Ever since the first Spiderman movie came out in 2002 starring Tobey Maguire, everyone predicted that the movie will be the first of many things. And indeed, it was, as fast forward to now, fans are treated to a third and MCU’s version of the webbed slinger, with trailers hinting that it will be culminating all universes from different Spiderman movies.
And while it is not yet confirmed, fans and critics alike are hopeful that Spiderman: No Way Home, will be featuring the three iconic Spidermen – each played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland – in one movie as part of the multiverse theory of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for its Phase 4.
But what do we know so far from the three portrayals? Here we break down each Spiderman franchise and what makes each different among the three.
Spiderman – Tobey Maguire
Every 90s kid surely recognize Tobey Maguire is the OG Spiderman. His portrayal of Spiderman was indeed a big part of our childhood and undoubtedly, the trilogy starred by Tobey paved the way on how comic book movies are being depicted.
In this version, Tobey Maguire is a regular college kid who got bitten by a radioactive spider and obtained powers, eventually becoming Spider-Man. The first movie in the tackles about Peter Parker taking responsibility with these new-found powers, especially after the loss of his beloved Uncle Ben. From there, Spider-Man goes on to struggle with his life as a college student, a pizza delivery man, a part-time photographer for the Daily Bugle, his personal relationships especially with MJ, and of course, being Spider-Man. The three films showed consistent character development (though not very much in the third one), coming Tobey’s take on the webbed slinger to a close.
Movies: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3
Iconic Villains: Green Goblin played by Willem Dafoe, Doc Ock played by Alfred Molina, Venom played by Topher Grace, Sandman played by Thomas Haden Church, New Goblin played by James Franco
Spiderman – Andrew Garfield
The lesser-reviewed Spider-Man 3 eventually led to a reboot of the entire franchise itself, which then starred Andrew Garfield. In this version, Peter Parker is also a regular, orphaned college kid but his personal life is less tragic compared with Tobey’s as the two films focuses more on Spider-Man’s adventures. Peter’s parents’ death was also elaborated here compared with the previous franchise as well as on how he ends up under her Aunt May’s care. In this franchise too, Peter Parker has a different love interest in the name of Gwen Stacy although Harry Osborn is also rebooted, Dane DeHaan’s portrayal seem to be less toned down compared with James Franco’s.
Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is the only franchise with only two movies, where it was noted in 2014 where Sony Pictures got hacked and low reviews of the second film led to its eventual cancellation
Movies: The Amazing Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Iconic Villains: Lizard played by Rhys Ifans, Electro played by Jamie Foxx, Green Goblin played by Dane Dehaan, Rhino played by Paul Giamatti
Spiderman – Tom Holland
In an effort to introduce the friendly neighbor, Spider-Man, in the MCU, Tom Holland’s introduction in Captain America: Civil War back in 2016 as the new Spider-Man drove fans into a craze. Spider-Man is an iconic member of the Avengers, and it is only fitting that he be part of it too in the MCU. After settling the dispute with Marvel and Sony, Spiderman:Homecoming was released in 2017 which led to another reboot of the character.
In this iteration, Tom Holland plays a much younger version of Spider-Man, and his character is livelier and more comfortable. Thanks to the ongoing tone of humor in most MCU movies, Spider-Man by Tom Holland also got the same treatment, with the version having the least tragic stories among the three franchises. Aunt May is also present in this universe, but a much younger one, which was reasonable if she was indeed the aunt, which differed from the generic ‘grandmother’ trope of the Aunt May as based in the comics. His love interest here is also MJ and like most characters in this universe, a much bubblier one.
Overall, Tom Holland’s version of this Spider-Man focuses more on his identity both as Peter Parker and Spider-Man; his troubles being a teenager launched into the world of Avengers, his huge concern when it comes to his studies, and the iconic nuances that comes with being a young adult.
Movies: Spiderman: Homecoming, Spiderman: Far From Home, Spiderman: No Way Home
Iconic Villains: Vulture played by Michael Keaton, Mysterio played by Jake Gyllenhaal.