Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman has a sketchy past.
You may have heard about how Marvel reacquired Spiderman's film rights from Sony. You may have also heard how they are trying to recast Spiderman. And not only Peter Parker but also Miles Morales. Which for people who don't know is an African-American Spiderman from the year 2099. Spiderman is my personal favorite superhero of all time, and my favorite incarnation of him is probably the Tobey McGuire version (but not the horrible third one where they ruined venom the greatest comic book character ever). Mainly because I grew up with those movies ( and the awesome 1990's tv show too) and because he felt like Peter Parker to me. Aside from the lack of sarcastic one liners Spiderman is known for. I myself was personally not a fan of the new Amazing Spiderman movies. They just didn't catch my attention like the others. But did you know that Spiderman has a history with film before 2002?
It started in the 70's...
Spiderman's first foray into film was with low budget 1977 pilot movie simply called Spiderman. It was a two hour tv movie made as the pilot for a tv. The movie has Peter Parker as a university student who gets bitten and gains his powers, then joins the Daily Bugle to stop a con-man who is using mind control on the city.
The movie then led to a short lived tv show, running from 1977 to 1979. Lasting only 13 episodes. The show although had a large fan base received criticism from fans of the comics, due to it's large departure from the comics and the fact that it contained no real villains. To top it off Stan Lee himself highly disliked it. He stated in an interview that he felt it was too juvenile. Which considering that he was script consultant for each episode was a bold move. But I guess no one is really going to question Stan Lee. The man is an artist.
25 years later.
The Spiderman movie we know from 2002 also started in 1977. Right around the same time as the tv series. Staying in development hell for 25 years. It went through many different writers before landing with Sam Raimi the writer and director of the Evil Dead movies. Though many of the writers were unknown until the 1990's. One of the more well known of these writers is James Cameron (yes that James Cameron). James Cameron is the one who implemented the organic webs as opposed to the web shooters Spiderman is known for.
James Cameron's version of the movie also called for a more mature script. Giving the movie tons of profanity. and even a sex scene between Peter and Mary-Jane. Yikes we would have had a a very mature Spiderman. And Spiderman is something that everyone should see not just adults.
The casting was also something that was questionable. The proposed cast was Leo DiCaprio ( who still wouldn't get an oscar) Arnold Schwarzenegger as Doc Oc, yes you read that right, and Stan Lee expressed interest in playing J Jonah Jameson, Peter's boss at the Daily Bugle. There were also rumors that Michael Beihn would be playing Parker. Now at this point in the mid 90's Beihn would be in his late thirties. But if cast it would actually lead to one of Cameron's trademarks, where whenever Beihn was in one of his movies, and he was in a lot of them, then he'd be bitten on the hand. This has occurred in every Cameron movie he has appeared in. All in all even though a master of modern film making I'm glad James Cameron didn't make his version of the movie.
After Cameron the film was sent to several other writers. Including Tim Burton and Roland Emmerich, the writer and director of StarGate and Independence Day. The film's rights were also held by Cannon, MGM, and Carolco productions before finally being bought by Sony and directed by Raimi.
At the end of the day I guess i'm glad it was made the way that it was. If made any other way it just probably wouldnt be the same. I just hope they dont ruin Spiderman for film in the near future.