ByTommy DePaoli, writer at
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Tommy DePaoli

Remember the days back in the early 2000s when jeans were flared, MySpace was the preferred method of communication, and a little old character named Spider-Man finally emerged from almost 25 years of development hell? It was a simpler time that offered us a simply wonderful Spidey: nerdy, thoughtful, and just the right amount of hopeful.

Since only time will tell if Sony will give us [The Amazing Spider-Man 3](movie:671279), let's look backward and see what the cast of the original Spider-Man movies has been up to since swinging onto screens beginning in 2002.

Tobey Maguire - Spider-Man/Peter Parker

Since he left behind slinging webs, Maguire has carefully selected a handful of roles. These include Captain Sam Cahill in military drama Brothers and Nick Carraway in the glitzy adaptation of [The Great Gatsby](movie:44460). He also tried his hand at producing with [Rock of Ages](movie:44085) and Country Strong. Who knew Spidey had a thing for musicals?

Most recently, Maguire appeared in the TV's most outrageous parody [The Spoils Of Babylon](series:887938) as Kristen Wiig's lover/brother. Yes, you read that right. He also played chess legend Bobby Fischer in [Pawn Sacrifice](movie:1127002), clearly indicating that he missed Peter Parker's nerdy side.

Kirsten Dunst - Mary Jane Watson

As everyone's favorite redheaded firecracker Mary Jane Watson, Kirsten Dunst inspired all of us to try an upside-down kiss in the rain at least once in our lives. Following the first Spider-Man film, she went back to blonde for roles in Marie Antoinette and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Later, Dunst took her time choosing roles (something one of the most recognizable working child stars can do), opting for the viciously spiteful Regan in [Bachelorette](movie:202774) and the beautiful Colette in [The Two Faces of January](movie:690892).

By far her best performance in recent years was reacting to Lars Von Trier's countless gaffes about Nazis while promoting their film Melancholia. Next, we'll see Dunst in sci-fi chase film [Midnight Special](movie:833130) and the second season of [Fargo](series:1076400).

James Franco - Harry Osborn

James Franco went from rich, charming playboy as Harry Osborn to rich, charming playboy with homoerotic tendencies in real life. He has become one of the most visible, baffling, and sought-after celebrities around, gaining headlines for his antics as often as his movies. He got an Oscar nod for 127 Hours but appeared to nod off while hosting the awards show that same year. Franco received major buzz for over the top roles in [Spring Breakers](movie:386903) and [This Is the End](movie:337053), and, around the same time, he got degrees from seemingly every prestigious university that you've ever heard of. The guy even appeared on the soap opera General Hospital just to really drive home the fact that we will never anticipate his next move.

Recently, Franco helped spark one of the year's most unexpected feuds: North Korea vs. Hollywood. His upcoming film with Seth Rogen, [The Interview](movie:900924), finds the comic pair tasked with assassinating Kim Jong Un. Oh yeah, and he's bald now.

Willem Dafoe - Green Goblin/Norman Osborn

As the first of Spidey's major villains, Willem Dafoe utilized his famous sneer to make the Green Goblin a believably terrifying lunatic. He went on to appear in many Wes Anderson movies—The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and [Grand Budapest Hotel](movie:400227)—proving he enjoys light-hearted fare as much as the sinister stuff. Of course, he's made plenty of time for that too with dark films like [Out of the Furnace](movie:366690), [Nymphomaniac: Volume I](movie:214201), and [A Most Wanted Man](movie:661667).

Dafoe also starred in the bizarrely terrifying Antichrist, also known as the one movie that continues to haunt my dreams (if you've seen it, you know the exact scene I'm talking about).

Alfred Molina - Doc Ock/Dr. Otto Octavius

Willem Dafoe is a tough act to follow, but Doc Ock was certainly one of the best parts of Spider-Man 2, due in large part to Alfred Molina going totally bonkers in all his multi-appendaged glory. Since opting for only two human arms, Molina offered his still-imposing presence to big budget films like The Da Vinci Code, Rango, and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. FIf you missed his dramas [The Normal Heart](movie:885778) and An Education, you may recognize his voice from [Monsters University](movie:38845).

Molina recently received rave reviews for his role as a gay Catholic school music teacher in 2014's [Love is Strange](movie:831285).

Thomas Haden Church - Sandman/Flint Marko

As Sandman, Thomas Haden Church was revealed to be Uncle Ben's true killer, forcing Peter into a downward spiral that resulted in street dancing and a lot of black clothing. After wrapping Spider-Man 3, he appeared in dramedy Smart People and the feel-good family film [We Bought a Zoo](movie:40305). He also starred alongside the new Gwen Stacy, Emma Stone, in her breakout movie Easy A.

His most recent film [Cardboard Boxer](movie:1139118), which tells the story of a fight club comprised entirely of homeless participants, is awaiting distribution. Someone help Sandman out and get Church back on our screens!

Topher Grace - Venom/Eddie Brock

Topher Grace never got a full movie to bring Venom to life, but he's gotten closer than anyone else to embodying the villain. So, that's something!

Since having his identity crisis in Spider-Man 3 and going back to his natural locks, Grace has conquered the rom-com game with movies like [Playing it Cool](movie:782612), Valentine's Day, and [The Big Wedding](movie:508581). Grace most recently appeared in Christopher Nolan's [Interstellar](movie:813746), so maybe that alien symbiote left some residual interest in space. Soon we'll see Grace alongside Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg in [American Ultra](movie:1165829).

Bryce Dallas Howard - Gwen Stacy

Bryce Dallas Howard has not let the fact that there's a new Gwen Stacy in town get her down! She's a pro at hitching her cart to major franchises, appearing in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Terminator: Salvation, and the upcoming [Jurassic World](movie:32752). Howard showed her acting chops playing impossibly heinous characters in The Help and 50/50.

Quickly becoming as prolific as her famous father Ron Howard, I think it's safe to say we'll be seeing a lot more of Howard in the years to come (a deserving reward for the girl forced to dance with Emo Peter Parker).

J.K. Simmons - J. Jonah Jameson

Fun fact: J.K. Simmons continued to devote time to playing J. Jonah Jameson. He voiced Peter Parker's gruff boss in the TV series Ultimate Spider-Man. His booming voice has proven to be quite a lucrative asset, appearing in Bojack Horseman and a personal favorite of mine, [The Legend of Korra](movie:1028685). Simmons has become one of those actors who seems to be in everything, from Juno to Law & Order to the upcoming [Terminator Genisys](movie:34872).

Soon, you'll be seeing Simmons reading his Oscar acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor for [Whiplash](movie:1075695). (Okay, so obviously this win isn't confirmed, but if anyone wants to gamble, I'll put all my money on this bet.)

Rosemary Harris - May Parker

Rosemary Harris did a marvelous job giving Aunt May just the right amount of sweetness while maintaining the familial strength that kept Peter Parker grounded. Since Spider-Man, the British actress appeared alongside Reese Witherspoon and Tom Hardy in [This Means War](movie:40779) and with Michael Caine in little indie Is Anybody There?

Quick tangential fun fact: Harris's daughter Jennifer Ehle is also an actress and was originally cast as Catelyn Stark in HBO's [Game of Thrones](movie:817617). An Aunt May-like devotion to family must be in her genes because Ehle gave up the career-defining role to spend more time with her children.

Cliff Robertson - Ben Parker

Cliff Robertson may be the luckiest member of the entire Spider-Man for one simple reason. He got to utter the line, "With great power comes great responsibility," thereby inspiring countless yearbook quotes and ironic captions. Well done, Uncle Ben!

Sadly, Robertson passed away due to natural causes in 2011, only adding one more film, Riding the Bullet, to his wide body of work.

Elizabeth Banks - Miss Brant

Elizabeth Banks has leapfrogged beyond the desk of Miss Brant to become one of the most recognizable and hilarious leading ladies in Hollywood. Since her Spider-Man days, Banks has appeared in TV sitcoms like Scrubs and 30 Rock and big screen comedies like Zack and Miri Make a Porno and Role Models. Her banner year proved to be 2012, when Banks landed the colorful role of Effie Trinket in [The Hunger Games](movie:44466) and helped produce the breakout musical hit [Pitch Perfect](movie:589160).

The funny lady's got a full plate for 2015 with highly anticipated sequels like [Pitch Perfect 2](movie:792597), [Magic Mike XXL](movie:452782), and [The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](movie:449866) hitting screens.

Out of entire Spider-Man cast, who had the most amazing transformation?


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