“Spider-Man” is a 2002 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The film tells the origin story of Spider-Man and follows his early days as a superhero fighting crime in New York City. Directed by Sam Raimi and written by David Koepp, it stars Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin, and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson.
The development of a live-action “Spider-Man” film began in the 1980s with filmmakers Tobe Hooper, James Cameron, and Joseph Zito all attached to direct the film at one point. However, the project faced several setbacks due to licensing and financial issues and was stuck in development hell for nearly 25 years. In 1999, Columbia Pictures acquired the rights and options from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) on all previous scripts developed by Cannon Films, Carolco, and New Cannon. Sony then hired David Koepp to create a working screenplay and several big-name directors were considered before Raimi was ultimately hired in 2000.
The film was shot in Los Angeles and New York City from January to June 2001, with Sony Pictures Imageworks handling the visual effects. “Spider-Man” premiered at the Mann Village Theater on April 29, 2002, and was released in the United States on May 3. The film received positive reviews from audiences and critics who praised Raimi’s direction, the performances, visual effects, action sequences, and musical score. It was the first film to reach $100 million in a single weekend, and was the most successful film based on a comic book at the time. With a box office gross of over $825 million worldwide, it was the third highest-grossing film of 2002, the highest-grossing superhero film and the sixth highest-grossing film overall at the time of its release.
“Spider-Man” is credited for redefining the modern superhero genre, as well as the summer blockbuster. After its success, the film spawned two sequels, “Spider-Man 2” and “Spider-Man 3,” released in 2004 and 2007 respectively. Tobey Maguire and Willem Dafoe later reprised their roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film “Spider-Man: No Way Home” in 2021. The film dealt with the concept of the multiverse and linked the Raimi trilogy to the MCU. Overall, “Spider-Man” is an entertaining and thrilling film that sets the bar high for the superhero genre.
Spider-Man is a film that tells the origin story of Peter Parker, a high school senior who is bitten by a genetically engineered “super-spider” during a school trip to a laboratory. This spider bite gives Peter superhuman abilities and he develops spider-like reflexes, strength, and speed. Peter initially uses these powers for personal gain but after a tragic incident, he learns that “with great power comes great responsibility” and decides to become a superhero. He takes on the persona of Spider-Man, donning a spandex costume and fighting injustice.
Meanwhile, Peter’s friend Harry Osborn’s father Norman Osborn, a scientist and the founder and owner of Oscorp, experiments on himself with an unstable performance-enhancing chemical and goes insane, becoming the Green Goblin. He starts killing people and offers Peter a place at his side, but Peter refuses. They fight and Peter is wounded. Norman later attacks Peter’s aunt May and holds Mary Jane and a tram car full of children hostage. Peter saves both Mary Jane and the tram car, but Norman is killed in the process.
At Norman’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance on Spider-Man, whom he holds responsible for his father’s death. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she loves him. However, Peter feels he must protect her from the unwanted attention of his enemies, so he hides his true feelings and tells Mary Jane that they can only be friends. As Peter leaves, he recalls Ben’s words and accepts his new responsibility as Spider-Man. The film concludes with Peter Parker embracing his destiny as Spider-Man, ready to protect New York City from all evil.