Managing a film shoot is extremely stressful. Obviously, tons of work goes into the movie-making process and it can be difficult to balance every aspect of every department. Sometimes films turn out perfectly, sometimes they turn into total bombs, and sometimes the little things just slip through the cracks. The Spider-Man movies are just as massive and complex as any other blockbuster movie, and sometimes those small mistakes just can't be avoided when it comes to a gigantic production.
For this list, we're going to take a look at some of the more embarrassing filmmaking errors in the Spider-Man franchise. We're going to cover a wide variety of technical mistakes — things like editing mishaps, botched stunts, costume gaffes, setting inaccuracies, and much, much more. Every live-action Spider-Man film is up for grabs here, so don't expect things to be MCU specific — Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland — we don't discriminate when it comes to movie-making goofs.
This is going to get extremely nitpicky, so keep in mind that this is all in good fun. These mistakes don't ruin the movies or anything, especially since they're so hard to spot. However, once you see these behind-the-scenes slip-ups, it may be tough to unsee them upon rewatching your favorite Spider-Man film. With that out of the way, break out your DVDs and keep your eyes on the background. You'll be surprised to discover how many little mistakes you've never caught before.
Here are 25 Mistakes Fans Completely Missed In The Spider-Man Movies.
Let's start from the beginning with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man from 2002. The original turned Spidey's origin into a tale known worldwide, but not without some odd mistakes.
After the spider bites Peter, he returns home for a fever-induced nap. When he wakes up, he notices that his body has drastically changed. He picks up his glasses, only to discover that the lenses make his vision blurry, not clear. The spider-powers have repaired his eyesight. Look closely, though: the shot of Peter putting the glasses on doesn't just blur what's in his lenses — it blurs the entire screen. This reveals that all they did to create the shot was change the focus of the camera.
In the scene where Peter is first testing out his powers, he practices shooting webs across his bedroom. He webs up a picture frame, a soda can, and eventually the lamp sitting on his dresser. Instead of pulling the lamp to his hand though, he accidentally pulls it off the dresser and onto the floor. The lamp shatters with a loud noise, causing a concerned Aunt May to approach Peter's room.
In the next shot, Peter prevents Aunt May from entering and seeing the mess, but the broken lamp can be seen back on his dresser in one piece. Perhaps they shot Peter's conversation with May before the footage of his web-practice. Oops!
Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin is scary — in a campy, Sami Raimi sort of way — but he's much less intimidating when you take a close look at his weapons. Throughout the film, you might be able to tell that some the Goblin's arsenal is made of rubber.
This is especially noticeable in the final fight between the two, when the the Goblin tries to stab Spider-Man with his bladed lance weapon. Spidey holds the lance back with his hands, but as the two struggle, the blades begin to jiggle and wobble like a kid's toy. Obviously, actors shouldn't be fighting with real weapons, but this breaks the illusion.
Nobody really expects Tobey Macguire to throw on some spandex and swing across New York, right? Well, even then, fans probably expected more than this.
After Spider-Man first rescues Mary Jane from the Green Goblin, he swings her to safety. It's supposed to be an eye-opening moment for MJ — she's swinging across the city, hugging a superhero. However, a second glace reveals that she's actually hugging a stiff, motionless mannequin. It was probably easier to create the shot using a mannequin, but that doesn't excuse the poor wind effects on Mary Jane. Her hair is blowing in the wrong direction!
The first fight between Spider-Man and Green Goblin turns a Times Square event into chaos, especially for Mary Jane and the Oscorp executives watching from a balcony.
One of the executives, a bald man in a wheelchair, is in grave danger as the Goblin destroy's the balcony's supports. However, in the next few shots he somehow disappears, leaving only Mary Jane in any danger. Even in wide shots of the balcony, the man is nowhere to be seen. Seconds later, he appears closer to the wall of the building where he is disintegrated by the Goblin's pumpkin bombs. Perhaps that's a better fate than being forgotten completely?
When Spidey hunts down the man who took Uncle Ben's life, the chase sequence leads to an abandoned warehouse. The thug crashes a car into the building and runs inside where Spidey follows him. Spider-Man gets into a brief fistfight, until the guy trips over a pipe and falls out of a three-story window. The problem is that he never climbed to another floor.
Maybe they walked upstairs off-screen, but as far as the movie is concerned, the two are on the ground floor of the building and never move any higher — so why does he fall so far? To be fair, a thirty-foot fall is way more dramatic than tripping over a windowsill.
Spidey's battle-damage is often inconsistent between shots. Sometimes his costume will be tattered in different places, sometimes cuts and blood will shift around his face, sometimes bruises will appear and disappear, and so on.
You can partially explain this away with movie logic: Spider-Man has a healing factor that can heal small injuries quickly. The real explanation though? The makeup and costume departments are constantly touching things up between takes, creating small discrepancies from shot to shot. It's not always a "mistake" in the traditional sense — let's call it necessary inconsistency. After all, Spider-Man has got to look his best, even when he's at his worst.
This one is pretty glaring — Uncle Ben seems to have two different graves in the original Spider-Man trilogy. In the first film, the grave appears near a road with very few headstones nearby. In the other films, the grave appears to be in a totally different location, surrounded by many headstones with no roads in sight.
According to Vulture's "Web-Slinging Tour of New York," this is because they are two legitimately different filming locations: Mount Hope Cemetery in Yonkers, and Cypress Hills in Brooklyn. Perhaps they couldn't return to Yonkers for the sequels, but the two places just don't look the same — apart from being cemeteries, of course.
Spider-Man 2's iconic action sequence on the elevated train still holds up today, but it does feature a historical inaccuracy. It might look like an MTA train, but as any New Yorker will tell you, there aren't any elevated trains near skyscrapers like the movie depicts.
Most of Manhattan's elevated trains were demolished decades ago, especially those in commercial districts. Because of this, the sequence was filmed in Chicago on the city's 'L' loop. Obviously this is only a nitpick, but it doesn't matter. Marvel movies aim to capture the spirit of New York, not the reality — and they tend to nail it.
One of the extras in Spider-Man 2 seems to have walked straight out of a video game. In the car chase sequence, two thugs speed down the street in a convertible while Spider-Man chases them. The two begin to shoot at him — one with a pistol and the other with a pump-action shotgun. Between shots, though, the shotgun begins to fire bullets like a fully-automatic.
It goes from a pump-action shotgun to some rapid-fire weapon and back to a shotgun before the scene is over. Why the sound effects differ from shot to shot is a total mystery, but this is the kind of error that eagle-eyed (and eared) fans will struggle to ignore.
Peter Parker saves a child from a burning building in Spider-Man 2, but have you ever paid attention to that child? When he finds her, the little girl hiding in a closet, old enough to walk. Once he wraps her in a blanket and carries her though, she seems much smaller. When Peter gets outside and hands her off to her parents, she's the size of an infant!
Of course, this is because there is nothing in the swaddled blanket that Peter carries. It's just odd that the infant-in-blanket prop doesn't match the size of the actual little girl — especially since she's old enough to help pull him over a ledge.
Here's another minor gripe that New Yorkers will likely never unsee. Joe's Pizza, the restaurant that Peter delivers for, is located on 233 Bleecker Street. However, the sticker on Peter's helmet actually says "Bleeker" instead. It's a small typo, but it's there.
Joe's Pizza is a real place. It is even located at the same address,though it has since moved around the corner to Carmine Street). This probably just slipped past the crew, but it seems silly to go to the trouble of using a real-life location without spellchecking the street name.
Even the smallest stunts need to be safe for actors to perform. In Spider-Man 3, a police officer searches a truck for the villainous Sandman, which is a stunt in and of itself.
The officer must walk on a truck full of sand to find the villain, but to prevent him from sliding or falling in (as well as lightening the load on this truck), a platform is placed mere inches below the surface. Unfortunately, this platform is visible in the middle-right edge of the truck. It's never good to have stunt equipment visible in the final cut of a film. Thankfully, it's a perfectly believable stunt, platform or no platform.
It's no secret that Venom was shoehorned into Spider-Man 3 against the wishes of director Sam Raimi. This is especially apparent in the third act, where a thinly-written Venom-Sandman team-up scene creates a massive plot hole.
Venom tracks down Sandman in an effort to ally with him against Spider-Man. In the process, he reveals that he knows everything about Sandman – his name, his sick daughter, his history with Spidey — without having interacted with him in the movie at all. There is never any indication that Venom is aware of Sandman's backstory, and there is no plausible reason that he should be. How does Venom know all this?
Another slight goof comes in the form the police patches in the films. Want to know which Spider-Man scenes were shot in New York and which were not? A solid indicator might be the inscriptions — authentic Manhattan police patches say "City of New York" on top with "Police Department" on the sides.
Many of the police extras wear the redundant "N.Y.P.D. Police Department" patch instead. This suggests that those scenes are either shot outside of New York, or that the costume department simply ran out of accurate patches. You've probably never noticed, but it may break the immersion for New Yorkers watching closely.
The Amazing Spider-Man films have their fair share of hard-to-notice mistakes. One comes in the form of some dark, accidental foreshadowing. In the scene where Peter and Gwen meet each other on the roof, Gwen begins to walk away when Peter suddenly webs her by the hips.
He pulls her back toward him, and she spins romantically back into his arms so they can share a kiss. The problem is that Gwen isn't wrapped in web, so she shouldn't be spinning around. Instead, Peter would have jerked her backwards awkwardly. This is careless of Peter (and the film crew), especially considering what happens to Gwen later on.
Peter Parker's subway fight scene has some interesting editing in it. Watch the scene again and pay attention to the man who picks up Peter's skateboard. The extra is a black man wearing a hat and a jersey. In the very next shot, he is replaced by a white man. What happened to the first guy?
For whatever reason, the guy in the hat is totally edited out of the fight. We never see him get knocked down, but he lies unconscious with the rest of the extras at the end of the scene. The shot where he gets hit was likely cut from the film and masked by a bizarre edit.
While the Marvel movies try to keep fictional landmarks in consistent places, The Amazing Spider-Man films struggle to keep track of Oscorp Tower. It appears to take the place of Hearst Tower on 57th and 8th, using its old base and replacing the sleek glass of the higher floors with a design for the film.
However, other shots depict it in different places. The surroundings of some scenes suggest it stands at Columbus Circle (not far from Hearst), while many wide shots depict it on several different streets in southern Midtown nearly a dozen blocks away. It doesn't really matter since the universe is defunct, but it's still an odd inconsistency.
Now this is a major mistake. The prologue of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features a flashback of Richard Parker — who uploads a video to a computer located deep underground via laptop — all while on board a crashing plane.
Ignoring the context of all of that, how in the world is his internet connection strong enough to do that from a plane? Honestly, in this movie about superpowers and sci-fi nonsense, this moment's implausibility crosses a line. To make things worse, the flashback takes place in the early 2000s — maybe even the late '90s — and he is uploading to a computer in a subway tunnel! How?!
Spidey may not know his friendly neighborhood very well, as he makes some navigation errors in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. During the opening chase scene, he gets a call from Gwen while crime-fighting. (Wait, where was he keeping that phone?)
She asks him where he is, and he replies "First and Broadway, Second and Broadway, Third and Broadway..." as he speeds down the street. In reality, Broadway doesn't actually intersect with First or Second Street. He's close enough — First and Second are only two blocks away, but he's still wrong. Maybe the streets are different in the Amazing Spider-Man universe.
With Spider-Man: Homecoming we can finally touch on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with a huge mistake that messes with more than just the Tom Holland films.
While Homecoming starts out with a flashback to 2012, a title card introduces the present-day as "eight years later," meaning that the film takes place in 2020. However, most MCU films take place in their year of release — Iron Man even confirms this in Avengers: Infinity War by noting that the Battle of New York was only six years prior, placing that film in 2018. Does Homecoming take place in the future? Nope! It's been confirmed as a simple mistake — sounds like somebody miscounted.
Spider-Man Homecoming starts Peter's journey off with a vlog, documenting his involvement in the events of Captain America: Civil War. It's a cute sequence, but it does some sleight-of-hand retconning and creates a minor inconsistency.
In the smartphone video, Peter captures the moment in Civil War when Ant-Man turns into a giant. The film depicts Peter hiding behind cover, taping the entire thing. However, this isn't consistent with Civil War, where Spider-Man can be seen reacting to Ant-Man immediately after his transformation. In that film, he's not hiding anywhere — he's watching in awe and shouting an expletive.
It's rare that movie scenes inside cars are filmed on actual roads, and this one is no different. At the beginning of Peter's vlog in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Happy Hogan can be seen driving Peter to the airport. However, a glance at the gear stick on the steering wheel reveals that the supposedly moving car is just sitting in Park.
This sequence was likely filmed in a stationary vehicle — and by extension, on a studio stage somewhere— but they probably thought nobody would notice. With that said, Happy spends a lot of time in the next scene with his eyes off the road, so it's probably for the best.
Another slip-up in Peter Parker's vlog, this time on the plane to Germany. After annoying Happy Hogan to his breaking point, Peter decides to record him as he falls asleep. Peter creeps over to Happy's seat, and as the camera gets close to his face, the reflection in his glasses reveals a large, shoulder-mounted movie camera.
The previous shots show Peter recording the video with a smartphone, and even if that wasn't the case, it would be absurd for him to be recording with an expensive, studio-grade camera. Of course, reflections in TV and film often reveal glimpses behind-the-scenes. Sometimes it just can't be helped!
One of the best sequences in the Homecoming takes place on the Staten Island Ferry, though it comes with an interesting historical inaccuracy. During the action scene on the lower deck, Spider-Man can be seen fighting between vehicles. These vehicles are being transported by ferry — a once-treasured service that ceased after the attacks on September 11th, 2001.
Including them is a throwback to a better time, when it was so much cheaper to take your car across the city while avoiding accidents and that horrible bridge and tunnel traffic. Unfortunately, this is the Marvel universe we're talking about, where everybody apparently needs a "superhero collateral damage" clause somewhere in their car insurance.
Did you catch all of these Spider-Man movie mistakes? Leave a comment before you go and tell us about some we missed!