Entertainment World News Exclusive
Bobbie Stone, Editor of Hollywood Byline.com, has 14 years experience as a Producer/Director in the television, video and film industry. Ms. Stone brings Entertainment World News an insider’s report on entertainment news from Hollywood.
S P I D E R - M A N
From out of the comic books and onto the big screen, it’s the web-spinning comic book superhero Spider-Man. The movie version adds a love story to the comic book plot enough to add real life to the cartoon characters. Peter Parker played by Toby McGuire, is a nerdy aspiring photographer and high school student in love with Mary Jane Watson, his next door neighbor played by Kristin Dunst with red hair. Mary Jane is a part time waitress after school and aspires to be an actress. She is secretly in love with Spiderman, but like Lois Lane and Clark Kent, she doesn’t know he’s her hero and just thinks Peter Parker is a good friend. His friend Harry Osborn (played by James Franco) is Mary Jane’s boyfriend. But that doesn’t stop him, he knows he has super hero powers and he believes that will get her to like him. She just thinks he’s dorky, he never seems to be able to catch the bus in the morning so he has to run after it, he’s like a wallflower at school that the girls just seem to see through him.
Peter gets bitten by a mutant radioactive spider so alas, he gains superhuman strength and a clinging personality. Clinging to walls, ceilings, climbing up tall buildings, just about anything not on the ground. At first Peter sees his powers an easy way to make money but he gets himself into trouble when he gets involved with thieves. Then when his Uncle Ben, played by Cliff Robertson, is about to come to a tragic end, he tells him, “With great power comes great responsibility.” That’s when Peter vows to dedicate his life to fighting crime as he lives his double life as Spider-Man, a student newspaper photographer.
Peter can’t keep his eyeballs off of Mary Jane, whenever she walks by him in the school cafeteria his eyes are bigger than his stomach. When she slips his superpowers come to the rescue and catches her in mid air before she falls, landing her in his arms. Now all he can think about is scoring a date with his high-school sweetheart.
Just as fate would have it, Harry’s father is fooling around with super power-dom too, but he is about to become New York’s biggest foe. Norman Osborn is New York’s wealthy science engineer, played by Willem Dafoe, who wants to increase his powers. Instead he overdoses on a power serum and turns into The Green Goblin who’s mission is revenge on the civilians of New York and to get Spider-Man to come join him in his dark world. It’s hard enough for a guy to relate to someone’s father but to have to take him down is another thing.
Meanwhile Peter’s busy just being a guy, beating up Mary Jane’s boyfriend who keeps picking on him. Peter wants to impress Mary Jane even more, so he wrestles “Bone Saw McGraw” for $3,000 so he can buy a car and take Mary Jane for a ride in it. Then he hangs upside down from the rafters to give Mary Jane a kiss she’ll never forget. Gee, the things a guy has to go through.
Then it’s out into the real world where Spider-Man has to save New York from the Green Goblin. He is able to leap tall buildings with a single spider web, he seems to have no fear jumping from sky scrapers high above the busy streets below, ready to save the day. He has good intentions, he really does want to fight crime, he also really does want to impress Mary Jane, and he basks in the attention and his growing fame. Then when he is asked whether he is doing it for his own glory or for the city of New York he starts to realize what he’s doing. That’s what makes this story so unique, there’s not a lot of special effects because you don’t need them because it’s got a real human like character with a down-home romance and a young man learning about life. There’s plenty of action scenes where Spider-Man leaps across the screen battling villains, foes and thieves. Then comes the day when Mary Jane dangles from a bridge and Spider-Man comes to the rescue to save her and a passenger car that swings from a cable.
Spider-Man also swings onto computers via a CD ROM card that contains digital sound effects, concept art, a movie trailer, movie photos, a screensaver, the characters and the actors.
25-year-old Toby Maguire's other film credits include Ang Lee's Ride With the Devil and The Ice Storm, Gary Ross' Pleasantville and Woody Allen's Deconstructing Harry. Tobey Maguire won Best Supporting Actor at Toronto Film Critics Association Awards in 2000 for Wonder Boys.
Kirsten Dunst is only 19 years old and already has played leading lady with Brad Pitt, Josh Hartnett and now Tobey Maguire. Lately she is on the cover of some top magazines. It may seem like an overnight success but Dunst has been acting since age three.
Academy Award® nominee Willem Dafoe plays the Green Goblin. J.K. Simmons plays Jonah Jameson the newspaper publisher, his credits are The Mexican, HBO's "Oz." The Gift, Autumn in New York, For Love of the Game, The Jackal and Extreme Measures, and TV’s "Law & Order" as 'Dr. Emil Skoda'. Academy Award® nominee Rosemary Harris plays Aunt May. Uncle Ben is played by Cliff Robertson who won an Academy Award® for Chalyl”, and has appeared in over 50 feature films including Gidget, Three Days of the Condor, Escape from L.A., Renaissance Man, the original Batman TV series, and The Twilight Zone.
Director Sam Raimi grew up reading the Spider-Man comics and knew the Spider-Man character. His credits are Evil Dead; For Love of the Game; A Simple Plan; The Gift; The Quick and the Dead, Army of Darkness and Darkman.
Screenwriter David Koepp’s credits are Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Snake Eyes, and Stir of Echoes Producer is Laura Ziskin (As Good As it Gets, To Die For, Pretty Woman) and Oscar® nominee Ian Bryce (Almost Famous, Saving Private Ryan, Twister).
Spider-Man is the creation of veteran comic book writer Stan Lee. Spider-Man ®, the character, ® & © 2002 Marvel Characters, Inc.