Spider-Man (2002) Turns 20 | Discover the Most Different Versions of the Movie that ALMOST Happened

This year, the character’s first film Spider man on the big screen completes 20 years of release. Released on May 3, 2002 in the USA (and May 17 in Brazil), the work responsible for consolidating the superhero genre – which currently dominates the box office – became a phenomenon that would generate a franchise that already sums up nothing less than than 8 long blockbusters in the two decades since its release, including the recent Spider-Man: No Return Homethe biggest hit of 2021.

The first Spider mandirected by Sam Raimi, broke numerous box office records upon its release. It was, for example, at the time the film that grossed the most in its first opening weekend – with almost $50 million in vaults. It was also the first film to reach the $100 million mark the fastest. But the road to success for Columbia (Sony) was not going to be an easy one, and Spider-Man’s trajectory on the big screen took no less than 17 years to get off the ground, since the idea first entered pre-production, still in development. 1985. Below, we will bring you in this new article all the versions that Spider-Man would have in the cinema since the movie started to take shape in the mid-80’s until it finally became the movie we know and love, and that this year is 20 years anniversary. Check it out below.

Cannon Films was a film production company that was very well known and loved by everyone who grew up in the 1980s. The company made the kids happy by being a specialist in action films, such as productions starring Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson, for example. However, these same kids who loved Cannon in their childhood, now all adults, know very well that the company was known for being one of the biggest pickaxes in Hollywood – that dreamed bigger than it could actually fulfill and that cheapened its blockbusters until they didn’t. power more, going bankrupt at the end of the decade. They were responsible for mequetrefes “overproductions” like Masters of the Universe (the He-Man movie with Dolph Ludgren) and Superman IV – In Search of Peace, both from 1987, for example. Well, Cannon herself would be responsible for bringing Spider-Man to the big screen. Have you thought?

the Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, the owners of Cannon Films, bought the film rights to the character in 1985. To complicate the situation, the duo knew nothing about the hero, and imagined that Spider-Man was a monster; something like the Werewolf, for example. So they commissioned a script entirely based on their misguided notion of the character, in which Peter Parker was subjected to an experiment by a scientist that would transform him into an eight-armed monster similar to a human tarantula.

The director planned to helm this bizarre version would be the iconic Tobe Hooperwho had collaborated with Cannon on three horror productions: Sinister Force (1985), Invaders from Mars (1986) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986). In this production, the proposed cast was Tom Cruise like Peter Parker, Bob Hoskins like Doctor Octopus, the very Stan Lee like J. Jonah Jameson, and Audrey Hepburn or Lauren Bacall like Aunt May. It goes without saying that the creator Stan Lee disapproved of this “monstrous” version and proposed a different story involving the villain Doctor Octopus, more similar to the one we actually had in spiderman 2 (2004). Finally, after the failure of Superman IV and the eventual bankruptcy of Cannon, the film project by Spider man it was canceled.

Before going out of business in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Cannon Films made it a priority to get the film out of the way. Spider man of the role, after buying the rights in 1985. After better understanding who the character was, the owners of Cannon, golan and Globus, developed a production of the hero in full swing. They even released a trailer announcing the film, while the project was still in pre-production, in the early stages. That was the nerve of the marketers cousins ​​who owned Cannon. In this trailer, they already announced the direction of Joseph Zitosponsored by Cannon thanks to films like Braddock – The Super Command (1984) and US invasion (1985).

At another point in time, the strongest name for the direction of Spider man it was the filmmaker Albert Pyunwho had worked for Cannon in the cult A Stranger in Los Angeles (1988). The film was supposed to start production at exactly the same time, in 1988, and would have a budget of US$6 million – which for Cannon was a fortune, but for all the rest of Hollywood it was already considered market change. In this version, the protagonist Peter Parker/Spider-Man would be played by the unknown actor and stuntman. Scott Leva. Cannon, which loved to make “two for the price of one”, had hired the director Pyun for two productions in one shot. At the same time I would Spider manthe filmmaker would also film Masters of the Universe 2.

The idea of ​​“Jênio” was the following, in the interval of eight weeks while Takes was gaining shape for the role of the hero, after having filmed all his scenes as the skinny Peter Parker, the director Pyun would go out to record He-Man 2and then return to finish Spider man. In an interview, the director Pyun said that the script for the film he was going to direct would show the origin of Spider-Man, and that the villain of the film would be the Lizard, a monstrous version of Dr. Curt Connors. Most of the film would take place in the sewers of New York, where the arachnid hero would chase and fight the Lizard. Part of this idea was reused in the blockbuster The spectacular Spider Man (2012).

both projects Spider man from 1988 and Masters of the Universe 2 were canceled following Cannon’s bankruptcy. However, before going completely off the air, the studio (which did not stitch without a knot), reused what it had already Masters of the Universe 2and used in the action movie Cyborg – The Dragon of the Future (1989), with Jean-Claude Van Damme. The director, on the other hand, would fulfill the desire to direct a production of a Marvel hero, with that crude movie by captain Americafrom 1990.


As many know, before Sam Raimi be hired as director of Spider manone of the filmmakers most associated with the project was the megalomaniac James Cameron, still in the 1990s. Anyone who lived at the time, certainly remembers Cameron’s name linked to any news about the biggest Marvel character. After the fiasco of Cannon Films with the hero, another production company that marked the 80s and 90s in Hollywood came on the scene: Carolco. The producer and Cameron had a track record of success, with the filmmaker having worked on the script for Rambo II – The Mission (1985) and made one of his biggest films in the house, Terminator 2 (1991). Carolco would also become known for blockbusters like The future Avenger (nineteen ninety), Wild instinct (1992), Universal Soldier (1992) and Total Risk (1993). Other than that, Carolco had even produced a movie of a Marvel character in 1989, with the first version of The Avengerwith Dolph Lundgrenfor the cinema.

The involvement of Cameron began in 1993, when he was hired to write a screenplay for Carolco. In this version, the villain would be Doctor Octopus, who would have a mentor and pupil relationship with the protagonist Peter Parker, also being his professor at the university. That is, the plot would no longer be centered on the college, with the hero a little older. In Cameron’s story, Octopus would also be bitten by the same radioactive spider that transforms Spider-Man. Besides that, Cameron would not use Mary Jane or even Gwen Stacy as the female protagonist and love interest of the protagonist, but the secondary character Liz Allen – seen in Spider-Man: Back Home (2017), performed by Laura Harrier.

In this first draft James Cameron, Doctor Octopus, or Professor Octopus, as he would be called, had a henchman named Weiner, and he would be responsible for the death of Uncle Ben, not a mugger that Peter had let escape. The top finalists to star in this version of Cameron were Arnold Schwarzenegger like Octopus, and Edward Furlong as Peter, as the director had just finished working with both of them from the smashing success Terminator 2.


After that, a few years later, Cameron would still write another version of the script, where the love interest this time would already be Mary Jane Watson, the plot would return to take place in high school, and Spider-Man would face two villains: Electro and the Sandman. The identities of these villains, however, would be changed in this adaptation. Electro, the main villain, would no longer be Max Dillon, but the billionaire businessman named Carlton Strand, whose power would be to absorb information from computers. The Sandman would be Strand’s bodyguard, named Boyd, instead of the criminal Flynt Marko. He was Cameron also that he had the idea, in this script, of the hero’s organic webs, instead of the mechanical web shooters – a concept kept in the final version of Sam Raimi.

This second script, written after Titanic (1997), would be a film of higher censorship, for adults, still featuring a sex scene between Peter and Mary Jane on the Brooklyn Bridge. Creator approved version Stan Lee. This time, James Cameron planned the cast with Lance Henriksen like Strand/Electro, Michael Biehn as Boyd/Sandman, and Leonardo DiCaprio as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. As in the 1980s, the project would never see the light of day, with production company Carolco going bankrupt some time later. After Sony (Columbia) bought the rights, many of Cameron’s ideas were used in the Sam Raimiwithout giving credit to the filmmaker.

At the end of the same decade, in 1999, the screenwriter Michael Franceresponsible for the stories of The Avenger (2004) and Fantastic Four (2005), wrote a script for Spider-Man that would feature two villains: the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, and even have a post-credits scene that would include Venom for the sequel.


The last version that almost got off the ground before the movie Sam Raimi was the one that would be directed by none other than David Fincher. Yes, the filmmaker known for high quality suspenseful works, see seven, Zodiac and Gone Girl, was one of the finalists to take the helm of the spider hero’s first movie on the big screen. And not just once, but twice. The first, before Raimi for the 2002 film, and the second, after Raimi’s departure, in 2010 – and before Marc Webb take on The spectacular Spider Man (2012). To be more precise, it was in 1999 that David Fincher became one of the finalists for the position, at a time when Spider-Man had not appeared on the big screen yet, and when the director collected hits such as seven, Lifes in game and Fight Club.

Returning to this first quasi-participation of Fincher in the first Spider-Man feature, in 1999, the filmmaker’s ideas for the plot would focus on the story of the death of Gwen Stacy, which we would win in 2014, in the second film of Marc Webb with the character. As the mind of Fincher works, the director has confessed in interviews that he was more interested in “killing Gwen Stacy” and the villainous Green Goblin, than actually the hero’s origin story. Precisely for this reason, his plans were not to revolve the plot around Peter Parker learning to use his powers, nor in his origin. Second Fincher, this would take place in the first ten minutes of his film, in a kind of opening. After that, he would go into action.

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