The latest Spider-Man blockbuster, Spider-Man: Far From Home, is set to rake in hundreds of millions at the box office for the latest of the hugely successful Marvel series of films, making the character one of Tinseltown’s greatest money-spinners.
In fact, Spidey has proved so popular it’s up to its third modern reboot and has had three different actors play the part over the past 13 years, with each of the six feature films averaging takings of $1.2 billion.
It’s an unusually high turnover of stars for a character, especially as each has achieved popular success in the role, and each series has been independent of the last.
Since the first live-action Spider-Man movie in 1969, the teenage wall-crawler has appeared in 10 feature films and a 1970s TV series, and made guest appearances in other Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, most recently Avengers: End Game.
In addition, last year’s first full-animated feature film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse grossed $AU550 million worldwide.
For fans of the comic book character, it begs the question: so, who has worn the Spidey suit best?
Hatch looks at the three Spider-Man actors and analyses their pros and cons.
Tobey Maguire: Spider-Man (2002-2007)
As the first live-action Spider-Man of the past 20 years, Tobey portrayed Spider-Man for three blockbuster movies, grossing a total of more than $2.4 billion worldwide.
Often criticised for not giving the most witty or powerful portrayal of the character, Maguire became a Hollywood A-lister for his efforts and won fans over with his coming-of-age performance of the web-slinger.
Supported by Kirsten Dunst, as Mary Jane (MJ) Watson, he shared an iconic kiss with her in the 2002 superhero film which is considered one of the most famous in movie history.
After the critical success of the first two instalments of the trilogy, Spider-Man 3 lost fans with its “emo” adaption of Peter Parker. Under the spell of Symbiote, Maguire’s Spider-Man dances awkwardly through the streets of New York with a questionable haircut.
For nostalgic reasons, Tobey will be remembered as the actor who popularised Spider-Man on the silver screen.
Oh I’m nervous to say it but it’s been bottling up for too long:
Tobey Maguire IS the superior Spider-Man.
— Cameron ☮️ (@theyeatles) June 19, 2019
Andrew Garfield: Spider-Man (2012-2014)
Five years after the first trilogy, Garfield was cast in the role to reboot the masked vigilante, in The Amazing Spider-Man, in 2012. With him playing a younger version of Spidey, fans were pleased with his wit and charm, which had been lacking in Maguire’s portrayal.
The second film in the duology, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 received mixed reviews but captured one of the comic book series’ most pivotal moments: the death of Gwen Stacy. Garfield brought emotion and struggle to the part, yet maintained the awkward, nerdy quality that makes Parker identifiable for the audience.
Although Sony had announced release dates for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4, it pulled the plug on the series after the second movie failed to fully ignite the box office.
Andrew Garfield is a fantastic version of Spider-Man. He is a huge fan of spidey and actually cried tears of joy when he put on the TASM 1 suit. He absolutely kills it in his role.
— Jonathan porter (@jpmoney1999) June 16, 2019
Tom Holland: Spider-Man (2016-2019)
A deal struck between Marvel Studios and Sony saw Spidey’s first appearance in an MCU film, Captain America: Civil War, in 2016. Under the pressure of five previous Spider-Man feature films, Tom Holland’s role as the new wall-crawler needed to reignite audience interest.
With Parker teamed up with the popular Tony Stark character, the combination struck a chord with fans, who were drawn to Holland’s effortless humour, warmth and intelligence as the young superhero.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was released in 2017 and followed an eager Parker after his first mission with the Avengers that was seen in Civil War. Critics welcomed the move away from the typical “origin story”, as well as Holland’s ability to portray the character’s boyish wonder and average teenage persona.
The second most successful Spider-Man movie of all time, Spider-Man: Homecoming grossed more than $880 million worldwide and was the sixth-highest-grossing movie of 2017.
On top of Holland’s physical resemblance to the original comic book material, he performed many of his own stunts, giving the 23-year-old superhero street credibility.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is Holland’s fifth appearance as Spider-Man within three years. Early reviews have been bold enough to suggest it could dethrone Spider-Man 2 as one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.
Tom Holland has played Spider-Man in more movies than anyone else. #SpiderManFarFromHome is his fifth movie as Spidey. pic.twitter.com/akPnId1G9j
— Jeremy Conrad (@ManaByte) June 21, 2019
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in cinemas 1 July.