From 2002 until 2007, Sony and Columbia Pictures produced three live-action Spider-Man movies, collectively known as the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. The films saw Tobey Maguire take on the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, alongside a cast that included Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, James Franco, J.K. Simmons, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson, Alfred Molina, Topher Grace, Dylan Baker, and Thomas Haden Church, amongst others.

Spider-Man is the central figure of the series, but his arch enemies also play their part in each story. Across the course of the three films, Spidey has his work cut out keeping New York safe – especially with a steady increase in bad guys.

But who are the villains of the Spider-Man trilogy?

_____

Spider-Man (2002)

Norman Osborn/Green Goblin – Willem Dafoe

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

“The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout; down came the Goblin and took the spider out.”

For the first entry in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy the main Spider-Man villain is Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin. Osborn is a successful businessman who is desperate to win a government defence contract.

In an effort to secure the deal, he experiments on himself with a performance enhancing chemical. This causes him to go insane and adopt the Goblin persona.

_____

Dennis Carradine – Michael Papajohn

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

While Norman Osborn is the main villain of Spider-Man, he isn’t the only bad guy in the movie. Arguably the worst villain – from Spider-Man’s perspective – is Dennis Carradine, better known as the carjacker who appears to kill Uncle Ben.

After stealing the takings from a wrestling match, which Peter attended, Carradine runs to the nearest car to make his getaway. This leads him directly into the path of Peter’s Uncle who is shot and killed, giving Carradine the opportunity to make a temporary escape.

It is later revealed – in Spider-Man 3 – that Carradine was not Uncle Ben’s killer. However, for this first entry in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Carradine is the shooter.

_____

Mendel Stromm – Rob Perkins

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

In addition to Norman Osborn and Dennis Carradine, Spider-Man also contains one other character that comic book fans know as a villain – Mendel Stromm. In Spider-Man, Stromm (Osborn’s business partner) is not revealed to be a villain, yet in the comics he goes by the name of Robot Master or Gaunt.

Additional villain: In addition to the above characters, a reference is made to Dr. Curt Connors. In the comics, Connors is The Lizard.

_____

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

Dr. Otto Octavious/Doctor Octopus – Alfred Molina

“Find him, or I’ll peel the flesh off her bones.”

For Spider-Man movie No.2, the main villain of the film is Doctor Otto Octavious, aka Doctor Octopus. Octavious is a brilliant scientist and an idol to Peter Parker – that is, before he takes a dark path.

Working on an experiment for Oscorp, Octavious wears a robotic harness which allows him to artificially control four extra limbs. But when the experiment goes wrong, the limbs permanently attach themselves to Octavious’ spine and they take control of his mind.

_____

Dr. Curt Connors – Dylan Baker

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

Doctor Octopus is the sole villain of Spider-Man 2; however, the film does introduce a character who in the comics has a villainous background – Dr. Curt Connors. In the movie, Connors is Peter’s teacher, so not actually a villain here, but in the comics he is the alter-ego of the villainous Lizard.

Norman Osborn – Willem Dafoe

Norman Osborn briefly appears in Spider-Man 2, as an apparition viewed by his son, Harry.

_____

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Harry Osborn/New Goblin – James Franco

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

“You knew this was coming, Pete.”

For the final entry in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, the movie introduces a couple of new villains and transforms an ally into a villain. That ally is Peter’s former friend, Harry Osborn, who becomes the New Goblin.

Having learnt Peter’s secret identity in Spider-Man 2, and wrongly believing Spider-Man was responsible for his father’s death, Harry adopts the persona of the second Goblin. Utilising his father’s weapons, Harry takes to the skies on a Goblin glider to battle Spider-Man.

_____

Flint Marko/Sandman – Thomas Haden Church

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

“My daughter was dying, I needed money.”

Flint Marko is a small-time hood looking for a quick score. His daughter is dying and he hopes to raise enough money to help her – but his crimes come back to haunt him.

After escaping from prison, Marko is chased by police into an experimental particle accelerator. Here his body is radically altered, giving him the ability to turn into living sand.

As well as becoming the Sandman, in Spider-Man 3 it is also established that Marko was responsible for the death of Uncle Ben.

_____

Eddie Brock/Venom – Topher Grace

Image: ©Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Marvel Entertainment

“I like being bad, it makes me happy.”

Eddie Brock is a freelance photographer hoping to make a name for himself at the Daily Bugle. But when he fabricates a story about Spider-Man, his deception is quickly brought to light and he is dismissed.

Disgraced, Brock heads to a nearby church for salvation. But there he encounters an alien symbiote that transforms him into Venom.

_____

Norman Osborn – Willem Dafoe

Norman Osborn briefly appears as an apparition in Spider-Man 3, which is viewed by his son, Harry.

Dennis Carradine – Michael Papajohn

Dennis Carradine briefly appears in a flashback sequence in Spider-Man 3, that elaborates on the events that led up to the death of Peter’s Uncle Ben. Carradine was not responsible – it was Flint Marko who shot Uncle Ben.

Dr. Curt Connors – Dylan Baker

Curt Connors returns as Peter’s mentor/ally in Spider-Man 3. While he is still not depicted as a villain, had Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films continued beyond the trilogy, Connors would have become the Lizard.

_____

There were only three entries Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, yet the series managed to showcase a large number of villains. Each character contributed something to the series and demonstrated the variety of Spidey’s rogues’ gallery.

But which of these villains was your favourite? Is the Sandman your No.1 villain from this list or was Doctor Octopus the best Spider-Man movie villain? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below.

And should you want to know more about the Spider-Man movie series, then check out one of the recommended posts below.

Read more: