Before superheroes came to dominate the blockbuster release schedule, Spider-Man was one of the very first comic book characters to achieve mainstream popularity in the 21st century. After kicking off with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man in 2002, the character will soon have been played by three different live action actors in the space of a decade, as Tom Holland takes over the role for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' upcoming collaboration.
There's something about the idea of a kid being bitten by a spider and receiving spider-like superpowers that can appeal to just about everyone - whether you're a high school student living in Queens or an arachnologist living in Iran or Russia. Thanks to this global popularity, former Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield now have a new legacy outside of the Spider-Man films.
ComicBook.com reports that two new species of spider have been discovered in Iran, and arachnologists Yuri M. Marusik and Alireza Zamani have published a paper that christens the new species Filistata maguirei and Pritha garfieldi. Both species come from the family Filistatidae, whose common name is Crevice Weavers, and they have been found in the Geno Biosphere Reserve of southern Iran, and the Alborz Mountains in northern Iran.
As the name suggests, these spiders like to build their homes inside crevices - whether it's cracks in the walls of home or holes in bark and tree logs. The paper notes that they "are venomous, but do not pose a risk to humans," though whether that's because their venom can't harm humans or whether it gives humans superpowers is unclear. Check out pictures of Maguire and Garfield's namesakes below.
We can't really see the resemblance, but a science nerd like Peter Parker would probably be very happy to know that he's inspiring arachnologists the world over. As for Holland, who will make his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when the new Spider-Man movie releases in 2017, there's still a good chance that he could get his own spider species. Apparently the Filistatidae family is very diverse, and there are many more species of spider still waiting to be discovered.
The new version of Spider-Man will be just 15 years old, younger than the previous on-screen incarnations, and the movie will be directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car) from a screenplay by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (Horrible Bosses 2).
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.