Across the course of the two-movie series, The Amazing Spider-Man films tease, then discuss a secret involving Peter Parker’s parents. This secret kick-starts the story which takes place in The Amazing Spider-Man and carries through into The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

But who are Peter Parker’s parents and what is their secret?


Peter Parker’s parents in The Amazing Spider-Man

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

In The Amazing Spider-Man movie series, Peter Parker’s parents are Richard and Mary Parker. Richard Parker is played by Campbell Scott, while Mary Parker is played by Embeth Davidtz.

In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter’s parents are introduced during the opening moments of the film. The scene takes place when Peter Parker is a young boy.

Few details are revealed about his parents, except that Richard has a home office where he is working on a project involving spiders. But his office is broken into and this spooks him.

Without any explanation, Richard and Mary travel to the home of Ben and May Parker – Peter’s uncle and aunt. They ask Ben and May to look after Peter for an undetermined amount of time, and then they leave.

It is later established that Richard and Mary Parker never return and Peter grows up in the care of Uncle Ben and Aunt May. A few additional details are also revealed, which explain that Richard once worked at Oscorp, on a project involving cross-species genetics.


Peter Parker’s parents in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the Parker story is continued – picking up where the opening scene of The Amazing Spider-Man left off.

After leaving Peter in the care of Uncle Ben and Aunt May, the Parkers take a flight. But the plane is hijacked by an unnamed man who has killed the pilot and intends to kill the Parkers.

An altercation between the unnamed man and Richard takes place, a shot is fired, the plane cabin loses pressure and then it loses an engine. The plane descends towards the sea and Peter’s parents are presumed dead.

Two days after the funeral, two FBI agents arrive at the home of Ben and May Parker. They believe that Richard was involved with highly important (and incredibly lucrative) research and they brand Richard and Mary Parker as traitors to their country.


Were Peter Parker’s parents traitors?

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

So, were Peter Parker’s parents traitors?


It is later revealed in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that Richard was working on a genetics project for Norman Osborn – the head of Oscorp. In order to continue funding Richard’s work, Osborn made a deal with an unnamed foreign organisation.

Richard’s work was very important and in the wrong hands it could be used as a weapon. So, when Richard discovered that the organisation intended to use his research for nefarious purposes, he refused to comply and destroyed data.

To ensure his work could not be replicated, Richard and Mary went on the run to get as far away from Norman Osborn and Oscorp as possible. To bury the truth about their deaths, Osborn falsified evidence which branded Richard and Mary as traitors.


Why did The Amazing Spider-Man movies focus on Peter’s parents?

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

The Amazing Spider-Man movies focused on Peter’s parents as this was an area of Peter’s life that was not explored in previous Spider-Man movies. In fact, in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy – the three Spidey movies which proceeded the Amazing films – there was no reference to Peter’s parents at all.

For the Amazing movies, a decision was made to explore who Richard and Mary were and put their absence into some context, while creating a mystery that could play out across the course of the films. Richard’s work also tied into Peter’s transformation, as it was his research which indirectly led to Peter receiving super powers.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Richard Parker deleted scene

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

While the Parker storyline was wrapped up in the theatrical cut of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the original plan was to keep it going with additional material. Had The Amazing Spider-Man 3 made it to production, then perhaps we would have seen further details about Richard and Mary’s past.

In a deleted scene from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it is revealed that Richard Parker is still alive (although Mary has since passed away). In the scene – included on the home video release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – Richard seeks out Peter, shortly after Gwen Stacy’s funeral.

Richard and Peter share an exchange, with Peter explaining that he is finding it hard to continue in light of Gwen’s death. Richard encourages Peter to keep Gwen’s memory close and tells him that “with great power, comes great responsibility.”

Should this scene have been included in the movie?


Although the deleted scene is powerful, ultimately it was best not to include it in the movie. The Parker storyline was given a resolution in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and that was much more satisfying than hinting at something more, that simply would not have been resolved.


I hope this post has provided you with information regarding Richard and Mary Parker. Should you wish to know more about the Spider-Man movies, then please take a look around this blog or check out one of the recommended reads below.

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