BySarah El-Mahmoud, writer at
Sarah El-Mahmoud

News for the upcoming Spider-Man movie is in full swing as it recently started production. In July 2017, Spider-Man: Homecoming will be in theaters starring Tom Holland and it will be the first Spider-Man film tied to the very successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are high hopes for the film but we mustn't forget the Spider-Men of the past. After all, the web-slinger's appeared in six films in the past 14 years, and they're sure to influence what's comes next from the Marvel icon.

Director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man was the highest earning film of 2002, beating out the Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potter sequels that came out the same year. It was an introduction to a superhero unlike any other seen before — a hero who was bullied at school, reluctant to talk to the girl next door and had dealt with many relatable struggles throughout his life. The audience delighted in Peter Parker discovering his powers in a unique way, and his lovable but shy personality had us rooting for him throughout the film.

A then 26-year-old Tobey Maguire played your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man as a light, understated comic hero who was incredibly human. The movie used the universal double identity hero problem as Peter started keeping secrets from all of his loved ones and drove home the message at the heart of Spidey's stories — "With great power comes great responsibility." It's a good take on the origin of Spider-Man and will always be the original in the minds of many who were first introduced to the character in the 2002 blockbuster.

Two years later, Spider-Man 2 matched the success of its predecessor and expanded the story and stakes of the first movie. It followed a Peter Parker whose life was falling apart because of the burden of his alter ego. He doesn't say goodbye to his secret for long though when Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) comes along to spread chaos throughout NYC. His relationships with girlfriend Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and Harry Osborn (James Franco) become even more complicated because of his heroics.

Then things got a little weird in the Spider-Verse when Spider-Man 3 came out in 2007. It might have made big bucks but it wasn't a movie fans could get behind. Packed with three villains, an awful adaptation of the famous Gwen Stacy story, and a strange ending featuring an emo dancing Peter marked the end of the era. In the film, Peter alienates everyone, including the audience, by throwing away his endearing qualities to become a huge jerk — a result of the powerful Venom symbiote. Maguire was originally supposed to return for Spider-Man 4 but the movie sadly never came together.

Five years later, a new Spider-Man emerged in the form of a 28-year-old Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man. Garfield played a more gloomy Peter Parker who tried to uncover the secrets of his parents, particularly his father's work at OsCorp. The origin story is retold but is clearly trying to differ itself from Spider-Man. Many regard Garfield as the superior Spider-Man and Maguire as the best Peter Parker. Garfield's role reignited a love for the iconic superhero with the sassy one-liners and nerdy disposition that is Spider-Man and Peter Parker.

The Amazing Spider-Man didn't make as many waves as Spider-Man at the box office but it was certainly great to see Spider-Man back in action again on-screen. The story was filled with a lot of heart as Peter faced mourning his Uncle's death and the responsibility he played in it. Instead of revisiting the drama filled Mary Jane romance from the original trilogy, the audience was introduced to Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) who is regarded as Peter's first love in the comics. Their chemistry was undeniably a strength of the film and you can't help but be back on Spidey's side after this film.

Shorter lived than the original trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was the last Spider-Man film we would ever see of Andrew Garfield, as the film faced similar problems to Spider-Man 3 with plot choices. Three villains crowded the film and they brought to life the famous death of Gwen Stacy from the comics. The strengths of the first film, Garfield and Stone, shined onto the sequel but messy plot lines proved once again too much to handle for a film. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 left the franchise at a heartbreaking ending as Peter waited next to the grave of his beloved Gwen.

Fast forward to May 2016, when Captain America: Civil War hit theaters and "underoos" made the impressive appearance no one saw coming. The current Spider-Man played by newcomer Tom Holland was introduced in a star studded film and undoubtedly stole the show. The 20-year-old actor became the embodiment of the superhero and Peter Parker in just a few scenes that has everyone excited about Spider-Man again. Holland brought quick witted humor and a youthful presence in his scenes as he met with Iron Man and fought against Team Cap.

Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is currently being filmed, can take a few hints from what works and what doesn't in a Spidey film from its character's movie history. The audience is ready for a film franchise that can do justice to Spider-Man from beginning to end.

What do you think about the past Spider-Man films and what are you hoping to see in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Comment below!


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