As we adjust to the news that Spider-Man will (maybe) no longer be in the MCU, it’s time to pour one out for the greatest live-action incarnation of Marvel’s #1 hero. Although Spidey has existed on the big screen since 2002, it was this third incarnation that truly got Peter Parker right. When Sam Raimi gave the world its very first taste of a big screen Peter Parker by way of Tobey Maguire, he did right by the character in many ways. But I think it’s fair to say that it wasn’t until Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios got ahold of him that we all got the truest version of the wall-crawler ever put on film. Simply put, Kevin Feige understand what makes Spider-Man tick more than any producer ever.
The Raimi movies understood that Peter Parker was a lovable loser, and Tobey Maguire nailed that part of the character from the word go. But he was never the quippy, funny guy when he put on the red and blue tights—at least nowhere near as much as he should have been. Meanwhile, Spidey 2.0 Andrew Garfield did get the smart-ass nature of Spider-Man down, but he was this traditionally handsome dude, with
But when Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios came on board, Spider-Man was saved. Casting Tom Holland was the absolute perfect choice. He was adorable, but in a teenage dorky way—
Peter’s relationships with the kids around him—Ned, Liz, MJ, and the others—was a staple of the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko comics, and almost totally ignored by the non-MCU Spider-Man films. Making Spider-Man a John Hughes-esque high school story was a genius move, and it helped make this perhaps our most beloved version of Peter yet.
In let’s not forget: we got two great villains in a row with MCU Spider-Man. Michael Keaton as the Vulture and Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio were both fantastic in totally different ways. Among the first five Spider-Man movies, we got one truly great bad guy in the form of Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock. But they dropped the ball on just about everyone else. Willem Dafoe was a great Norman Osborn for sure, but the less said about his Green Goblin, the better. Feige fully understood what made Spider-Man’s rogue’s gallery great.
And when MCU Spider-Man
Tom Holland is remaining as Spider-Man for Sony, as are the previous two film’s directors Jon Watts. And