Recently, a behind the scenes video was shared with Willem Dafoe playing with the tentacles of Doctor Octopus when they were shooting the second feature film of the trilogy, Sony’s Spider-Man 2.
Take a look at the video:
At that time when superhero movies were not a big thing, Spider-Man was a great critical and commercial success!
The action, drama, and suspense surrounding a young adult Peter Parker holds your focus for the entire duration even after a decade later. It was the greatest box office film for that year in the U.S. and here in Brazil, where I’m located, it was as big as the opening of Titanic. Globally, the box-office was very successful holding the mark of $ 821.7 million. With critics, the film was nominated for several awards, including Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects at the Oscars.
Sony hired the director Sam Raimi (who had just released the supernatural thriller The Gift in 2000) to turn things up to the most knowledgeable of the Marvel comics. But Raimi was not the first director interested in developing the Spidey installment. Back in the 1990s, James Cameron was pivoting his attention to it, for Carolco Pictures, as we said it on a previous article, but it ended never working out.
The first draft was based on Cameron’s approach to the hero, as Koepp’s writing changed when Raimi joined the project.
Created by Stan Lee, who served as a producer to the movie and Steve Ditko in Marvel Comics, Spider-Man was going to be portrayed by Tobey Maguire. His performance was an unexpected hit by some, with the discussion of him being the best live-action Spider-Man still ferocious among fans.
Spider-Man (2002): First Of The Trilogy
In Spider-Man, we were able to see Willem Dafoe play the role of Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin. He was the father of Peter’s best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) and a father-figure for Peter. Kirsten Dunst played Mary Jane Watson, the romantic interest of Peter. The movie released on May 3, 2002, following high school senior Peter Parker, bit by a genetically engineered spider during a visit to a genetics laboratory.
Peter then finds himself with various amazing abilities alongside the ability to produce spider-like webs. Immediately using his powers for selfish reasons, this behavior unfortunately leads to the circumstances for his Uncle Ben’s murder. Peter feels responsible for letting the thief escape in a previous impromptu encounter. From that experience, Parker understands that with great power comes great responsibility!
Like any hero, he needs a Nemesis, so the conflict comes in the character of the great Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn. Osborn experiments on himself with an unstable performance-enhancing chemical and he ends up turning into the mentally unstable Green Goblin – the arch-enemy of Spider-Man ever since The Amazing Spider-Man #14 (July 1964).
After too much controversy and some postponement, the first adaptation of the wall-crawling hero was a hit around Hollywood, which still today has its issues with the super-hero genre. For those who had grown-up only with comics and cartoons, seeing their heroes in live-action portrayed in theaters around the world was a game changer!
The great interest of the majority of the public in Spider-Man was mostly inherited from the previous film debut of FOX’s X-Men (2000) directed by Brian Singer, you can read more about it here.
Spider-Man 2 (2004): The “Perfect” Sequel
The first sequel released in 2004 was critically acclaimed, winning the Oscar for Best Visual Effects and gaining two others nominations (Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing). Fans also loved the movie and became the third highest-grossing film of that year. The box office was a bit under the first one but it still grossed worldwide $789 million.
Partially inspired by The Amazing Spider-Man #50 known as “Spider-Man No More.” The movie takes place two years after the events of the first installment, Peter Parker maintains his life with exclusives pics of the well-known friendly super-hero of New York as a photographer for the Daily Bugle while studying physics at the University.
His friend Harry Osborn is now the CEO of Oscorp, financing an experimental project by the scientist Otto Octavius. Mary Jane Watson becomes engaged to an astronaut and son of J. Jonah Jameson.
Meanwhile, Peter still struggles with his powers and the responsibility of them and has been losing them in several situations. Otto Octavius becomes a mentor and a friend to Peter, who tragically becomes manipulated by artificial intelligence and becomes fused to powerful robotic tentacle-arms.
A now corrupted Otto Octavius desires to recreate his experiment and needs the help of Oscorp’s Harry Osborn, believes Spider-Man is responsible for his father’s death. In this movie, everyone close to Peter discovers his secret identity which adds to the drama. Leading to the next installment, Harry finds a secret base for the Green Goblin as he embraces another part of his father’s legacy.
The idea of a mad scientist is repeated, in this saga with Doctor Octopus, but is still different than Osborn. Octavius, besides being controlled by the AI robotic arms, maintains his humanity and personality as a misunderstood victim.
Spider-Man 3 (2007): The “Last” Installment
Spider-Man 3, the last sequel, on May 4, 2007, brought three different villains and earned the highest box office for Spidey until 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home with Tom Holland.
Grossing almost $891 million and coasting off the success of the previous installments, the third movie received several criticisms around the story and plot. Harry becomes The New Goblin, searching for vengeance for the death of his father. The previously unknown assassin of Uncle Ben became Sandman (played by Thomas Haden Church) and, finally, Venom aka Eddie Brock (played by Topher Grace).
Sam Raimi, with the two previous hits, could now work on the screenplay with some liberty until producer Avi Arad forced him to introduce certain characters and story-lines. This later became a major reason for cancellation of the fourth movie. Raimi wanted to include the Vulture and was in negotiations with Ben Kingsley to portray that role. The script for Spider-Man 3 also included Gwen Stacy, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, serving as another love interest for Peter.
Sony wanted to continue the franchise with the fourth movie scheduled to be released in 2011, but it was canceled due to creative differences between the studio and the director. Sony decided to reboot the entire franchise, which led to Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker directed by Marc Webb…The
kinda Amazing Spider-Man released in 2012.
In several aspects, despite the evolution of digital effects, the original trilogy aged very well. You can pick any one of them to watch again or for the first time and be entertained. Let us know which franchise you want us to take a retrospective look at? Have you recently watched or rewatched Raimi’s Spider-Man? Share your thoughts with us!