It’s not long now until we get to see our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man swing into action when Spider-Man: Homecoming is released in Cineworld on 5th July.
We know you can’t wait to see Spidey join Marvel’s cinematic universe but how much do you really know about him? Sure, we all know that he’s Peter Parker, that he was bitten by a radioactive spider, and that nobody can pull off red tights as well as he can but what else is there?
After taking a closer look, it appears that there’s much more to the web head than you’d think. Look out, Spidey-fans, here comes 5 things you didn’t know about Spider-Man that’ll get your spidey-sense tingling.
1. There's a Turkish Spider-Man movie
There have been many screen adaptations of Spider-Man over the years but did you know that his cinematic debut was back in 1972 where he shared the screen with Captain America? What you also didn’t know is that this was in a Turkish action film titled 3 Dev Adam which roughly translates as "3 Giant Men" but it’s also known as Captain America and Santo vs. Spider-Man.
This obscure cult film is good for all the wrong reasons. Everything about it is an example of how not to make a film but the strangest aspect about it is that Spidey’s the villain. That’s right, in this version Spidey’s a ruthless murderer and leader of a gang of counterfeiters; he doesn’t even have any of his spider powers. It’s up to Captain America and hero/luchador El Santo to take Spidey out.
This is nothing like anything you’ve seen before but good luck finding an existing copy in English. If you liked this, there’s also an Indonesian Terminator, a Bollywood Superman, and (our favourite) a Turkish Star Wars.
2. Spidey almost never saw the light of day
It’s hard to imagine a time when Spidey wasn’t swinging around New York’s skyline. However he almost never existed at all.
When creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko first approached the then head of Marvel, Martin Goodman, about their idea for a new hero they were told that Spider-Man was a terrible idea because nobody wanted an awkward teen as a hero and people were too scared of spiders.
Thankfully, Lee and Ditko didn’t listen to Goodman and managed to sneak Spider-Man into the final issue of Amazing Fantasy. Fans couldn’t get enough of the new hero so much so that Goodman changed his tune and gave Lee the green light. It was in 1963 when the world got The Amazing Spider-Man #1 and we haven’t looked back since.
3. He's been a teenage spokesperson
Spider-Man has come up against many strange villains over the years (we’re looking at you, Walrus) but did you know that he once battled against teen pregnancy?
As strange as it sounds in 1976 Marvel teamed up with Planned Parenthood where, in The Amazing Spider-Man vs The Prodigy, Spider-Man fought – wait for it – an alien who misinforms teenagers about sex telling them that you can’t get pregnant the first time you do it and that it cures acne in a devious plan to steal babies.
There’s no fooling Spidey, however, as he’s quick to see through the alien’s evil plot. Using his webbing to “neutralise [his] viscous vocal cords”, Spider-Man silences the alien to stop his lies. No matter how strange the threat, Spider-Man has our backs.
4. He's more of a team player than you think
Recently, Spider-Man has been portrayed as being a solo hero but, on the contrary, he’s always been a team player. We’ve already seen Spidey’s team spirit in Civil War when he took Iron Man’s side against Captain America and some fans may already be familiar with Spider-Man’s relationship to the Avengers. However, Spidey has had a long history of working with others, some that may surprise you.
Spidey has wanted to be on a team from the start. In his first solo issue, he wanted to join the Fantastic Four but left after learning it wasn’t a paying job. Since then, Spidey has been a member of the New Fantastic Four; partnered with the X-Men; and appeared alongside Daredevil, Deadpool, and Loki on separate occasions.
If that’s not enough, he’s even defeated the Decepticons, teamed up with both Batman and Superman, and in 2008 he helped Barack Obama. Who said that Spidey doesn’t play with others?
5. Multiple Spider-Man movies were never made
So far, we have had three different interpretations of Spider-Man in 15 years, encompassing Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and now Tom Holland. But there have always been talks about different Spider-Man movies that never saw the light of day (for better or worse) where the choice of lead would have been interesting if nothing else.
Before Raimi’s trilogy existed, there was talks that Tom Cruise would play Spidey alongside DiCaprio as Harry Osbourne and either Katherine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall as Aunt May. Avatar director James Cameron wanted the Spidey role to go to Edward Furlong who would face Schwarzenegger as Doctor Octopus but the project never made it to production.
DiCaprio, Jude Law, and Freddie Prinze Jr. were also considered as Spidey before Maguire snagged the part and even Charlie Sheen was close to dawning the red tights back in the 90s. By far the most interesting would’ve been Michael Jackson who offered to buy the film rights and even Marvel outright just so he could play Spider-Man. Frankly, we’re happy we’ve got Holland.
What little-known Spider-Man facts are your harbouring? Click here to book your tickets for Spider-Man: Homecoming and let us know @Cineworld. The movie arrives on 7th July.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.