Cast & Crew
Two years after a spider bite endowed Peter Parker with super powers enabling him to thwart crime under the guise of his secret alter ego, Spider-Man, his life is in chaos. He has just lost his job as a pizza deliveryman, his grades are suffering at college, his part-time job selling photographs of Spider-Man to the Daily Bugle is faltering and the girl he loves, actress Mary Jane Watson, fears that he is too irresponsible for a relationship. At his birthday at his aunt May's, Peter's best friend from high school, Harry Osborn, expresses resentment that Peter associates with Spider-Man because Harry is embittered that Spider-Man killed his father Norman after Norman's insanity turned him into the arch-criminal Green Goblin. The next day, Harry introduces Peter to his idol, noted scientist Dr. Otto Octavius, who is working on a revolutionary energy fusion project for OsCorp, Harry's company, which is supplying a small amount of the dangerous element tridium for his experiment. Octavius is impressed with Peter's scientific brilliance, and Peter spends a pleasant day with him and his wife Rosie. That night, Peter is determined to keep his promise to see Mary Jane in The Importance of Being Earnest , but arrives too late because he took time to assume his Spider-Man guise and prevent a crime. After the play, Peter is crushed to see Mary Jane kissing another man. Feeling miserable, Peter goes home and inexplicably has difficulty using his spider-like powers. The next day, Peter and Harry attend Octavius' experiment. With many dignitaries and the press watching, Octavius dons an apparatus consisting of four huge metal arms that are affixed to his spine. He then proceeds to create a fusion that he proclaims will solve the world's energy problems. Although the fusion causes a dangerous power spike, Octavius refuses to heed Harry and Peter's warnings. Soon the metal arms seem to come alive and, despite Peter's secretly donning his Spider-Man suit and attempting to stop the now out-of-control metal arms, the lab is destroyed and Rosie is killed. After the mayhem, Harry realizes that he is ruined, and blames Spider-Man, who actually saved Harry's life. That night, as surgeons start to remove the metal arms now fused onto Octavius' body, he and the arms suddenly awaken and kill the medical team. With the added appendages to aid him, Octavius quickly escapes to an abandoned building on the river. The next day, Octavius realizes that the arms are trying to control his thoughts but, despondent over the loss of Rosie, he succumbs to their taunts and determines to rebuild the experiment with money he will steal. Some time later, while Peter is at a bank unsuccessfully helping Aunt May refinance her house to save it from foreclosure, Octavius, now the evil "Doc Ock," enters the bank, breaks open the vault and steals sacks of money. Although Peter quickly becomes Spider-Man, Doc Ock grabs the screaming Aunt May. Spider-Man and Aunt May soon affect her release, but Doc Ock escapes. That night,after J. Jonah Jameson, the testy editor of the Daily Bugle , gives Peter the assignment to photograph a society party honoring Jameson's astronaut son John, Peter is crushed to see that John is Mary Jane's date and the man who kissed her after the play. On the terrace, Mary Jane sadly accuses Peter of being an empty shell, then Harry, who is also at the party, drunkenly chastises him for being more loyal to Spider-Man than his best friend. After Mary Jane and John's engagement is announced, a despondent Peter leaves and finds that his powers again are failing. Peter then dreams that his late uncle Ben is saying that his powers are a great gift, but Peter decides that he no longer wants those powers and throws his Spider-Man suit into a garbage can. Freed from the burden of being Spider-Man, Peter soon becomes happier and his grades improve. When he sees Mary Jane, she, too, notices the change, but is worried that it is only temporary. Meanwhile, a garbage man has brought the Spider-Man suit to Jonah, who runs a headline in the Daily Bugle proclaiming "Spider-Man No More." Later, after Peter and Aunt May visit Uncle Ben's grave, Peter confesses that he is the one responsible for Ben's death at the hands of a car-jacker because earlier Peter had allowed the criminal to get away after robbing someone who had cheated Peter. Without saying a word, Aunt May goes to her room, leaving Peter alone and feeling guilty. That night, Doc Ock climbs to Harry's penthouse and demands the rest of the tridium. Although initially refusing, warning that all of New York could be destroyed, Harry relents, on condition that Doc Ock bring Spider-Man to him. As Doc Ock departs, Harry tells him that he can find Spider-Man through Peter, but asks him not to hurt his friend. At the same time, while Peter is out walking, he sees a burning building and hears that a child is trapped inside. He immediately rushes into the building and saves the girl but, upon learning that someone else in the building burned to death, Peter feels responsible. While agonizing over his situation in his room, Ursula, his landlord's daughter, offers him a piece of cake and delivers a message from Aunt May. The next day, he visits his aunt and learns that she is resolved to move into a small apartment and thinks that Peter is brave to have told her about Ben's death. She also mentions that Henry Jackson, a young boy across the street, looks up to Spider-Man and wants to be just like his hero. Now determined to recapture his powers, Peter goes to the roof of his building to practice jumping and spinning webs, but has little success, despite his enthusiasm. When he later meets Mary Jane for coffee and she says that she believes that he has changed and wants to get back together, he lies that he does not love her. Just as she asks him to kiss her to prove it, a car crashes through the café, announcing the arrival of Doc Ock. After grabbing Mary Jane in one of his mechanical arms, Doc Ock tells Peter to have Spider-Man meet him at 3:00 that afternoon. Now a resolute Peter regains his super powers and uses his webs to vault into Jonah's office to steal his costume so quickly that no one sees him. Although Jonah had temporarily reversed his outspoken opinion that Spider-Man is a criminal, the theft of the suit convinces him to go back to his original opinion. That afternoon, Spider-Man meets Doc Ock on the roof of Harry's building and enters into a battle of strength and wits that flows over onto an elevated train. During the fight, Doc Ock grabs the train's controls, forcing it into high speed, but Spider-Man casts webs as anchors and uses all of his powers to stop the train before it crashes into the river. During the ordeal, in order to see more clearly, Peter throws off his Spider-Man mask, revealing his true identity to the terrified passengers, who are amazed that he is "just a kid." After the passengers gently carry the exhausted Peter inside the train, two young boys return his mask and everyone promises that they will never tell anyone. After the mask is back in place, Doc Ock returns to the train and carries the still weakened Spider-Man to Harry's penthouse. When Harry unmasks Spider-Man, he is stunned to see that his nemesis is his best friend. Harry does not kill Peter, who flees to Doc Ock's lab. There Doc Ock refuses to release Mary Jane and starts his new experiment, using a large amount of Harry's tridium. A battle ensues between Spider-Man and Doc Ock, during which he begins to think as Octavius again and wrestles with his conscience. Because Peter is still unmasked, Mary Jane sees that Spider-Man is Peter. As energy from the fusion experiment begins to unleash enormous power, Peter tells Mary Jane that he loves her, in case they die. Octavius now proclaims "I will not die like a monster" and forces the mechanical arms down under the water as the building collapses. After they safely escape, Mary Jane tells Peter "I think I always knew," but he says they cannot be together because Spider-Man will always have enemies and she would be in danger. Back in Harry's penthouse, he begins to hear the malevolent laugh of Green Goblin and hallucinates that his father is belittling him. To make it stop, Harry throws the knife with which he had intended to kill Spider-Man through a mirror and finds the hidden room where his father kept his Green Goblin paraphernalia. On Mary Jane and John's wedding day, Mary Jane cannot go through with the ceremony and rushes to Peter's apartment, still in her wedding dress. She says that she cannot live without him and asks "Isn't it about time someone saved your life?" After they kiss, Peter responds to a siren by jumping out the window and flying through the streets on the powerful threads of his spider webs.
J. K. Simmons
Daniel Dae Kim
Marc John Jefferies
Michael Edward Thomas
Bill E. Rogers
Brianna Lynn Brown
Joey Coco Diaz
Timothy Patrick Quill
Rickey G. Williams
Donovan A. Scott
H. Barclay Aaris
Jan H. Aaris
Joseph S. Affieri
Grant Madden Anderson
Adam Devitt Austin
Johann Sebastian Bach
C. Scott Baker
Gregory B. Ballora
Raoul Yorke Bolognini
Kristen Leigh Branan
J. C. Brotherhood
Ronald J. Burke
Joseph M. Caracciolo
Joseph M. Caracciolo
Korey J. Cauchon
J. André Chaintreuil
Michael R. Chapman
Foo Sing Choong
J. C. Cornwell
J. D. Cowles
Gerardo De La Cruz
Mark Andrew De La Garza
Gale De Los Santos
Mark E. A. De Sousa
Francisco X. Dejesus
Cosmos A. Demetriou
Julie A. Elder
Angela M. Eliasz
David E. Emery
Katie A. Fico
Robert Finley Iii
Jeremy S. Fitzgerald
Kevin W. Flynn
Patricia Helene Frazier
Nicholas H. Fuchs
Gentle Giant Studios
Best Visual Effects
Best Visual Effects
Best Visual Effects
Best Visual Effects
Best Visual Effects
Best Sound Editing
The film's working title was The Amazing Spider-Man. Some sources spell Spider-Man as Spiderman. The opening credits are shown across a graphic of a moving spider web, interspersed with sketches of the main characters in scenes from Spider-Man (2002). The web and sketches, drawn in a style similar to a comic book, were created by noted comic book artist Alex Ross.
Producers Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad and director Sam Raimi also made Spider-Man, the highly successful first installment of a proposed series featuring the Marvel Comic characters. Many of the production crew from the first film also worked on the second, which, according to an interview given by Ziskin on the DVD of Spider-Man 2, began pre-production as soon as the first film was completed.
Principal cast members from Spider-Man revived their roles for the sequel, including Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, J. K. Simmons and Bill Nunn. In addition, Cliff Robertson as "Ben Parker," and Willem Dafoe as "Green Goblin/Norman Osborn" briefly revived their respective roles from the earlier film. Actor Bruce Campbell, who made a cameo appearance as the "Snooty usher" in Spider-Man 2, appeared briefly in Spider-Man as the ring announcer. Campbell, who starred in Raimi's cult favorite The Evil Dead (1983) and its sequels, Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Army of Darkness (1993) is a close friend of the director, and has appeared in most of his films.
Although the onscreen credits read "Based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko," the screenplay was not based on a specific issue of the comic series, but on characters and situations created over the years. The character of "Spider-Man" was introduced by Lee and Ditko in August 1962, in Marvel's Amazing Fantasy comic, issue number 15. The character was given his first individual series, Amazing Spider-Man, in 1963. That series ended in 1998, after 441 issues, but the character has continued to appear, and, as of 2005, is the lead in several concurrent Spider-Man series.
Lee and Ditko no longer work on any of the series, but Lee, who can be seen briefly in the film as "Man dodging debris," continues in an editorial capacity at Marvel comics. In recent years, the comics have been written by various authors, including director Kevin Smith, who wrote a 4-part mini-series featuring Spider-Man and another Marvel character, Black Cat, from 2002 to 2003.
Spider-Man 2, as well as its predecessor, Spider-Man, released in 2002, follows some of the story points of the Spider-Man comics, but with some situations and characters added or altered for the films. For example, although Green Goblin was killed in the first Spider-Man movie, he lives on in the comics. His son Harry, however, who took over as Green Goblin, was eventually killed in the comics. Similarly, Dr. Octavius/Doc Ock has remained with the series, continuing on his criminal path.
Like his cinematic counterpart, the comic's Spider-Man alter ego, Peter Parker, is a young scientist who works part-time as Spider-Man's exclusive photographer for New York's Daily Bugle newspaper. One aspect of Spider-Man's super-power persona created for the first film, that he can spin webs directly from his wrists, was added as a characteristic of the comics' hero after the first film's release. Originally, the character in the comics needed a mechanical device, which was invented and built by Peter to create his webs.
According to news items in 2002, Pulitzer-Prize winning author Michael Chabon was given the assignment to write the screenplay for Spider-Man 2. Other writers were brought onto the project, including David Koepp, who wrote Spider-Man; however, in the onscreen credits of Spider-Man 2, Chabon shares a co-screen story credit on the film with Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, with the screenplay credit going exclusively to Alvin Sargent.
According to various contemporary news items and feature articles, for a period of time in early 2003, actor Jake Gyllenhaal was considered as a replacement for Maguire in the film's title role. Sources agree that Maguire's chronic back problems had caused some delays in the start of production, but sources conflict on whether Gyllenhaal was actually hired for the film or merely considered as a replacement when, according to a March 24, 2003 Variety article, less than a month before principal photography was to begin, Maguire informed Columbia that problems with his back might necessitate an additional delay. Some sources suggest that Maguire was fired but that Amy Pascal, head of Columbia's parent company, Sony Pictures, was convinced to reconsider the decision by Universal Pictures head Ron Meyer, a personal friend of Maguire.
Principal interior photography, which began in April 2004, was done at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, CA, with the burning apartment building sequence shot on the Universal Studios back lot. Location exteriors were shot in New York, but the elevated train sequence was shot in Chicago, which, according to interviews on the DVD release, the filmmakers felt would better suit their needs.
As noted in interviews on the featurette on the DVD release of the film, there was extensive use of the "Spydercam" on Spider-Man 2, a device used only for the last scene of Spider-Man. The Spydercam, an apparatus encasing a camera, can quickly travel on flexible cables, enabling it to emulate the flying and jumping from heights that Spider-Man does when he casts the threads of his spider webs and vaults through the air from building to building. Using the Spydercam, director of photography Bill Pope was able to film large sequences that allowed the audience to have the feeling that they were flying alongside Spider-Man and provided much more sophisticated and smoother sequences than the first film.
The featurette and the film's presskit also note that the Spydercam meant that the project was somewhat less reliant on the kind of CG (computer generated) special effects that would normally be used on such a large-scale production. As described in the featurette, previous to filming the live-action segments, satellite pictures of New York and Chicago were plotted to create an exact path for the Spydercam to follow. After the live sequences were filmed, often in actual New York City streets, both on and off tall buildings, visual effects designer John Dykstra's team would seamlessly combine the live action with a CG clone. A Hollywood Reporter feature article on Spider-Man 2 also noted that it would be the first released film to utilize a 4K digital intermediate to "give audiences the ultimate in release-print quality."
In a new trend for theatrical motion pictures, the trailer for Spider-Man 2 was released first on the internet, on the Yahoo.com home page, in December 2003, six months prior to the film's release. As noted in various news items, the film's marketing became a subject of some controversy in June 2004, when Major League Baseball entered into an agreement with Sony Corp. to allow bases in fifteen major league stadiums to be decorated with Spider-Man graphics. Negative comments from fans and baseball commentators forced the parties to roll back some of the $2.5 million promotion and remove the graphics from the bases, although other promotional items, such as posters surrounding the field remained.
In July 2004, British animation company Spite Your Face Productions, launched a four-minute internet parody of Spider-Man 2. The computer-generated and stop-action film was commissioned and partially financed by Sony Pictures and Marvel studios, in association with the Lego Group, and featured Lego toy figures as the main characters. Like its predecessor, Spider-Man 2 also spawned a number of licensed merchandise and video games.
An April 2003 Daily Variety news item outlined litigation that had recently been unsealed regarding a licensing dispute between Marvel Entertainment and Sony. According to the article, in February 2003, Marvel filed a suit to sue Sony to terminate its 1999 licensing agreement with them following the release of Spider-Man 2. The final disposition of that suit has not been determined. A Los Angeles Times article on January 20, 2005 reported that U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet had ruled that Marvel owed Stan Lee 10% of the profits it had received since November 1998 for films based on Spider-Man and other superheroes created by Lee, who filed suit against the company in November 2002. That suit was settled in April 2005, at which time it was reported in Los Angeles Times that Lee would receive in excess of ten million dollars, but his attorneys did not disclose what the total financial settlement would be. At the same time, Marvel signed a new eight-year agreement with Paramount Pictures to distribute as many as ten films based on characters developed by Lee, but the settlement ended Lee's rights to future Marvel profits.
Spider-Man 2 was the second highest grossing film of 2004 in North America, according to Exhibitor Relations, bringing in $373.4 million in domestic box-office receipts. The film placed third internationally, with $410.4 million in foreign receipts. Along with its regular theatrical release, Spider-Man 2 was shown in the Imax format at selected theaters.
In addition to being selected as one of the Top Ten Films of the year by AFI, Spider-Man 2 was included in numerous Top Ten lists. The film received good to excellent notices in most reviews, with critic Roger Ebert calling it "the best Superhero film of all time." The film received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and was nominated in the categories of Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
Although Spider-Man marked the first live-action incarnation of the character, he and others from the comic books have been featured in several animated television series, all of which have had some participation of Ditko and Lee, beginning with the syndicated 1967-70 series, also entitled Spider-Man, which was the first to use the familiar theme song by Bob Harris and Paul Francis Webster. Other animated series include The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, produced in 1978 following a 1977 feature-length animated film of the same title and a new series of Spider-Man that began in 2003.
A third film in Columbia's series, Spider-Man 3 was released in May 2007. That film also was directed by Raimi and starred Maguire, Dunst, Franco, Harris and other principals from the first two films, with new villains played by Topher Grace and Thomas Haden Church. In April 2007, Hollywood trade papers reported that a Broadway musical version of Spider-Man, to be directed by Julie Taynor with new music and lyrics by U2's Bono and the Edge, was in the development stage for eventual production on Broadway.
Winner of three 2004 awards including Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Motion Picture, Outstanding Compositing in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Performance by an Actor or Actress in a Visual Effects Film (Alfred Molina) by the Visual Effects Society (VES).
Released in United States Summer June 30, 2004
Released in United States on Video November 30, 2004
Sequel to "Spider-Man" (USA/2002) directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco.
Columbia Pictures paid Michael Chabon mid-six against mid-seven figures to rewrite the script.
Film received an additional release as "Spider-Man 2: The IMAX Experience", a digitally re-mastered version in large format which began a limited run July 23, 2004.
Contractual disputes and contention about a back problem almost caused Tobey Maguire to leave the project. Jake Gyllenhaal was slated to replace him.
Released in United States Summer June 30, 2004
Released in United States on Video November 30, 2004
Voted one of the 10 best films of 2004 by the American Film Institute (AFI).