10 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN Trilogy

10 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN Trilogy

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy introduced the world to a groundbreaking new type of superhero movie, but the story behind its rise and fall is even more peculiar and interesting than you ever realised...

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When Spider-Man was released in 2002, it redefined what superhero movies could and should be. Featuring incredible special effects which actually allowed the wall-crawler to swing through the skies of New York City, the movie kicked off a tilogy which may have ended witha fizzle rather than a bang, but remains one of the best things to ever happen to the genre.

Released long before adaptations like this were scrutinised from day one of production until the day of release, the story behind this trilogy is even more spectacular than you could have ever imagined, and the rise and fall of the franchise makes it one of the most interesting tales in Hollywood. What you'll find here in an in-depth look at he most fascinating and amazing facts about Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies...


10. Spider-Man 2 Was Nearly One Of The Worst CBMs Ever

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Even all these years later, Spider-Man 2 is still widely considered one of the best superhero movies ever released. However, things could have panned out very differently. When the co-creators of the unsatisfactory Smallville were brought in to write the screenplay for the sequel, the draft which Sony were given - which David Koepp had also taken a crack at at that point - included Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, Black Cat, and the Harry Osborn version of Green Goblin. Michael Chabon later simplified things by dropping three of those villains, but still made some controversial changes to the source material.

Doctor Octopus would have been the same age as Peter Parker and been involved with a love triangle with Mary Jane Watson. It gets worse though, as he was also going to be revealed as the creator of the spider that bit Peter, and after the accident which fused those tentacles to him, he would decide to try and cure himself by... stealing Peter Parker's spine. Really. As you can imagine, Sam Raimi wasn't in the least bit pleased with what he was seeing and completely rewrote the script with Alvin Sargent. While the trio above earned story credits, it's pretty clear that very little of what they envisioned for Spider-Man ended up in the sequel.

9. Why Sam Raimi Left The Franchise

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Why didn't Spider-Man 4 happen? The franchise had been a huge success up until that point and all the key cast members were set to return, so the signs were pointing to the movie actually happening. Despite all of that, the film was cancelled by Sony in January 2010. The reason for that ultimately boiled down to the script. A number of different screenwriters took a crack at it (including James Vanderbilt, David Koepp, David Lindsay-Abaire, and Gary Ross) and, four drafts later, director Sam Raimi still hated it.

Unhappy with the direction the story was taking - and frazzled from being forced to add characters and story beats he didn't want to in Spider-Man 3 - the filmmaker walked away from the project in what has since been described as an amicable parting. Raimi has said that he envisioned Spider-Man 4 as being his grand finale, but unsure he could meet that 2011 release date, both he and the studio decided it was for the best to just scrap it.

Scrap it they did, and what followed was a divisive reboot in 2012. Had Raimi stuck around, the franchise would have gone in a very different direction - there was even talk at one point of Vanderbilt writing Spider-Man 5 and 6 for Raimi to shoot back-to-back!

8. A Two-Part Spider-Man 3

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Spider-Man 3 was a big movie. Over 1000 people worked on it altogether, and even that horrendous jazz bar scene took two weeks to film (now that's what I call a complete and utter waste of time). Eventually, the threequel got so out of hand that there was talk of splitting it in two.

The reason for this can be traced back to the first draft of the script which was written by Sam Raimi's brother Ivan. It featured Sandman, The Vulture, and the new Green Goblin, but Eddie Brock had only a very minor role in that and Venom was nowhere to be seen. Until producer Avi Arad forced him into the movie that is. Raimi objected but was forced into it - despite not being a fan of the character - and Alvin Sargent was brought in to rewrite. From the very start it was a very crowded movie, but as Arad continued to force Raimi to add more characters, the director decided that the best way to tell this story was to split the whole thing in two.

The only reason that didn't happen was because he couldn't find a point in the movie where a break would feel natural or satisfactory to moviegoers. As a result, we were left with the crowded and messy Spider-Man 3.

7. Spider-Man's Stolen Costume

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In one of the most iconic moments in Sam Raimi's trilogy, Peter Parker ditches his costume in a garbage can and leaves his Spider-Man identity behind (in another bit of trivia for you, the alleyway that happened in was supposed to be the same one in which he and Mary Jane shared a kiss in the first movie). That scene recreated the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #50, but the hobo who finds it and later offers it to J. Jonah Jameson was a nod to a very strange incident on set.

During the first movie's production, four of Spider-Man's costumes were mysteriously stolen. As you might imagine, they weren't cheap to make (each one was valued at $50,000) and their disappearance nearly threw the movie into chaos, so Sony went ahead and offered a $25,000 reward for their return. An 18 month investigation followed, and the suits were ultimately tracked down to New York, Los Angeles...and Japan!

The culprit was a security guard who had worked on Spider-Man for a brief spell, and after he and a friend were arrested for the theft, it was discovered that this wasn't the first time he had nabbed a superhero's costume. The thief was also responsible for stealing a Batman costume worth $150,000 while working a security job on the Warner Bros. lot. The costumes were all eventually returned to the studios they hailed from and this security guard went straight to jail.

6. Sam Raimi v Danny Elfman

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When it was revealed that Danny Elfman had contributed to the score of Avengers: Age of Ultron, many of us jumped to the conclusion that he must have been hired by Marvel to create a new theme for Spider-Man. After all, his work went a long way in establishing the tone of Sam Raimi's trilogy, so no one would have blamed Kevin Feige for turning to him to do the same again. Spider-Man of cource wasn't in that movie.

In fact, Elfman is probably still trying to forget his time working on this character as it sounds like he had a pretty hellish time during the production of the 2004 sequel. It was so bad that the composer initially refused to refused to return for the third instalment, with only Christopher Young was credited when the movie came out. Young also worked on Spider-Man 2, and it's widely believe that he was brought in to change some of Elfman's work, hence why it's generally accepted that the composer had a big falling out with Raimi.

When asked about his relationship with the director, Elfman has  been quoted as saying: "To see such a profound negative change in a human being was almost enough to make me feel like I didn’t want to make films anymore." Ouch!

5. Spider-Man And Spider-Man 2's Rushed Production Schedule

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It's rare for movies to be shot back to back, and pretty much unheard of in the superhero movie genre. However, long before Marvel had big plans of shooting an epic two parter like Avengers: Infinity War in one go, Sam Raimi beat them to it as there was literally no break in development between Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. While the actors had a small amount of time to go and do other films (Tobey Maguire did Seabiscuit and Kirsten Dunst squeezed in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Sam Raimi never stopped working.

The production team continued working in order to get the sequel out by 2004, and producer Laura Sizkin revealed that she had only a week off between the two movies, while Raimi didn't have so much as a single day's break. Spider-Man 2 was released during a time when it was rare for sequels to be good, and between this unconventional production schedule and the aforementioned script issues, it's a miracle that it avoided being an unmitigated disaster!

It was in fact so successful that Sony would later release a popular extended cut, Spider-Man 2.1. This featured eight minutes of new footage, including never before seen action beats. Spider-Man 2 in fact remains one of only a handful of superhero movies to get a Director's Cut!

4. Wolverine's Aborted Cameo

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Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for more than 15 years now, but will finally retire from the role in 2017. The actor has frequently talked about his desire to see his iconic mutant team up with other characters from the Marvel Universe, but with only a year left to go before he hangs up the claws for good, the chances of that ever happening are looking very slim.

However, had things worked out, Jackman was going to make a brief appearance as Wolverine in Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man movie. The actor has revealed that it was only going to be as minor as a walk on or joke of some sort, but it ultimately didn't happen - despite the fact that both he and the production were in New York City at the same time - because no one could find his Wolverine suit!

It's infuriating to think that we were robbed of what would still now be one of the all-time great comic book movie Easter Eggs because some of the movie's producers couldn't get their sh*t together and find that damn costume. Still, it should come as no surprise to learn whose idea this was; then producer Kevin Feige, the man who has since created the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is President of Marvel Stuidos. Even back then, he was dreaming up crossovers...

3. The Crazy Plans For Spider-Man 4

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If you thought Spider-Man 3 was bad, Spider-Man 4 would have taken the awfulness factor to another level. The success of the third instalment meant that a fourth was dated for May 6th, 2011, but it failed to ever escape development hell despite the fact that Raimi was signed on to direct and both Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst would have reprised their roles. Dylan Baker was expected to finally transform into The Lizard (something fans had been dying to see since Curt Connors was first introduced), but failing to learn from the mistakes they made with part three, Sony once again wanted to cram this movie with villains.

Joining Lizard would have been The Vulture, as played by John Malkovitch. Oh, and Felicia Hardy - better known as Black Cat - was also expected to appear. Sounds pretty good, right? Well, here's where things get weird. Afraid of comparisons to Catwoman, Sony decided to turn Felicia into Vulturess, the daughter of The Vulture. That led to an uproar from fans desperate to see one of Spider-Man's best love interests accurately portrayed. Raimi claimed years later that she was always going to be Black Cat, but - regardless - this movie still would have had too many villains.

2. Sony Wasted A LOT Of Money On Spider-Man 3...

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After Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3 came as a crushing disappointment. Despite having all the right ingredients for success on the surface, the Sam Raimi who directed this third instalment of the franchise was not the same one who breathed life into Peter Parker in the two preceding movies. Much of that can be blamed on the script of course, but at the end of the day it's a movie with few redeeming qualities.

Regardless of how it turned out though, Spider-Man 3 was still a very big production. As a result, it had a budget of $258 million, a figure which at the time made it the most expensive film ever made. Thanks to the similarly bloated Pirates of Caribbean: At World’s End though (which cost $300 million), it held onto the record for only three weeks!

Spending that much did pay off for Sony, as Spider-Man 3 ultimately grossed over $890 million. Their profit might not be as much as you think though; industry experts have since calculated that the budget was more than likely closer to the $350 million range thanks to lengthy reshoots and the technology which was created to bring the Sandman to life (the official story remains that it cost $258 million). Sony later tried a similar tactic in terms of spending big in the hopes of earning big with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but that would backfire when the movie underperformed. But hey, that led to Spidey being able to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so bad news for them ended up being good news for everyone else...

1. Jake Gyllenhaal: Spider-Man

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Oh, what might have been! Despite the fact that Spider-Man 2 went into production almost immediately after Spider-Man finished shooting, Tobey Maguire still managed to squeeze in a well-received turn in Seabiscuit. However, the actor hurt his back shooting that movie, and seeing as he was also looking for a raise of $4 million for the sequel, Sony came very close to recasting him. Their top choice? Jake Gyllenhaal.

The tabloids at the time had a field day with this one because Gyllenhaal was dating Kirsten Dunst. They spun it so that it sounded like Maguire was being pushed out because the studio wanted Dunst's new boyfriend, but he recovered from that injury sooner than expected and ended up scoring a cool $17 million for returning. The sequel even referenced his injury in the scene which saw a powerless Peter fall from the sky and land on a car, complaining about his back as he limped away.

That wasn't it for Gyllenhaal though. Years later when it looked like Maguire had decided against playing Spider-Man for a fourth time, his name once again started doing the rounds. While the movie eventually never came to pass, Maguire did sign on in the end, leading to the Southpaw and Nightcrawler star missing out on the role for a second time. Perhaps that's why he's never starred in a superhero movie? Doctor Strange and Suicide Squad's Rick Flagg are among the roles he's been considered for and seemingly passed on in recent years...

Which of these Spider-Man facts is your favourite? Have we missed any big ones? As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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