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Will ‘The Amazing Spider-man’ Work With a New Cast?

If you grew up in the 1970’s you may remember the original Spider-man series. These were deliberately cheesy, but entertaining and starred Nicholas Hammond, (who rather bizarrely played one of the Von Trapp children in ‘The Sound of Music’). This version didn’t feature any of the original villains from the comic books; instead it focused on shady scientists and human crime lords. It is strange that Kingpin, super baddie from the comics didn’t feature as he would have fitted into the characterization.

The Spider-man Trilogy

Moving on to the Spider-man trilogy, it is immediately apparent that a much higher budget was provided, although the 70’s versions are still watchable in a nostalgic kind of way. In fact the budget for all three of the movies was a staggering US$ 597 and grossed nearly $2.5 billion worldwide. Technology has moved leaps and bounds since the 70’s with impressive CGI graphics, SEO company involvement and the Internet in general all playing a part in the success of the films and the promotion of merchandise surrounding them.


The 2002 Spider-man movie actually took nearly a quarter of a century to develop, with screenplay by David Koepp. It was directed by Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire in the lead role, with Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Willem Defoe as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin and James Franco as Harry Osborn.

In this version when Peter is bitten by a genetically engineered spider, he finds the next day he has perfect vision and a much more muscular, superhuman body. He falls for Mary Jane. The main villain is the Green Goblin. Dr Norman Osborn works to develop a performance enhancing chemical with disastrous consequences as it leads to the development of his maniacal alter-ego.

There are many high-tech impressive scenes surrounding the good versus evil theme. One particularly memorable moment is when Mary Jane and a Tramway car full of children are taken hostage. Although the Green Goblin is accidentally destroyed, the evil legacy remains in the form of his son, Harry.

Spider-man 2

Most of the original cast are back, but this time there is an addition of villain Dr Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina). Doc Ock ends up endangering the lives of the New York City population after developing mechanical tentacles accidentally, following the death of his wife and a failed experiment. Doc Ock robs a bank and kidnaps Spidey’s Aunt May.

As if this isn’t enough to contend with, Spidey has to deal with a lot of emotional battles. Harry doesn’t realise at this stage that Peter Parker actually is Spider-man and thinks he is being exceptionally loyal to him, which causes a fight and Mary Jane gets engaged to a renowned astronaut!

A three way battle between Dr Octopus, Harry and Spider-man follows. There is a twist in this film as Spider-man is unmasked on a couple of occasions, leaving plenty of scope for the final part of the trilogy.

Spider-man 3

In Spider-man 3 an extraterrestrial symbioses crashes to Earth and bonds with Peter Parker, this interferes with his morals and he has to fight an inner conflict of good and evil, as well as additional villains The Sandman and Venom.

Now Harry knows his identity, he attacks him using new weapons adapted from the technology his father left behind as the Green Goblin.

When Peter wears the Black Spider-man suit this represents the conflicts of evil going on inside him. There is a dark, vengeful selfish and arrogant side which is revealed. The new arrogant Spider-man is not attractive to Mary Jane and they play mind games trying to hurt each other emotionally, each finding comfort with other admirers Harry and Gwen (a beautiful woman whose life Spidey previously saved). With many emotional moments along the way and twists and turns, good finally manages to reign over evil.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Tobey Maguire has put his Spidey suits in the closet and called it a day after the premise of Spider-man 4 was revealed. In his mid-thirties now, Maguire decided it wouldn’t be plausible to play a high school student, so the title role has now been given to Andrew Garfield, star of The Social Network. It no longer features Mary Jane, instead starring Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, originally the first love of Peter Parker. The main villain is going to be The Lizard.

It is difficult to say whether the absences of Maguire and Dunst will be a contributing factor to how successful the movie will be as it reaches our screens this summer. One thing’s for sure, the 3D effects will give it a new dimension and die-hard Spidey fans will flock to see it, purely out of curiosity and suspense!

Imogen Gemmel
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