Orphaned at an early age, Peter Parker (Toby Maguire) lived in Queens, New York with his beloved Aunt May (Academy-Awards®) nominee Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Academy Awards® winner Cliff Robertson). Peter leads the life of a normal student, working as a photographer at the Daily Bugle under the tutelage of publisher J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), pining after the beautiful Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and hanging out with buddy Harry Osborn (James Franco). On a school trip, during which Peter and his classmates are given a science demonstration on spiders, Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider. Soon after, he discovers that he has unusual powers: he is endowed with the strength and agility of a spider along with a keen, ESP-like "spider sense." After discovering these powers, Peter appears in a televised wrestling match and, armed with his new spider strength, wins the match in record time. But the wrestling match promoter refuses to award Peter the $3,000 prize money, alleging that Peter won too quickly. Soon afterwards, Peter has the opportunity to catch a burglar fleeing from the promoter's office, but because he wants revenge, he refuses to stop him. Moments later, the same burglar kills his beloved Uncle Ben. As Spider-Man, Peter apprehends the burglar but is plagued with guilt for not being a hero sooner. During his time of turmoil, Peter remembers something Uncle Ben once told him: "With great power, there must also come great responsibility." Peter takes this to heart and decides to us his extraordinary powers to fight crime. Meanwhile, megalomaniacal businessman Norman Osborn (Academy Award® nominee Willem Dafoe), Harry's father, is undergoing some changes of his own. An experimental formula has blown up in his face, increasing his intelligence and strength but also driving his insane. He is now the Green Goblin, Spider-Man's arch-enemy, who will put young Peter Parker's vow to fight crime and help innocent people to the ultimate test.
Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man 2, the next installment in the adventure series that began with the 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man, swings into theaters on July 2, 2004. Spider-Man, a Marvel Enterprises/Laura Ziskin Production, grossed more than $820 million worldwide and became the fifth highest grossing movie in U.S. history. Spider-Man is based on the classic Marvel Comic book character. Spider-Man 2 reunites the filmmakers and cast from the first film, including Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Rosemary Harris and J.K. Simmons, along with director Sam Raimi, and producers Laura Ziskin and Marvel's Avi Arad. Stan Lee and Joseph M. Caracciolo serve as executive producers for Spider-Man 2, and Grant Curtis serves as the film's co-producer. Sam Raimi directs Spider-Man 2 from a screenplay by Alvin Sargent and Alfred Gough & Miles Millar and Michael Chabon, based on a story by David Koepp and Alfred Gough & Miles Millar. In Spider-Man 2, the webslinging superhero encounters a new nemesis, the villainous "Doc Ock," who will be portrayed by Alfred Molina (Frida, Identity). Two years have passed, and the mild-mannered Peter Parker faces new challenges as he struggles with "the gift and the curse," desperately trying to balance his dual identities as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man and his life as a college student. Tormented by his secrets, Peter finds that his relationships with all those he holds dear are in danger of unraveling. His life-long yearning for M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) becomes even stronger as he fights the impulse to reveal his secret life and declare his love. His friendship with Harry Osborn (James Franco) is complicated by the young Osborn's bitterness over his father's death and his growing vendetta against Spider-Man. Even Peter's beloved Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), who has fallen on hard times after the death of Uncle Ben, begins to have doubts about her nephew. Peter's life is about to become even more complicated as he encounters a formidable new foe -- Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina). Peter must use all the powers at his disposal to try to stop this diabolical madman in his octagonal tracks. Director Sam Raimi and producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad lead a top creative team which includes Director of Photography Bill Pope, ASC (the Matrix film series), Production Designer Neil Spisak (Spider-Man, The Gift), editor Bob Murawski, (Spider-Man, The Gift), Visual Effects Supervisor John Dykstra, ASC (Spider-Man, Academy Award winner for Star Wars) and Special Effects Supervisor John Frazier (Spider-Man, The Perfect Storm). The Executive Producers are Stan Lee and Joseph M. Caracciolo. "ACADEMY AWARD" and "OSCAR" are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Marvel comics hero returns for more high-flying fun in this third installment in the series. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is up to his usual Spidey tricks, attending university classes as an awkward geek, then quickly slipping into his red-and-blue suit to save New York City from various villains. And there are villains aplenty. Thomas Hayden Church blows in as the Sandman, an escaped convict whose molecular structure is destroyed in a particle accelerator. The freak accident gives him the ability to form and reform from piles of dust. While the Sandman sifts through the city streets robbing banks, Spidey must also contend with his onetime friend, Harry (James Franco), who has taken up where his father, the Green Goblin, left off. Harry chases Spider-Man down on his goblin glider, hurling pumpkin bombs. But Spider-Man's biggest battle is perhaps within himself, when he is taken over by meteorite ooze--a substance that gives him great power, but also turns him into a vengeful, selfish jerk. Throw into the mix Peter's new competition at the Daily Bugle--the ambitious, sneaky Eddie Brock (Topher Grace)--and Peter's relationship troubles with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), and SPIDER-MAN 3 weaves a tangled web indeed. Director Sam Raimi's playful style and his delightfully campy screenplay hold true to the spirit of the Stan Lee comics, and he does an excellent job of hitting all the right superhero notes. Raimi has created an action film that is a feast for the eyes, but comes with fully rounded characters and a moving moral lesson to boot. The special effects are astounding, but Raimi makes sure the film isn't all action and no talk--he makes Peter's struggle a human one, and one that we can all relate to, regardless of our web-spinning ability