyline and it'll be the work of an acrobat, the
work of a gymnast, the work of all the finest performers in the art of physical what have you. But they are going to be long
takes, like a Fred Astaire picture, of Spider-Man climbing and leaping off a building and doing a number on a flag pole
like an Olympic gymnast. Then it will become the work of a dancer in the sky. I hope it will become a thing of beauty that
20 years from now people will still enjoy watching and we really get to fly with him."
When it comes to casting the title role, Raimi evades telling who's going to get the part, saying, "There are so many guys.
I am not allowed to say at this time, but I've never been so blessed with so many great young actors wanting to play the
part. I was so surprised and my faith in the project was reaffirmed when each of them came up to me and said, 'I love
Spider-Man. I've got to be Spider-Man.' This is how I felt and I think that a lot of kids, American and international, feel that
way. I think if we can just stay true to who the character is and what the comic book is, I think we'll have a very enjoyable
picture and I hope it will fulfill the very high expectation of the readers…We're going to try and zero in on Peter Parker
twelve weeks from now."
April 24, 2000
It looks like you can cross James Marsden off the list of potential Spider-Man candidates. While talking to E! News Daily
(via the Comics Continuum), Marsden addressed rumors that he might be in the running for the webslinging role, saying,
"It's totally untrue."
April 13, 2000
Michael Fleming of Variety adds more speculation to the "who will play Spider-Man" question with a fresh list of possible
candidates. According to the columnist the following candidates are under consideration: Heath Ledger (The Patriot),
Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Chris Klein, Tobey Maquire, Ewan McGregor, and the ever popular Leonardo
In the meantime, the Spider-Man Hype site reports "a source" spotted director Sam Raimi in the company of Nicholas
Brendon (Buffy) at Sony studios just recently. Although it is known that Brendon has another project at Sony, he has long
been a fan favorite for the role.
Spider-Man currently has a tentative shooting date of December 4, 2000.
April 13, 2000
Marvel-man Stan Lee was online last night, talking with fans about the new Spider-Man movie. Regarding the rumored
casting of Jude Law in the lead role, Lee replied:
"The role hasn't been cast yet. Too bad it took so long that I'm now a little too old to play him myself." Adding, "If it was up
to me, I'd cast an unknown and let big stars play all the other roles...Bit it's not up to me!" Lee also suggested fans lobby
director Sam Raimi to give Lee a cameo role in the movie.
March 24, 2000
Still more rumors have been popping up regarding the story details of Sony's Spider-Man movie. According to the UK's
Daily Radar (via Comics 2 Film), the film's story may downplay the origin of everyone's favorite webhead to primarily
focus on his battle with two villains (the curse of the Batman movies). The Radar is reporting that the film's villains will be
Green Goblin and the Kingpin. Time will tell.
February 29, 2000
Is Brendan Fehr (Roswell) another of the potential casting candidates for the lead role of the Spider-Man movie?
According to the Sci Fi Wire while appearing at a Roswell fan party held this last Saturday night, Fehr revealed that he
had been sent a copy of the film’s script further suggesting he was up for the role of Peter Parker.
February 7, 2000
In spite of James Cameron’s scriptment, the eventual Spider-Man script by David Koepp sounds like it might make
some twist and turns that will surprise Spidey fan’s who may have read or heard about Cameron’s take. While talking to
Fandom.com’s Steve Biodrowski, Koepp revealed, "There really is only one treatment; Jim Cameron wrote a treatment.
There are no previous drafts. But you get thirty-five years worth of comic books and ten-years worth of animated TV, so
you know there’s lots—an abundance of material. Then you try to figure it out, and you go down different directions. You
try this villain; you try that villain; you try this storyline and that one, and you see what works. It’s an on-going process, and
it takes a long time. There’s a million ways to do it."
Koepp adds, "That’s keeping me busy… I’ve been on it for six months or so, but I’m nowhere near done. I wish I were
more productive. Mostly, I’m just staring at a blank computer screen. But I’ve got to get back to staring!"
Regarding Sam Raimi coming on board to direct, Koepp only has kudos, saying, "It should be fun. Sam’s a great director
February 3, 2000
With the signing of Sam Raimi on the Spider-Man movie, it just makes sense that casting of the film would move full
steam ahead. Now there’s word of three potential strong candidates for the webslinging role.
Who would you like to see as Spidey? Well, according to sources inside the production talking to Entertainment Weekly
Online, the three strongest candidates at this time are Leonardo DiCaprio, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jude Law.
Furthermore, all three are said to have expressed interest in the project previously. There is no mention made of the
oft-rumored Nicholas Brendon.
When sought out on the matter, DiCaprio’s reps told the site, "He’s obviously approached all the time about
great-sounding ideas, but he's gotta see the script." Meanwhile, Law’s people are saying, "There have been some
overtures about it. Jude has been a Spider-Man fanatic since he was a kid."
The magazine couldn’t reach Prinze’s reps. Still, way back on March 4th, 1999, soon after the legal logjam was cleared
out of the path of the Spider-Man movie, Prinze told columnists Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith, "The moment we
hang up, I'm making phone calls. I read comic books to this day. Spider-Man was one of my favorites when I was
growing up. I used to think I could walk up walls when I was just a little kid."
In additional casting rumor news, the Spider-Man Hype webpage is reporting on an unconfirmed report that Liam Neeson
has signed onto the production to play the Green Goblin. His paycheck is rumored to be in the $6M range. Still, given