Whose Your Spider-Man?
BY Paul Anthony
I had been wanting to do this blog for a long time now but decided to wait until we were out of the spoiler zone for the Spider-Man fan base. We now know that Spider-Man: No Way home is killing it at the box office even when it finally dropped to second place it is still making money, even as this blog is being typed. We saw both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield return as Spider-Man. Which shocked the world in some ways because there were so many rumors regarding the both of them. We of course now know that everyone came back, and it made me wonder who I consider my Spider-Man to be? Afterall, I have seen all the modern Spider-Mans. However, before my time there was one actor who played Spider-Man for the television movies from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. His name is Nicholas Hammond and if you have seen his films then you might consider him your Spider-Man and if you do than that is fine but since his films weren’t in the theaters sadly, he won’t count for this blog.
we will first start with the first of them all and that would Tobey Maguire who was cast as the hero in the summer of 2000 and even manage to beat out the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Freddie Prinze jr, Chris O’Donell, Jude Law, Chris Klien, Wes Bentley, Health Ledger, James Franco, Scott Speedman and even Joe Manganiello. Though James and Joe would still be cast in other roles. Nevertheless, Tobey won the job and filming was set to begin in November of 2000, it got pushed back to January of 2001. Though we didn’t have insight to contract details back then we do know he was offered 3-4 million and higher salary for two sequels. In this time frame there had only really been a few successful comic book movies outside of Batman and Superman. No doubt this was going to be a challenge. Now it’s lifetime the film managed to gross 825 million dollars and managed to spawn two more films with Maguire starring as Spider-Man. The series ran from 2002 to 2008. At this point we had nothing to compare to Maguire’s performance as Spider-Man because there really wasn’t another Spider-Man. Sadly we never got a Spider-Man 4 for a number of reasons regarding contracts and creative direction, at this point the series that was a big hit was left for dead. Until just four years later a reboot came out titled The Amazing Spider-Man.
Here we now had a new actor taking the role from Maguire and that was none other than Andrew Garfield who got the role just two years after Spider-Man 3 came out. Now the film was released in the summer of 2012, and it seemed like that film series wanted to show Peter Parker true intelligence by having him design his own web shooters which did go more towards the comic book. This film series wanted to keep Spider-Man in high school though he was already 17 and in his junior year. At first, I know was bitter about the reboot, I so bad wanted to see part 4 and not see a reboot but I have to admit Garfield sold me on it. His performance gave us a nerdy but funny Peter Parker and a Spider-Man that truly moved like a Spider-Man. two years later we got the sequel and it seemed like that Maguire/ Spider-Man was a thing of the past. Though Sony failed to learn from their mistakes with adding too many villains and changing Parker’s parents’ deaths and so forth, though the lone bright spot was for the first time on the big screen Spider-Man failed to save Gwen. Now No one knocked Garfield’s performance, but this film managed to become the lowest grossing spider-man film and had very high budget which was around 293 million and you knew what was coming and that was a reboot and another failed ending.
Now at this point just a year later in a shocking turn of events Sony worked out a deal with Marvel to Allow the character to return home as long as Sony gets something out of the deal. This shocked the world because we knew that at this time the MCU was in full swing and killing it at the box office and we knew Sony own the film rights, but we didn’t know was that Sony needed to release a spider-man film every 5.75 years to keep the film rights. The original plan was to find a way to bring Garfield’s Spider-Man in the MCU but both Sony and Marvel agreed to go a different direction and that was to reboot the character once again and truly make a film series of Peter Parker in high school, but they needed a young actor which they found that in Tom Holland who was 17 at the time of the casting to play a 15-year-old Peter Parker which was close enough. Tom made his appearance as Spider-Man in 2016 hit film Captain America: Civil War and Marvel did a good job at introducing him and getting away from the beginnings that we saw Sony do twice, instead we see him, and he has only been Spider-man for 6 months and just been doing the small things well the Avengers fight Aliens from Space. a Year later we get Spider-man: Homecoming, which I loved the title and found it Ironic. This was Tom Holand’s first full film as Spider-Man, and we managed to make it a third solo film and with a bright future and maybe a part 4!! In all Tom has played Spider-Man for 6 films, Maguire 4 films and Garfield in 3 films, the latter two also starred in Spider-Man No Way Home. Now it is time to ask ourselves, who is your Spider-Man?
I catch myself asking that question over and over again and I have to keep breaking things down, since this one a few cases where there have been three actors in one generation which most cases its one actor per generation. Now With Maguire I believe he was the better Peter Parker; he was quiet but innocent at the same time, he was very smart but not enough to brag about it. Him as Spider-Man almost was the same as Peter Parker which goes against the alter Ego situation. Now we have Garfield and his Spider-Man. What stands out to me is when he is under the mask, he seemed to become the spider and his movements were based on an actual spider, we can argue that the technology wasn’t fully there for Maguire to do this but then again that series went away from a few things regarding the comics. Garfield performance as Peter was hilarious with his jokes but sometimes came off as a creep regarding Gwen, it was one thing to be nervous because we all have been there but being a little creepy wasn’t a Peter thing. Then we have Tom Holland. who seemed to have blended the two previous spider-man’s together which might have been the right thing to do? He moves like Maguire with hints of Garfield in it, He does show his intelligence but at times seems to be a fan boy and amaze at the same time, which can go overboard at times and that is both as Peter and Spider-Man, Now the good thing is that the character was able to grow as the series went on which makes me more excited to see where the character goes from here at No Way Home.
Now who is my Spider-Man? Well with watching all three and knowing I am only in my early 30’s, I would have to say now it is Holland because he has the time to keep evolving the character and that is something we didn’t see from the other two. Now Maguire is the OG and no one will take that away from him and Garfield proved he could step out of Maguire shadow and cement his legacy and of course Holland proved that he respected those character of the past. In The end Holland is my Spider-Man, so now who is yours?