2016 marks the year of Spider-Man's arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before that, he appeared in Marc Webb's short lived film series played by Andrew Garfield, and before both of those he was Tobey Maguire for two good films and one bad film directed by Sam Raimi. However, before all of that, he was in a CBS telefilm acting as a backdoor pilot. Yes, Spider-Man has worked hard to find his proper place in film, but let's take a look back at where he was before Tom Holland.
As I said before, Spidey first appeared in a film made for television that was supposed to act as a backdoor pilot for a Spider-Man centered television series. It worked, for a while. The series itself was short lived, and the acting style let something to be desired, but, like most forgotten films made in the 20th century, it has a small fan following. It did do positively in the ratings though, but for some reason CBS decided not to make it a mainstay.
Nicholas Hammond was the first actor to portray Spider-Man in a live action setting. He's mainly known for this role as well as portraying Friedrich von Trapp in the 1965 film The Sound of Music.
Greatest Asset: goofy web pulling that looks like a conga line.
Also around this time was the Japanese based Toei Spider-Man series based on the '77 film and tv series. This lasted from 1978-1979, and even produced its own film that takes place between episodes 10 and 11 of its series. According to IMDb, Shinji Tôdô portrayed the webslinger, here portrayed as Takuya Yamashiro, a 22 year old motorcyclist.
Greatest Asset: a giant robot named Leopardon.
Then in 2002, the character returned under new management. Sam Raimi came in to direct. The film spawned two sequels, and became the sixth highest grossing film franchise of all time. Personally, I was raised on these films. As a child, I would quote them when I played with my action figures, and I act out scenes while playing in the backyard. Both the first and second films are my personal favorites. The third one, however, will forever live in infamy as one of the worst sequels ever. Let us not forget:
Ugghh... Worst. Sequel. Ever. In all three, Webhead was portrayed by Tobey Maguire who did justice to the character until *look above*.
Greatest Asset: portrayed the character for the first time 23 years, and he did it realistically.
Worst Asset: dancing.
I actually love these films. A lot of fans despise them, but I like them for various reasons: good soundtracks, Gwen Stacy, the Lizard, and for being closer to the original comics in its storyline than its predecessors. Also, you know its director was a guy named Webb. Webb. Just let that sink in so you can understand how ironic that is.
The actor who played Peter was Andrew Garfield, who portrayed the character as a little more punk/hipster then nerd. However, his portrayal is also a memorable one - take for instance this scene, but the real gem of these two films was Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Oh yes.
Greatest Asset: portrayed the character in a new way that didn't ruin the film.
Worst Asset: the crying.
Now we are now, 2016, and Spidey has joined the MCU. He's going to appear in Captain America: Civil War, and then his own standalone film in 2017. I don't know how I feel about another standalone Spider-Man film. It kind of seems trivial or minute because we've already had the last Spider-Man film, and it was only two years ago. It just seems a little too close to me.
The actor now playing the character is Tom Holland. Holland is very new to acting, and he hasn't been in many other films. His most notable role, besides Lucas Bennett in The Impossible and a young Thomas Nickerson from In the Heart of the Sea, is as Billy Elliot in the musical of the same name. I think he's gonna be great.
Greatest Asset: unknown. Probably the Underoos.
Worst Asset: also unknown, but probably the bad CGI.
It's been a series of intervals in 39 years from 1977 to 2016. It's been quite the headache watching fool companies trying to keep Spidey's cinematic rights away from Marvel, but now he's back. Let's strap ourselves in because this is going to be a web slinging ride.