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 SPIDEY shows Hollywood he won't go down without a fight

September 1966
Writer: Stan Lee/ Artist: Steve Ditko

Here's the latest info on the proposed Spider-Man film as reported by various sources including Marvel Comics, Sony Pictures, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Zentertainment, Dark Horizons, Wizard, Premier, Ain't It Cool News, Mr. Showbiz, Hollywood Online, CNSinsider, Comics2Film

For the latest updates, scroll to the bottom of this page!

Read the entire James Cameron script treatment here.


Premier interviewed James Cameron, the man who was paid $3 million in 1991 to write a Spider-Man treatment, and asked: "If the rights to your Spider-Man project become available, would you still want to direct it?"

Cameron's reply was: "Here's where I am philosophically. I'm 44, I make a movie every two or three years -- it should be something that I create. I've always done that, with the exception of Aliens. The Terminator was my creation, so were Titanic and The Abyss. With the amount of time and energy that I put into a film, it shouldn't be somebody else's superhero. I don't want to labor in somebody else's house."

Michael Fleming of Variety reported a summary judgment was issued dismissing MGM's claims to the Spider-man project though they will appeal the decision and still have other claims on the franchise.

According to a report at "Ain't It Cool News," the Spider-Man project appears to be between four major combatants: MGM, Paramount (as part of Viacom International), Sony Pictures and Marvel. While Paramount is said to hold the worldwide TV rights, Sony has the video rights. MGM's claim to the project comes from its acquisitions of the various production companies that had previously held the license.

L.A. Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz has granted Marvel's motion for summary judgment against the MGM subsidiary Webspinner. The Judge agreed with Marvel's contention that the agreement with Webspinner/MGM stipulated that a movie would have to be made by 1996. Failing that, the rights return to Marvel. If Munoz's ruling stands MGM has been effectively eliminated from holding any claims to the project. The next battle involves Marvel's motion for a summary judgment against Viacom which is set to go to trial March 2.

MARCH 1999

Marvel Enterprises has reached a settlement with Sony Pictures Entertainment. It was announced March 1 by Marvel President and CEO Eric Ellenbogen and Chief Creative Officer Avi Arad and SPE Chairman and CEO John Calley. In addition to the film rights, the two companies have also agreed to partner on TV production.

Also included in the settlement was MGM though no details were given as to what MGM received to walk away from the property. Viacom, the fourth claimant to the Spider-man property was not mentioned. Viacom's claim to the TV rights is scheduled for trial March 4th.

Another interview with James Cameron showcased in CNN Custom News stated that despite the recent Marvel/Sony agreement, Stan Lee's pleas and his own previous enthusiasm for the character, Cameron has said he is no longer interested in the Spider-Man project.

"I have definitely moved on. It was something I really wanted to do eight years ago when I was first after the project. But your ideas change and the ways in which you want to proportion your life's energies. When you make a film every two or three years, you make that decision very carefully and not just because everyone wants you to make it."

APRIL 1999

A report in the Showbiz Confidential column states that Sony has hired a David Koepp (Jurassic Park, Mission Impossible) to write a draft based on James Cameron's treatment from 1991.

The legal battle to determine the TV distribution rights of a Spider-Man movie started Wednesday, April 7, 1999. What should be the final legal battle for the rights to the web-slinger, pits Marvel & Columbia/TriStar (Sony) against Viacom, Inc. Viacom maintains their contract with the now-defunct 21st Century Film Corp. is still valid as it contained "successor agreements".

Lawyers for Marvel/Sony and Viacom made their closing arguments on Wednesday, April 14. Viacom is holding fast to its claim that their licensing agreement while Marvel/Sony contends the agreement gave Viacom distribution to any Spider-Man film made by 21st Century only and, as that company has ceased to exist, Viacom has no claim.

A buzz around Larry and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix) continues according to a Hollywood Online article. The brother writer/director team, once writers for Marvel comics, state they have been associated with as many as four comic-based movies. Whether they are involved with a potential Spider-man film is yet to be seen.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz has delivered his ruling on schedule in the hearing over the TV distribution rights for a Spider-Man movie. Munoz rejected all claims Viacom asserted in regards to the yet-to-be-filmed movie and to the character itself.

A Viacom spokesperson stated, "We are very disappointed by the judge's decision in the Spider-Man case today. We believe strongly that we have valid rights in Spider-Man and expect those rights to be upheld on appeal."

MAY 1999

Ron Howard meets Spider-Man? Not likely but in a recent interview, Howard spoke briefly of the project saying, "The rights are up for grabs....that point definitely hasn't escaped my attention."


David Koepp spoke with Creative Screenwriting magazine and mentioned briefly of his work on the Spider-Man screenplay though he said he couldn't give out any details.

Actor Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) as Peter Parker? Van Dien told fans he is interested in playing the part in the Spider-Man movie. If he were cast, he stated his Spider-Man would be, "As close as I could be to [vision of] Stan Lee."

Reports of Stephen Sommers (The Mummy), Ivan Reitman (6 Days, 7 Nights) and Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow) are all in contention for the directing chores on the Spider-Man movie, as well as, producer/director Jan DeBont (The Haunting).

David Koepp spoke to Cinescape about the project. "I'm writing it as we speak, but please don't ask me any plot points. It's a huge secret." While Koepp couldn't elaborate on the script he did offer his opinions about the possibility of Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic) playing Peter Parker in the film, "Spider-Man is 17 years old. Leonardo is much too old. I think Spider-Man should be played by a newcomer, but that's all I'm saying."


A rumor that's been buzzing around the Toronto Film Festival scene involves Billy Dunlop as a potential candidate to direct the film.

Another rumor surfaces, this time with Steven Speilberg and the Spider-Man project. According to Jeffrey Wells' Hollywood Confidential gossip column, "a well-positioned source" told him Spielberg is seriously considering the effort as his next project after Minority Report.

Spielberg's spokesperson Marvin Levy told Wells that the report is "not true" and that such rumor might be one of confusion to Spielberg's role as a consultant on the Spider-Man attraction at the Universal Studios theme park in Florida. Wells' source states differently.


An article in Wizard magazine states that screenwriter David Koepp is sticking to James Cameron's treatment for the movie. Villains are said to be updated versions of Electro and Sandman. As with Cameron's treatment, Spidey will not wear web-spinners, but will actually have organic spinners as part of his spider mutation.

Harry Knowles' "Ain't It Cool Site" reports an anonymous scoopster as saying Sony had narrowed down the directorial gig to four directors. Those four are 1) Barry Sonnenfeld, 2) David Fincher, 3) Michael Bay, 4) Chris Columbus. Of course this is unconfirmed, but Harry usual gets lots of accurate info so only time will tell.

Harry's AICN reports that David Fincher has passed on directing the film -- stating it wasn't his thing -- while the word is that Michael Bay believes the script needs more work; plus he's too involved with other projects. There was also other rumblings that Koepp's script might be a dude (but no hard evidence), so don't take it too seriously -- yet.


Variety reported on 12/9 that Sony has narrowed down their Spidey directoral choice between 2 filmmakers. David Fincher and Chris Columbus have emerged as the final candidates to direct the Spider-Man film. The decision as to who will helm the story is expected before Christmas -- that's the good news.

The bad news is there are rumblings that Sony may not want to embrace the warm and endearing Peter Parker we have grown to know from the original comic book series. If Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone and Bicentennial Man) is to helm, we might see a wise-cracking webslinger (much like the version in the comic) but if Fincher (Fight Club, The Game, and Seven) secures the role, Spidey may have a whole new (darker) outlook.


Various reports coming in. Seems that a third possible helmer might be in the mix. Sources state there are talks with Jan de Bont (''Twister'') to direct.

Another source states that talks are breaking down with Marvel and Sony and the script written by Koepp is not what Marvel wanted. Sony might be bringing in David Mammet who just finished Hannibal. Mammet may revise the script to fit Marvel's needs. The source also states that talk about Jan De Bont are not true and that Fincher is still the prime contender for the spot. Marvel want's the image that McFarlane created. So what's fact and what's fantasy? Stay tuned.

According to the Hollywood Reporter today, Jan De Bont has come aboard to direct and produce the Village Roadshow/Warner Bros. ecological disaster project "Dust" which would put him out of the running to direct Spider-Man. Also out of the running (maybe) is Fincher who may direct and produce the Sci-Fi drama, "Passengers" (though this is NOT a definite as of yet).

New names recently mentioned for directing chores include John Woo and Sam Raimi. Woo though apparently is to direct a WW2 film, "Windtalkers," instead so the best bets are either Fincher or Raimi at this time.

Casting calls this past week for the possible role of Peter include: Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore), Wes Bentley (American Beauty) and Nicholas Brendon (Buffy - The Vampire Slayer)

The Hollywood Reporter stated on 1/27 that "Sam Raimi is in final negotiations to direct the long-anticipated "Spider-Man" for Columbia Pictures and will segue to the project in late fall after helming "The Gift" for Paramount Classics." There is no cast yet. It is not clear if there is a stop date on "The Gift," which starts shooting Feb. 3. Columbia has been targeting a summer 2001 release for "Spider-Man." The trade also stated that Raimi will shoot from David Koepp’s script, which is based on a treatment by James Cameron.


Okay, here's the latest:

Seems there's a lot of talk of two NEW foes are to face Spider-Man in the eventual film. Those two being The Green Goblin & Doc Ock. There's even a proposed scriptment, with these 2 characters, floating about. You can read that scriptment right here.

At this point, whether the Cameron script is used, this new scriptment is used, or neither is mere speculation. Once again, only time will tell.

APRIL 2000

The rumors still fly high as to who will be cast as Peter Parker. The latest comes from AICN that Jude Law will be that lucky person. Again, no contracts signed and no official announcements so continue to take all casting info with a grain of salt.

But -- here is some fact (instead of fantasy): Spider-Man creator Stan Lee joined Spider-Man Hype! in a special chat session to discuss his thoughts on where the Spider-Man movie should go, as well as to discuss his phenomenal success, "Stan Lee Media." The chat transcript is located here.

Lots of rumblings on the casting of Peter Parker. Will it be Heath Ledger? (from the movie "10 things I hate about you" and the new Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot")

MAY 2000

Eon Magazine has a nice interview with director Sam Raimi. Check it out.

JUNE 2000

Comics Continuum posted some info on what Avi Arad had to say of the latest regarding the live-action film scheduled for a Thanksgiving 2001 release.

Presently, Arad is reading over the latest script by Koepp. "We're really getting there," he stated and confirmed the villains featured will be the Green Goblin and Doc Ock. He expects casting to begin within the next 2 months.

Arad also stated a computer-generated animated TV series will follow the live-action movie. He said that series would probably start in the spring of 2002.

2 new tidbits:
Variety reports that Scott Rosenberg ("Con Air") has been tapped to rewrite David Koepp's script, which has already been rewritten twice.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Columbia Pictures has screen-tested "Felicity" star Scott Speedman, Jay Rodan, ("Caveman's Valentine") and James Franco ("Whatever It Takes") for the role of Peter Parker. Another possibility is Tobey Maguire ("The Cider House Rules").

JULY 2000

BIG NEWS: Appears like Tobey Maguire is set to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Read more here.

Also, rumors are flying rampant that Nic Cage might be up for the role of Green Goblin.


Seems like Nic is out of the running for the role of the GG as scheduling conflicts with other productions appears to be the reason.

AICN is reporting that the part of Mary Jane Watson has been offered to Kate Hudson and Sam Raimi is to meet with John Malkovich for the role of Norman Osborne aka Green Goblin.


Avi Arad has announced the film release date: May 2002. He also stated Doc Ock is out and there will be only one villian featured; The Green Goblin. And who will play the GG? While Arad has confirmed that John Malkovich has been in talks for the role of the Green Goblin [and Kate Hudson as a possible Mary Jane] neither actor has signed as yet.


According to a source at Ain't-It-Cool-News, John Malkovich might be dropping out of the Spider-Man film and will not play the character of Norman Osborne/Green Goblin. This is only a rumor and has yet to be confirmed but AICN is usually on top of things. So, who will play GG now? Stay tuned...

Can't wait for the Sony production? Then check out an interview with Dan Poole, creator of the "The Green Goblin’s Last Stand," who reveals the story behind the making of his fast-growing cult video classic.



Willem Dafoe will play the role of the Green Goblin/Norman Osborn and James Franco will play the role of Harry Osborn (thanks to spidermanhype.com). Also rumored is J.K. Simmons to play the role of J. Jonah Jameson.

Extras casting is also taking place. Approx. 12,000 people will be needed. Those interested should go to the Central Casting website.


Additional CASTING NEWS!!

According to the Hollywood Reporter, here's the latest Spider-Man movie cast confirmations:

Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris and J.K. Simmons round out the high-profile cast of Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man" for director Sam Raimi. Based on the Marvel comic book of the same name, the feature film will have Robertson and Harris playing Uncle Ben and Auntie May, respectively, the guardians of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). Simmons is on board to play J. Jonah Jameson, Parker's boss at the Daily Bugle newspaper. All three characters are unaware that Parker is also the famed Spider-Man superhero. Shooting is scheduled to begin next month with plans for a May 3, 2002, release. The cast for "Spider-Man" also includes Kirsten Dunst as Parker's girlfriend Mary Jane, Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin, James Franco as the Goblin's son Harry, and Bruce Campbell as a ring announcer.



I hate the [blink tag] as much as the next guy but this is BIG news! Starting today, Jan 8, the first day of principal photography on the "Spider-Man" movie has begun. The shoot will take approximately four months, with filming occurring in both New York City and Los Angeles.

I've added a picture of the film's leads incld. Spider-Man, Mary Jane, Harry Osborn, Green Goblin, and the director here. Thanks to Sony and Spider-Man hype!

SPIDEY COSTUME revealed! In the time honor tradition of "Who's on first, what's on second...", it's difficult to say (in this day of the internet) who first posted this pic. Entertainment Weekly was supposed to have an "exclusive" but then CHUD supposedly put it online first. It was then asked to be removed by Sony and then Coming Attractions posted a second pic as did Spider-Man Hype and well, not sure who should get official credit but just to play it safe...I thank all parties involved and make the statement that I'm just passing the info on to others. Enough chatter already -- you want to see the pic? Well click right here.


Unless you've been on a deserted island or stuck under a rock, you know that Spider-Man swung into theaters on May 3, 2002. What you may not know is just how well the little ol' wallcrawler has managed on the big screen. Check out the record-breaking stats!

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