Marvel Movie Bracket Game: Spider-man Vs. Spider-man 2
Avengers: Age of Ultron kicks off the summer movie season on May 1. To celebrate, we’re spending the first half of May looking at Marvel movies. The superhero genre was dominated for decades by Warner Brothers with its Batman and Superman movies. But in recent years, Marvel has become the dominant force. Not only have they taken the momentum from their distinguished competition, they have pushed superheroes into the spotlight. Nowadays, the cineplexes are overflowing with movies based on Marvel comics. Which one will rise above the rest? That’s up to you, True Believer.
Yesterday, the original Blade triumphed over the darker sequel. That means the first appearance of the Daywalker will face off against a Wall Crawler in the next round. The question for today is, which Spider-man movie will go up against Blade?
Spider-man was in development for ages. The movie rights were tied up in legal limbo through most of the 90’s. At one point, James Cameron had a treatment which is rumored to be truly terrible. Eventually, Sony came up with the rights to make a Spider-man movie and they tapped cult film director, Sam Raimi, to helm.
In retrospect, Raimi seems like an obvious choice. But at the time, he really hadn’t done much. His Evil Dead movies were beloved by a small group of fans. Darkman was comic bookish but far from a mainstream blockbuster. Raimi’s attempts to go mainstream like A Simple Plan and For Love of the Game disappointed at the box office. But that changed in 2002 with Spider-man.
Tobey Maguire was cast as Peter Parker. Several other actors were considered for the role including Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Furlong, Freddie Prinze, Jr, Chris Klein, Wes Bentley, and Heath Ledger. Fun fact: one of these actors is about to get his own WTHH article. Kirsten Dunst, who already has her own WTHH article, was cast as Mary Jane a month before shooting.
The first movie told Spider-man’s origin story and featured Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin. It got mostly positive reviews and was a blockbuster. It wasn’t just big. It smashed records. The romantic elements allowed Spider-man to appeal to audiences who didn’t typically go to see superhero movies which made Spider-man the biggest superhero movie at that time. Spider-man opened the door to mainstream acceptance of the genre.
Naturally, Sony wanted a sequel. Although Maguire almost didn’t return. According to Maguire, he had a back injury while filming Seabiscuit and needed a little extra time to recuperate. But the studio saw this as a bargaining tool tied to Maguire’s request for more money. They came very close to replacing Maguire with Jake Gyllenhaal as a result. But Maguire’s back recovered in time for him to keep his job.
Spider-man 2 was considered by critics to be superior to the original. It currently holds a 94% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the 89% score held by the 2002 movie. It was also a big hit at the box office although not as big as the first movie.
Three years later, Raimi, Maguire, Dunst and James Franco all returned for Spider-man 3. The final film in the trilogy was not as well-received as the first two movies. It performed well enough at the box office that Sony considered making a fourth movie with the original cast. But ultimately that didn’t work out and the series was rebooted in 2012. The reboot and its sequel did not perform up to expectations so Sony ended up cutting a deal with Marvel that they hope will prove mutually beneficial.
But today, we’re focused on the first two Spider-man films. Do you prefer Peter Parker’s origin story or his fight against Doc Ock?