The character of Spider-Man is in a state of flux at present, with the world still waiting to see whether he’ll stay in the MCU or return to Sony. The studios' failure to come to an agreement that would see the webslinger continue to rub shoulders with the rest of Marvel’s big characters has got fans sweating on his involvement in the franchise going forward - and with good reason.
While Sony may have produced some stellar Spidey movies over the years, they’ve also made some big mistakes when it came to handling the character and the rest of the people in his world. We now take a look at the top 10 mistakes they’ve made, starting with a questionable casting choice.
10 Casting Tobey Maguire
Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely loved Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man trilogy. However, the brutal fact is that Maguire was too old to be given such a role in the first place.
Peter has, for the most part, been a nerdy teenager in high school. And though Maguire had a youthful, boyish complexion at the time he was, at the age of 26, too experienced for it. He barely passed as a teenager and by the time Spider-Man 2 was released he had aged to the point where he was a fully-fledged man.
9 Using The Same Old Story
Spider-Man’s MCU tenure is popular because he was involved in different plots. In Captain America: Civil War, he fought alongside Tony Stark. In his solo movies, he fought against Tony Stark’s enemies. And in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, he joined Marvel’s big guns defeat Thanos.
It's certainly different from when Sony's Spider-Man movies. A big mistake they made was having Peter rescue Mary Jane in every single movie. It was Green Goblin in the original, Doctor Octopus in the next, then Venom and Sandman in the third. It was tiresome, to say the last.
8 Throwing Venom Into Spider-Man 3
By the time Spider-Man 3 hit cinemas, its predecessors garnered plenty of critical and fan acclaim. However, that changed with the final chapter of Sam Raimi’s trilogy - with the decision to make Eddie Brock transform into Venom, derailing the franchise completely.
Raimi gave screen time to Eddie but Sony, wanting to up the ante and please fans, tinkered with the script. This resulted in Venom’s character arc coming across as rushed at the expense of Eddie's character, who the movie had treated well up until that point. It also paved the way for the next problem.
7 Too Many Villains
One of the reasons why Sony’s decision was poor was that it meant Eddie would become the third villain of Spider-Man 3. We already had Harry Osborn as the new Goblin and Sandman, who was questionably revealed to be Uncle Ben's true killer.
This meant that all three villains ended up being forgettable and tame. Sony didn’t learn their lesson, using the Green Goblin, Electro and Rhino in 2014’s critically-panned The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Like Spider-Man 3, that blockbuster was a franchise killer with Peter Parker hopping to the MCU in Captain America: Civil War two years later.
6 Poor Suit Designs
The original Spider-Man suit was a joy to watch, with its vibrant colors right out of the comics. This was slightly tinkered with in the sequels but when the series was rebooted with The Amazing Spider-Man, they took it in a different direction.
The suit in The Amazing Spider-Man was appalling: it had weird yellow eyes, the red and blue pattern looked bizarre, and the spider on emblem didn’t look woven into the material. Sony realized their error and designed a suit too similar to the Sam Raimi films - showing a lack of imagination in the process.
5 Rehashing Uncle Ben’s Death
Obviously with every reboot, you can expect another origin story. But the franchise committed a giant mistake by making fans sit through Uncle Ben dying again - just 10 years after they’d already seen him murdered on screen.
Not only that but the rebooted version of the series spent the bulk of its first scene having Peter chase down every single man who looked remotely like the killer. It was boring and took away from the true plot point of the story: Dr Connors's plot to turn everybody into giant lizards. Sigh. Thankfully, the MCU steered clear of Ben’s character.
4 Centering On Peter Parker’s Parents
The one mistake that trumps Uncle Ben's death is trying to make fans care about Peter's parents, Richard and Mary Parker. The reason Peter’s parents are often omitted from Spider-Man media is simply because nobody cares.
Nothing in The Amazing Spider-Man changed that. Sure, their plane fight is exciting but nobody cares when Peter’s tracking down his father’s old laboratory where the radioactive spiders were created. It was a yawn fest and the worst thing is that Sony planned for Richard to appear in the flesh in a deleted scene. We’re grateful that never made the final cut.
3 Getting The Tone Wrong
The MCU Spider-Man had a consistently comedic tone throughout the five blockbusters he’s appeared in. The same couldn’t be said for Sony, though. The blueprint that was successful for the first two movies of Sam Raimi’s trilogy was thrown out of the window in Spider-Man 3. with its dark energy contrasting what had come before.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also got its tone wrong. One minute we’re laughing at him and Gwen trying to get along together, the next we’re watching Electro try to murder half of New York City. You get the gist. It never worked.
2 Underwhelming Universe Characters
Everybody in the MCU Spider-Man’s world has been fleshed out. Whether it be Captain America or MJ, we know who's who and what their roles are. That could not be said for Sony, particularly The Amazing Spider-Man films.
You may have forgotten, but there were some pretty big people in that movie. Norman Osborn, Felicia Hardy, and Donald Menken all make appearances. However, very little happens between the three. Norman is killed off early, Felicia has minutes on screen and Mencken spends the bulk of the movie looking foolish. To say there scenes are underwhelming is an understatement.
1 Not Finishing Spider-Man's Stories
Sony is about to end Spider-Man’s time in the MCU, meaning we’ll never get to see the aftermath of THAT post-credits scene from Spider-Man: Far From Home. Ironically, the studio has a track record of prematurely ending Spider-Man franchises.
The Sam Raimi trilogy left Peter Parker and Mary Jane's relationship up in the air in Spider-Man 3, while Peter's response to Gwen Stacy's death in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is never delved into. Additionally, plots about Harry Osborn and the hinted union of the Sinister Six were left unresolved. Which, for all its flaws, was a giant shame.