June 8, 2023

He’s young, he’s fast and he’s one of a kind. While Bruce Wayne is a multi-millionaire businessman with a dark past, Clark Kent comes from a different planet altogether! That is probably why Peter Parker aka Spider-Man—your regular guy next door who gets bullied by people around him is probably one of the most loved and relatable superhero characters ever. The superhero has seen some great and some not-so-great times but no matter what happens, each time a Spider Man film or TV Series comes out, fans of the web-slinger get mighty excited.

And we at Bollyy are no different! The upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming has us on the edge of our seats and that’s why we decided to trace Spidey’s glorious five-and-a-half-decade-long rich history from the comics to the big screen. Brace yourselves for a trip down the memory lane!

The Rise (1960-70)

After the lucrative response to the superhero series The Fantastic Four in 1961, Marvel’s owner Martin Goodman had asked editor Stan Lee to create more such superheroes. This was the time Stan Lee went off his path and decided to think out of the box. And thus, an unconventional superhero: Peter Parker aka Spider-Man was born. Spidey was a teenager who lived with his aunt and had problems which readers could relate to and empathise with at the same time. Spider-Man released in the final issue of 1962’s The Amazing Fantasy. After unexpectedly high sales, Marvel released The Amazing Spider-Man in 1963.

The Webslinger got his first animated series just after five years of its release and has been ruling the screen ever since.

The Ascent (1970-80)

The end of the 70s and early 80s was the time when Spidey ruled the superhero scene and also a time when television was going through a boom of it’s own. Nicholas Hammond stepped into Spidey’s shoes when the superhero went live-action for the first time in 1977 for a TV movie called Spider-Man.

image source: Vectos Auctions UK

The TV movie later served as the pilot in 1967 for The Amazing Spider-Man, a 13 episodes series on CBS which was also a major step in the development of the character.

Released in 1979, Spider-Man Strikes Back was a TV movie which was a composite of the two-part Deadly Dust of the contemporary TV show The Amazing Spider-Man. Nicholas Hammond once again bagged the role of the wall-crawler in this one.

Spidey’s fame was touching new heights day by day and that is when the producers went with the flow and made a mistake called Spider-Man: The Dragon Challenge based on The Chinese Web released in 1979.

Spidey Goes Abroad

The 70’s was also an era when a lot of countries tried their hands at rehashing the superhero. A Turkish company made a film with several Marvel characters called 3 Dev Adam (Three Giant Men). Avengers before they were cool? We wish! The film was a box-office dud and failed miserably.

In another attempt, the Japanese animation company TOEI collaborated with Marvel to create a live-action Tokusatsu TV series in 1978.

The Fall (The 1980s)

After falling miserably at their previous live-action attempt, Marvel understood the pulse of the audience and made a come back with Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, with the aim of hitting gold once again. However the clichéd story-line failed to generate interest and Marvel’s desperate attempt ended up being a wreck and resulted in a dry spell for the superhero.

The Reincarnation (The 1990s)

After a decade-long famine on screen, Spider-Man came back with a bang in 1994 in an animated series. Although the story was still clichéd, their experimentation with characters worked quite well. With a distributor like Disney, Marvel pulled it off and the show ran for four years on various Disney networks.

Spider-Man again had a rebirth of sorts in 1999 with a show which was supposed to be a 26-episode low budget adaptation. But the Marvel-Sony collaboration resulted in the superhero’s rights being bought by Sony and amongst all this drama, Saban Animation could not do justice to the series. Also, the series faced stiff competition and was overshadowed by Pokemon and Digimon.

The Rebirth (The 2000s)

Starring Toby Maguire and directed by Sam Raimi, Spider-Man crawled back into the theatres in 2002. The movie surpassed all expectations and shattered all box-office records. Toby Maguire became synonymous with Spider-Man and placed Spidey in the top league of superheroes.

After the astounding success, Sony hit back on the screens in 2004 with yet another blockbuster in the form of Spider-Man 2, the sequel to the first film of the series.

Although Spider-Man 3 witnessed one of the greatest openings of all time, the film was disappointing to say the least. Toby Maguire’s corrupted version of the Spider-Man didn’t go down well with the audiences and the film ended up being a major fiasco thus resulting in the end of the trilogy.

SONY Trying to create Spider-Man 4 in 2011.

It wasn’t just the movies which were leading the way to Spidey’s rebirth. An animated series named Spider-Man: The New Animated Series made it to the small screen in 2003 followed by The Spectacular Spider-Man in 2009.

The Reboot (the 2010s)

In 2012, Sony decided to use its property for yet another reboot with The Amazing Spiderman starring Andrew Garfield. Garfield’s Spidey proved to be a short outing for the studio and they decided to pull the plug just after a sequel.

Finally, in the year 2016, Marvel served fans with what they had been asking for since forever. Captain America: Civil War brought back Spidey to the MCU universe for the very first time as an Avenger. Played by the 20-year-old Tom Holland, Spidey stole the show with the Civil War cameo. We’re big fans, Spidey! Saw the damn movie for you, just saying!

Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

Now that our latest Spidey, Tom Hollander, has swung into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, the superhero is all set to come out with it’s solo film Spider-Man: Homecoming. This Spider-Man is young, cool, funny and he has Tony Stark as his mentor. It doesn’t get any better, or does it? We’ll just have to let time take it’s own course and see!

And since we’re such huge fans and just can’t wait for Spider-Man: Homecoming to hit the screens, we decided to make our own little tribute video to trace the evolution!

We’re sure we have you kicked up and running! Share your excitement with us in the comments section below.

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