Spider-Man has always been one of Marvel’s most popular characters, but he also became a cinematic icon after swinging into multiplexes almost 20 years ago.
Sam Raimi’s epic superhero blockbuster introduced Peter Parker to a whole new generation of fans and played a vital role in establishing superheroes as the pop culture titans they are today.
While both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s incarnations of the character went out on a rather bum note, both could be getting a redemption story in the near future if recent rumours are to be believed.
The casting of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange and Jamie Foxx’s Electro in the MCU’s upcoming Spider-Man 3 has fans speculating that we could be getting a live-action Spider-Verse story in the film.
While nothing is confirmed just yet, it’s quite possible that both Maguire and Garfield could be tempted back to their respective Spidey suits, for a swan-song that would make millions of fans very happy indeed.
If all this talk has you hungry for some wall-crawling adventures, RadioTimes.com has your complete guide to the Spider-Man franchise so far.
The Sam Raimi trilogy
Sam Raimi brought the web-slinger to the big screen in fine form for this acclaimed blockbuster, which sees Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) come face to face with iconic foe, Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe).
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The high point of Raimi’s trilogy, Spider-Man 2 is widely regarded as one of the greatest superhero films ever made, chronicling Peter Parker’s clash with the terrifying Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina).
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
This final outing for Maguire’s Spider-Man was something of a misstep, biting off more than it could chew with the inclusion of three villains, none of which particularly resonated with audiences.
While still a financial success, the cold critical reaction to the film ultimately encouraged Sony to reboot the franchise with a younger lead actor and fresh continuity.
Nevertheless, Spider-Man 3 does have its defenders; there are a handful of great moments and the film does a serviceable job of wrapping up character arcs set up earlier in the trilogy.
Interlude | Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
While not officially tied to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man universe, there are a handful of playful references in Sony’s acclaimed animated hit that make it a fitting palate cleanser before diving into Spidey’s next iteration.
The Academy Award-winning family flick tells a charming coming-of-age story built around High School student and spider bite victim Miles Morales, who teams up with heroes from alternate universes to halt a sinister plan by the Kingpin.
The Andrew Garfield duology
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Andrew Garfield took over the web-shooters for this reboot, which retells Spider-Man’s tragic origin in a somewhat more grounded way.
Emma Stone co-stars as the ill-fated Gwen Stacy, while Rhys Ifans takes on the role of troubled scientist Dr Curt Connors, better known by his supervillain alter-ego: The Lizard.
While by no means revolutionary, most critics agreed that The Amazing Spider-Man was a fun and promising new take on Marvel’s wisecracking wall-crawler.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Unfortunately, here’s where things went wrong (again).
Sony were keen to spin their Spider-Man franchise into an expansive cinematic universe rivalling that of the mainline MCU, but ultimately tried too much too fast.
The result is a film that is far too long, overloaded with villains and semi-incomprehensible from a story perspective, once again putting the future of the franchise in doubt.
Loosely based on the Death of Gwen Stacy storyline, the feature pits Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man against Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin and Paul Giamatti’s Rhino.
Don’t expect it to knock your socks off, but it could be worth familiarising yourself with this entry prior to Foxx’s return in Tom Holland’s upcoming Spider-Man 3.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
The critical panning of Amazing Spider-Man 2 led to a groundbreaking deal between Disney and Sony to share custody of Spider-Man, allowing him to join the MCU proper.
Once again, the role was recast and the continuity wiped clean, with Tom Holland playing a fresh-faced Peter Parker who actually looked high school aged, rather than like a man in his early 30s.
He debuted in Captain America: Civil War in a small but memorable role that lays the groundwork for 2017’s Homecoming, introducing a mentor relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Holland’s first solo outing as Spider-Man sees him face his toughest challenge yet, coming to blows with Michael Keaton’s ruthless villain: The Vulture.
Taking cues from ’80s teen flicks like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it’s a fun ride with some great comedic moments and a small supporting role for Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Holland reprised his role for this epic crossover which sees the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy merge in a brutal confrontation against Thanos and his sinister followers.
As you might expect, Spidey once again sees himself paired up with Iron Man, while also meeting Doctor Strange for the first time – but certainly not the last.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Picking up after the devastating events of Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame follows the Marvel heroes as they try desperately to revert the actions of Thanos, whatever it takes.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Set shortly after the events of Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home is another fun solo adventure for the webslinger, chronicling Peter Parker’s school trip across Europe.
Along the way, he hopes to win over his crush MJ, but that won’t be easy when Nick Fury recruits him to fight a group of elemental monsters, alongside an enigmatic new hero called Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).