Keen to work your way through the Spider-Man movies? Unsure if they are going to provide you with the entertainment you crave?
Well, whether you are new to the Spider-Man movie series or you have watched most of the films before, there are a few things you need to know before you next press play. Seven essential tips that should prove useful for your journey with Spider-Man.
The ‘70s Spider-Man movies are not essential viewing
Top tip No. 1: You may think the Spider-Man film series began in 2002 with the Tobey Maguire-staring movie, Spider-Man, but the series actually began in the 1970s. The first Spider-Man movie was 1977’s Spider-Man, which was a theatrically released pilot for a television series.
This film was then followed by Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978) and Spider-Man: The Dragon’s Challenge (1979). Yep, there are three Spider-Man movies from the 1970s, which began life as a US TV show.
If you want to be a Spider-Man movie completest then by all means watch the 1970s movies. However, if you wish to skip them then it really isn’t a problem.
The films were all TV episodes that were transferred to the big screen. They have a TV budget and pacing issues, so they are not essential viewing.
Should you want a full rundown of all the Spidey films, then take a look at my post: ‘What are the Spider-Man movies?’. This will provide you with a guide to every Spider-Man film that has been released to date.
The Tom Holland Spider-Man movies are shared productions
Top tip No. 2: During the 1990s, Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures acquired the rights to make movies based on Spider-Man. At this point in time, Marvel did not have a separate film division and therefore looked to studios to produce movies based on its characters.
In 2002, Sony Pictures produced its first Spider-Man movie, which led to a successful run of films which continued in 2004, 2007, 2012 and 2014. However, midway through the 2010s Sony made a deal with Marvel Studios (Marvel’s fairly new film division) to temporarily share ownership of the character.
The deal would allow Marvel Studios to co-produce a number of movies based around Spider-Man. In addition, the arrangement would allow Spider-Man to guest star in other movies.
The films in which Tom Holland plays the role of Spider-Man (Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) etc) are part of the deal. These films are all overseen by Marvel Studios.
Spider-Man is not in Venom
Top tip No. 3: The title of this essential tip pretty much tells you what you need to know, but just to reiterate, Spider-Man does not appear in Venom. He doesn’t feature, isn’t mentioned and isn’t even alluded to.
If you are a fan of Spider-Man comics and you want to watch Venom because you want to see how Venom’s origin is dealt with in relation to Spider-Man, then you need to know that Venom is a standalone tale. Don’t expect Spider-Man to appear – not even during a post credit scene – as he won’t.
Watch the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy
Top tip No. 4: Some people will tell you that The Amazing Spider-Man is their favourite Spidey film, while others will favour anything with Tom Holland as the star. Regardless of favourites, as a general rule of thumb the Spider-Man movies by director Sam Raimi are always worth watching.
The series began in 2002 and ran until 2007. Across the course of the three films, Raimi presented an updated take on the classic era of the Spider-Man comics, with villains and supporting characters that felt as if they had been ripped directly from the printed page.
If you have not watched any of the Spider-Man films before today, you should check out Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.
Seek out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Top tip No. 5: Until winter 2018, every Spider-Man movie was live-action and then Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse arrived and changed things forever. Not only was the movie a big hit with audiences and critics, but it also impressed the judging panel at the Academy Awards and bagged itself an Oscar at the beginning of 2019.
Did Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse deserve to win an Oscar? You’re damn right it did!
If you have not watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, or you’re skipping it because you don’t tend to watch animated features, rectify the situation now. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is one of the best Spider-Man movies ever.
Not every Spider-Man movie is suitable for youngsters
Top tip No. 6: Spider-Man is a universally loved character and one who particularly appeals to children. And rightly so – Spider-Man’s strong moral code makes him one of the greatest heroes of all time and that’s something many youngsters look up to.
But, if you think that every Spider-Man movie is suitable for your children you might want to think again. While Spidey is a hero for all, his films aren’t always appropriate for younger members of the family.
The majority of Spider-Man’s live-action adventures carry a 12 certificate in the UK (PG-13 in the US), while Venom is a UK certificate 15. Teenagers can watch the movies, but they won’t necessarily be appropriate for all.
If you are unsure what Spider-Man films are safe for children, or you simply want a rundown of the film classifications (in the UK and US), then check out my handy guide: ‘How old do you need to be to watch the Spider-Man movies?’. This guide provides a rundown of every Spider-Man film (including those from the 1970s) and tells you the certifications of each.
You may not like all of the Spider-Man films
Top tip No. 7: And finally, while you might like Spider-Man as a character or you might love the Spider-Man comics, you may not like all of the Spider-Man films – and that’s OK. Some of the films are more appealing than others and not all of the movies will win you over.
As mentioned towards the beginning of this post, the Spider-Man films from the 1970s are not essential viewing. The same can be said for Spider-Man/ Supaidāman (1978) – a short Spider-Man movie which originated as an episode of the Japanese Spider-Man television show.
Try the films out and see what works best. If you simply can’t find something to like then move on to the next until you find the Spidey story that connects with you.
I do hope this post has been helpful for you. If it has, then click on the highlighted links in the post for further information and guidance, and don’t forget to check out some of the recommended reads too.
- What is Spider-Man’s mantra?
- Twelve actors you forgot were in Spider-Man movies
- The best episodes of Spider-Man: The Animated Series