Spiderman: The Movie
No film studio showed interest in a Spider-Man movie following the disastrous reception of Batman & Robin in 1997, which made film studios to not take the superhero genre seriously and have the perception that "comic books were for kids". However, the release of Blade by New Line Cinema in 1998 and the development of X-Men by 20th Century Fox convinced some studios that a Marvel character "could carry on" a movie. Marvel would emerge from bankruptcy in 1998 and declare that Menahem Golan's option had expired and that the rights had reverted to them. Marvel would then sell the film rights to Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures' parent company for $7 million. The deal came to effect in March 1999.
Spiderman: The Movie
While John Calley was in work, training at Columbia, he sought with Kevin McClory's claim to develop an unofficial James Bond movie franchise, partially based on the material used on Thunderball, and also had the rights to the novel Casino Royale. MGM and Danjaq also had to sue Sony Pictures and Spectre Associates, regarding claims of how the McClory film with Sony has been demonstrated. The final blow came in March 1999, when Sony traded the Casino Royale film rights to MGM for the company's own Spider-Man project, thus starting right to production.
For the titular role, the filmmakers wanted someone who was not "extraordinarily tall or handsome as Christopher Reeve", but who could have the "heart and soul" for the audience to identify with. The studio had expressed interest in actors Leonardo DiCaprio, Freddie Prinze Jr., Chris O'Donnell, Jude Law, Chris Klein, Ewan McGregor, Wes Bentley, and Heath Ledger. DiCaprio had been considered by James Cameron for the role in 1995, while Raimi joked that Prinze "won't even be allowed to buy a ticket to see this film". Sony made overtures to Law about Spider-Man. Pascal and her fellow executives pursued Ledger for the role due to her past collaborations, whereas Raimi met with Bentley but did not meet with DiCaprio or Ledger. Bentley turned down the role as he was uninterested doing Superhero movies. In addition, actors Scott Speedman, Jay Rodan and James Franco were involved in screen tests for the lead role (Franco would ultimately land the role of Harry Osborn). Joe Manganiello also auditioned for the role. He would eventually win the role as Parker's bully, Eugene "Flash" Thompson. Tobey Maguire was cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in July 2000, having been Sam Raimi's primary choice for the role after he saw The Cider House Rules. The studio was initially hesitant to cast someone who did not seem to fit the ranks of "adrenaline-pumping, tail-kicking titans", but Maguire managed to impress studio executives with his audition. The actor was signed for a deal in the range of $3 to $4 million with higher salary options for two sequels. To prepare, Maguire was trained by a physical trainer, a yoga instructor, a martial arts expert, and a climbing expert, taking several months to improve his physique. Maguire studied spiders and worked with a wire man to simulate the arachnid-like motion and had a special diet, though he tried to be as fit as possible due to being a vegan.
Nicolas Cage, Jason Isaacs and John Malkovich were considered for the role of Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, but turned down the role. Willem Dafoe was cast as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin in November 2000. Raimi met with Dafoe while he was filming a movie in Spain. He felt attracted at the prospect of working with Raimi and the idea of making a comic book movie. Dafoe insisted on wearing the uncomfortable costume as he felt that a stuntman would not convey the character's necessary body language. The 580-piece suit took half an hour to put on.
In Los Angeles, locations included the Natural History Museum (for the Columbia University lab where Parker is bitten and receives his powers), the Pacific Electricity Building (the Daily Bugle offices) and Greystone Mansion (for the interiors of Norman Osborn's home), the latter of which was the set that was used for Batman. In April, 4 of the Spider-Man costumes were stolen, and Sony put up a $25,000 reward for their return. They were recovered after 18 months and a former movie studio security guard and an accomplice were arrested. Production moved to New York City for two weeks, taking in locations such as the Queensboro Bridge, the exteriors of Columbia University's Low Memorial Library and the New York Public Library, and a rooftop garden in the Rockefeller Center. The crew returned to Los Angeles where production continued, filming wrapped in June 2001. The Flatiron Building was used for the Daily Bugle.
At the box office, Spider-Man became 2002's highest-grossing film with $407,022,860 in the U.S. and Canada, defeating The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and Attack of the Clones. As of 2021, Spider-Man ranks as the 37th-highest-grossing film of all time in the U.S. and Canada, not adjusted for inflation. The film also grossed $418,002,176 from its international markets, bringing its worldwide total to $825,025,036 making it 2002's third-highest-grossing film behind The Two Towers and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and the 58th-highest-grossing film of all time, worldwide. Additionally, it was the highest-grossing Sony film of all time, beating out Men in Black. Spider-Man also dethroned Batman's record for becoming the highest-grossing superhero film of all time. The film sold an estimated 69,484,700 tickets in the US. It held the record for most tickets sold by a comic book movie until The Dark Knight topped it in 2008. As of 2020, it is still the sixth highest grossing comic book movie of all time adjusted for inflation. Only Avengers: Infinity War, The Dark Knight, Black Panther, The Avengers and Avengers: Endgame have sold more tickets than Spider-Man. Spider-Man was the highest-grossing superhero origin film, a record it held for 15 years until it was surpassed by Wonder Woman (2017). As of 2020, it is the 12th-highest-grossing superhero film, as well as the 12th-highest-grossing comic book adaptation in general.
Internationally, Spider-Man opened in 17 territories in its first week, earning a total of $13.3 million. It scored the second-highest opening in Iceland, Singapore and South Korea. Plus, Russia and Yugoslavia had the third best all time film opening. Spider-Man would score the biggest opening in Switzerland with $1.4 million and 160,000 admissions from 106 screens, surpassing The World Is Not Enough. As for Germany, it had the strongest June opening and the third best debut of any movie, behind Attack of the Clones and Ice Age. Its opening screenings in France were a massive 10,645 admissions from 27 screens, beating out the French film Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. Additionally, it set the highest opening gross in Spain. Meanwhile, Spider-Man would go on to unleash new opening records in the UK during the 2002 FIFA World Cup soccer game. The film made $13.9 million from 509 screens, making it the country's fifth biggest movie opening, trailing only behind Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Phantom Menace, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Attack of the Clones. In addition, Spider-Man had the largest opening of any film in the UK with a BBFC certificate higher than a "PG" rating, staying ahead of Independence Day and Hannibal. Despite lunch matches, it still led the weekend box office to a bigger 110% week-to-week increase and a 130% year-on-year increase when Pearl Harbor led the chart during its third week. It was the country's number one film for three weeks until it was displaced by Minority Report. In India, the film was simultaneously released in English and three different languages across 250 screens, becoming the widest reach and return for a Hollywood title since The Mummy Returns in 2001. It was even Sony's first major release in the country since Godzilla in 1998. The total number of international markets that generated grosses in excess of $10 million include Australia ($16.9 million), Brazil ($17.4 million), France, Algeria, Monaco, Morocco and Tunisia ($32.9 million), Germany ($30.7 million), Italy ($20.8 million), Japan ($56.2 million), Mexico ($31.2 million), South Korea ($16.98 million), Spain ($23.7 million), and the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta ($45.8 million).
When James Cameron agreed to make Spider-Man, Carolco lawyers simply used his previous Terminator 2 contract as a template. A clause in this agreement gave Cameron the right to decide on movie and advertising credits. Show business trade articles and advertisements made no mention of Golan, who was still actively assembling the elements for the film. In 1993, Golan complained publicly and finally instigated legal action against Carolco for disavowing his contractual guarantee credit as producer. On the other hand, Cameron had the contractual right to decide on credits. Eventually, Carolco sued Viacom and Columbia to recover broadcast and home video rights, and the two studios countersued. 20th Century Fox, though not part of the litigation, contested Cameron's participation, claiming exclusivity on his services as a director under yet another contract. In 1996, Carolco, 21st Century, and Marvel went bankrupt.
Both studios now faced rival projects, which could undercut their own long-term financial stability and plans. Columbia had no consistent movie franchise, and had sought Spider-Man since 1989; MGM/UA's only reliable source of theatrical income was a new James Bond film every two or three years. An alternate 007 series could diminish or even eliminate the power of MGM/UA's long-running Bond series. Likewise, an MGM/UA Spider-Man film could negate Columbia's plans to create an exclusive cash cow. Both sides seemed to have strong arguments for the rights to do such films. 041b061a72