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15 things you didn't know about Spider-Man to celebrate its 15th anniversary


How's this to make you feel old? Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, arguably the blockbuster that turned the superhero movie into a 21st century phenomenon, turns 15 years today. Here's what you didn't know about it.

1. Avatar director James Cameron convinced his Terminator production company Carolco to option the Spider-Man rights back in the early '90s

2. However due to budget, script, casting and legal issues (hastened by Carolco's collapse), Cameron ultimately moved onto Titanic instead... and we all know how that worked out

3. Cameron's version would have had Arnie as Doctor Octopus and Edward Furlong as Peter Parker, along with Leonardo DiCaprio as Harry Osborne. Hmm...

4. However many of Cameron's ideas informed screenwriter David Koepp's script – one of the latter's most significant changes was making the Green Goblin the baddie

5. Doc Ock was planned as a secondary antagonist but this was dropped by Sami Raimi (who joined in January 2000) who felt the Norman Osborn/Peter Parker storyline should take centre stage

6. In a deviation from comic mythology, Raimi also proposed Spidey's organic web shooters as he felt mechanical ones would make the story seem too far-fetched

7. Oscar-winning screenwriter Alvin Sargent, responsible for 1980 hit Ordinary People, was brought in by his wife, producer Laura Ziskin, to polish the script at the last minute

8. Despite being a reasonably established star at the time, eventual Spider-Man Tobey Maguire was compelled to deliver a screen test

9. Kirsten Dunst signalled an interest in the role of Mary Jane only after learning that Tobey Maguire would be playing Peter Parker, believing the movie would have more of an indie feel as a result

10. Willem Dafoe only got the role of the villainous Green Goblin after the likes of John Malkovich and Nicolas Cage turned it down

11. James Franco unsuccessfully auditioned for the Spider-Man role but Raimi was so impressed with him that he offered Franco the role of Harry Osborn

12. In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Sony not only recalled posters depicting the buildings but the filmmakers digitally erased them from the movie footage

13. Maguire identified with Peter Parker's essential loneliness, saying of his West Coast education: "I felt like I was an outsider"

14. The film shattered box office records, becoming the first movie to cross the $100 million milestone in its opening weekend

15. In fact it became the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time with $821 million in the bank, before it was overtaken by The Dark Knight in 2008

What are your favourite scenes from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man? Join in the nostalgia @Cineworld.