The 1980s were a strange time, and they just got a hell of a lot weirder with the news that Tobe Hooper of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre fame very nearly directed a bizarre Spider-Man horror film during the decade of ill-fated fashion trends. These days the films rights for Spider-Man are in the capable hands of Sony and Marvel, who are pumping out quality films like Spider-Man: Homecoming and its much-anticipated, soon-to-be released sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home. This wasn’t always the case, however.
Before Columbia laid claim to the web-slinging boy wonder and made Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot, Spidey’s film rights were – for a short spell – owned by B-movie legend Roger Corman. Considering that Corman’s later brush with the superhero genre resulted in the 1994 Fantastic Four movie – a film so disastrous it was never released – it’s probably good that nothing came of his brief ownership of Spidey. The now defunct Cannon Films were next in line after securing a five-year option period from Marvel for a (rather measly by today’s standards) $225,000. But judging by Cannon’s plans for Spider-Man the superhero may have been in safer hands with Corman.
According to Digital Spy, Cannon envisioned a Spider-Man film with a totally different take on his origins drafted by The Outer Limits creator Leslie Stevens. Rather than a radioactive spider being the cause of his transformation, Cannon’s Spider-Man would see Peter Parker - here an ID photographer rather than a journalist or student - deliberately blitzed with radiation by an evil corporate scientist named Dr. Zork. And rather than a nimble, super-suited superhero with awe-inspiring powers, Parker turns into a monstrous human-spider hybrid so abominable he becomes suicidal. Turns out the evil Dr Zork has only created this Spider-Man-Monster to lead his race of mutants but - having seemingly preserved some of his humanity - Parker refuses and destroys the mutants instead. And who was the ideal director to execute this vision? Tobe Hooper, of course, who at the time was making his underrated sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.
It’s an undoubtedly weird concept for a Spider-Man movie, but perhaps not so bizarre considering Cannon Films were prolific B-movie makers themselves, responsible for such dubiously titled films as New Year’s Evil and The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood. Not to mention the company was also behind the legendarily awful Superman IV: The Quest for Peace - a film so bad, it’s arguably even worse than Corman’s Fantastic Four.
Luckily the late, great Stan Lee put the kibosh on Cannon’s plans, and this odd Spider-Man horror movie never saw the light of day. Which was probably for the best as Cannon’s interpretation of Spider-Man - an actual man fused with a spider as opposed to a man with spider-like superhero abilities - was just a tad too literal. One wonders what kind of abomination Cannon would’ve come up with if they’d optioned the rights to Batman.
Source: Digital Spy
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019