That Spider-Man is the quintessential Marvel character and everybody’s favourite superhero. And now at this very moment – the biggest thing in Hollywood and on the music scene. With the new Spiderman sequel "swinging" into a theater near you this month, the world is caught in Spider-Man's "web," and there’s no escaping from him now! So get ready for the ride for of your life…
How The Legend Began
Spider-Man was intended to be 'the super hero who could be you.' The legend goes that the first Spider-Man story was originally intended as no more than a one-shot experiment, and almost didn't get into print at all. "Martin Goodman didn't want to publish it," recalls comic book legend Stan Lee. Goodman was convinced that readers would find the subject of spiders distasteful. Fortunately for all concerned, a comic book called Amazing Fantasy was about to be canceled due to faltering sales. "Nobody cares what you put in a book that's going to die," Lee says, "so I threw in Spider-Man. I featured him on the cover and then forgot about him." For the occasion the comic book reverted to its original title of Amazing Fantasy, an appropriate amendment since Spider-Man was to be the most important adolescent super hero in comics.
Spiderman On The Big Screen
In 2002, movie audiences everywhere got a taste of Spiderman for the first time ever on the big screen. And the film shattered numerous box office records. Opening over a three-day May frame with a record $114.8 million and total worldwide gross of $821,700,000, the film became the fastest movie to gross $100 million, $200 million, and $300 million and tied with Titanic as fastest to hit $400 million.
We managed to get the exclusive on Tobey Maguire (courtesy Columbia Tri-Star India) – the Spiderman himself!
The Record: Did you enjoy playing the role of Spiderman again? It must have been easier this time around…
Tobey: I enjoyed it. It’s kind of easy, comfortable to slip into. (Laughs) I think that there’s a lot to this movie. I think that it’s very well balanced with character and relationship and action and excitement and all of that stuff. You might like the Spider-Man action or you want to see a love story or you like a little bit of all of it. It has a great mix and balance of all that stuff and I think that it appeals to a lot of people.
TR: Initially it was reported that you weren’t going to do Spiderman 2. Is that true?
Tobey: No trepidation. It was a pleasure for me. None of my feelings had to do with the success of the first movie, in terms of making the second movie. That just had nothing to do with it.
TR: The real reason then?
Tobey: What it has to do with is that I really love working with Sam Raimi. He is a lot of fun. He's a funny guy. I just get along with him very well. His sense of humor and mine kind of work together. (Laughs) After hearing the story, meeting with Sam and talking to him about his vision of the film, I appreciated where he was coming from.
TR: Cool. So do you feel Spiderman 2 is going to be bigger than the first one?
Tobey: I think Alfred Molina is awesome in this movie (laughs)…I thought that from reading the comic books before making the first movie, 'Wow, Doc Ock (Dr. Octopus) will be the best villain for Spider-Man in these movies,' and he is.
TR: But what about the Green Goblin? Many considered him to be Spiderman’s most diabolical foe…
Tobey: I think that the character of Doc Ock is a more interesting character, cinematically, than Green Goblin was. I loved William and I thought he did a great job, but I think that Doc Ock is one of the best movie villains ever. Alfred got to play that, which is cool, and he did it extremely well. He gives you those delicious one-liners perfectly and he has the right humor and the right kind of sinister thing going on… (laughs)
TR: I hear there are bigger special effects this time around? Was it difficult to do?
Tobey: I saw the animatics and the storyboards of the different stunts and it was three times I thought it was on the first movie. I was going 'Wow this is a lot of stuff'! (Laughs) It can be a little tedious just because you’re shooting such minute little portions of the movie. (Laughs) It takes you a half a day to do and it’s only three seconds of the movie. So it can be a little tedious…
TR: So what was the toughest sequence you had to do?
Tobey: The train sequence was pretty difficult, the process of shooting that. I don’t even know how they put it together exactly, but I know they started in Chicago shooting plate shots of the train. That was a few months before we even started shooting the picture. We didn’t even have a final draft of the script, but they went and shot all that stuff. When we finally got to it, I don’t even know how long we shot the train sequence for. It just seemed like forever.
TR: Cool. What was your first reaction after you saw the complete movie for the first time?
Tobey: When I saw this picture, my first reaction after I saw it was, 'Whoo, Sam is a genius!' I love how he made this movie. I love it…. I told Sam this after I saw the film, and of course he just shrugs it off, but I said, 'Not only is this better than the first movie, I think this is the best movie you've ever made.”…
TR: After the first Spiderman movie you became one of the most recognized faces on this entire planet. How do you deal with all the attention and fame?
Tobey: I have paparazzi follow me around and whatnot but, I just try not to let it bother me or affect me. (Laughs) After the release of Spider-Man 1, I was jarred by it for literally like two days. It was a little shocking, like “Oh my gosh, there are four or five cars following me around.” There have been a few moments like that, where it was a little jarring to me. Now I pretty much just try not to pay attention to it. I don’t particularly love all that side of it, but it’s just is what it is.
You can read the rest of our cover story on Spider-Man in the July 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.
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