On July 7th, 2017, the latest attempt at a Spider-Man franchise hit theaters worldwide. That attempt would be called Spider-Man: Homecoming. The film opened to rave reviews, and so far, the film is doing extremely well at the box office. This would be Hollywood’s third attempt at bringing the character to life with another rebooted franchise, but let’s not forget where it all began. Though it started nearly two decades ago, we should remember the original Spidey franchise for what it was and the template it set for not only Spider-Man movies but superhero comic book adaptations in general.
In 2002, the very first Spider-Man movie was released and proved to be the start of a highly successful trilogy of films directed by Sam Raimi. Even though the third film in that trilogy did more than well at the box office, poor critical reviews were enough to scrap all plans regarding a fourth Spider-Man movie under Sam Raimi in favor of a rebooted franchise starring Andrew Garfield. Even though Raimi’s franchise didn’t quite go as smoothly as planned, it did house a gang of future Hollywood stars and starlets. For the most part, many of those stars have retained their status as elite box-office draws. It’s been about 10 years since the last Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man movie, and now, we’re going to see what the cast of those films have been up to in all of that time.
17. Tobey Maguire
While he had a handful of stellar movies under his belt prior to joining the franchise, Tobey Maguire became a household name after taking up the reigns of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Despite his Spider-Man franchise coming to a close in 2007, Maguire has still managed to be a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood not only as an actor but also as a producer who helped finance a multitude of works, such as The 5th Wave, Rock of Ages, and his own comedic mini-series, The Spoils of Babylon. In the acting department, he earned his own spoils in 2010 with a Golden Globe nod for his work in Brothers. He’s currently prepping to direct his first feature film, an adaptation of the novel Blood on Snow. In more recent news, as of late 2016, Maguire divorced from his wife of nine years, Jennifer Meyer.
16. Kirsten Dunst
Ever since the age of 12, thanks to her Golden Globe-nominated supporting turn as Claudia in Interview with a Vampire, Kirsten Dunst has always had a strong presence in Hollywood. Her role as Mary-Jane Watson throughout the Spider-Man franchise launched her star into astronomical heights in Hollywood. However, after the final Spidey film in the trilogy wrapped up production, Dunst decided to take a few steps back and retreat into the independent scene. This has led to some critically acclaimed performances in indie darlings like Melancholia and, most recently, The Beguiled. The praise she’s received earned her a lead role on FX’s second season of Fargo, a role which earned Dunst an Emmy. Away from the cameras, Dunst got engaged to Fargo co-star Jesse Plemons.
15. James Franco
Arguably the biggest star to come out of the Spider-Man franchise, James Franco has been on a roll in Hollywood. When he was first cast as Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborn, Franco was still a relatively unknown actor fresh off of a stint on the short-lived Freaks and Geeks series. Now, he’s a bonafide Hollywood mega-star that has conquered the film world, the television world, the theater world, and even the art world. When he isn’t in front of the camera as a lead star or behind it as a writer/director, Franco likes to dabble in photography and paintings. Some have struggled to take his work seriously, but those who can separate the artist from the actor have been wildly impressed. He just wrapped up production on his 14th directed film, The Disaster Artist, which will open to a wide release on December 8th, 2017.
14. J.K. Simmons
J.K. Simmons is remembered fondly as the sole show-stealer of the Spidey franchise thanks to his uncanny resemblance to the comic character he played, J. Jonah Jameson. Simmons has always been thought of as the go-to “that guy” actor asked to play tough as nails jerks, but in recent years, he seems to have found a career resurgence. In the wake of his shocking supporting turn in Whiplash, Simmons won numerous accolades all award-season long, capping it all off with an Oscar win. Now, at the age of 62, the Grosse Pointe native looks to return to the comic book movie medium with a role as Commissioner Gordon for DC’s film franchise. It’s a role that Simmons got insanely ripped at the gym for, and he’ll kick it off in style with the upcoming Justice League movie. Despite the new slew of roles knocking at his doorstep, he still holds J. Jonah Jameson close to his heart as he still voices the character for Marvel animated shows.
13. Willem Dafoe
Going into the first Spidey film, Willem Dafoe was probably the biggest star among the cast thanks to a couple prior Oscar nominations and some stellar performances in notable films like Platoon and The Boondock Saints. His role as Spidey villain, The Green Goblin, seemed to be the start of Dafoe taking part in more character-acting work. In 2005, just a couple years before the Spidey franchise drew its finale, Dafoe got married to Italian director Giada Colagrande, and the two are still together. In 2016, Dafoe stirred up some controversy during a June visit to The Floating Piers on Lake Iseo. It appeared as though thousands of people were denied access to a section where Dafoe sat on so that he could enjoy his stay without being bombarded by crowds. Whether this was, in fact, the case or not, Dafoe will be joining the Justice League movie cast alongside former Spidey co-star, J.K. Simmons.
12. Alfred Molina
As Doc Ock, Alfred Molina wowed audiences in Spider-Man 2 when he provided a more subtle and nuanced performance than one would expect from a goofy comic-book movie. He was always recognized as a good hand to play a supporting role for any movie, but the work he did with what he was given for Spider-Man 2 made people take more notice of Molina’s serious acting chops. He continues to blow audiences away with award-nominated performances in films like An Education, The Normal Heart, and Love Is Strange. He also happens to be an AIDS research advocate who regularly donates to AIDS research organizations. When he’s off-set or off-stage, he’s enjoying his 31-year marriage to Jill Gascoine. He has one daughter (photographer Rachel Molina) from a previous marriage and two stepsons (Adam and Sean) from Gascoine’s previous marriage.
11. Thomas Haden Church
In 2005, Thomas Haden Church was nominated for his first (and to date, only) Oscar nod for his supporting turn in Sideways. He immediately decided to capitalize on his newfound success by signing on to play Sandman in Spider-Man 3. Despite the hectic nature of the film’s pacing, Church managed to impress many as one of the few highlights of the film. While his film career has yet to reach the same heights since, he’s found some success in the television world, his work including an Emmy win for starring in the Broken Trail mini-series. When he isn’t acting, he’s enjoying the 2,000 acres of land he owns in his ranch in Kerrville, Texas. While he’s no longer dating former partner Mia Zottoli, they do have two daughters together aged 12 and 7.
10. Topher Grace
Topher Grace stirred a heap of controversy when he first signed on to play Eddie Brock/Venom, a character usually associated with looking buff in ways that Grace has never been. When we all finally did see Spider-Man 3, we realized that Grace’s lack of physique was the least of the film’s problems. The former That 70’s Show star tried to bounce back from the Spidey blunder with two back-to-back starring roles in Predators and Take Me Home Tonight. However, both films (especially the latter) were box office bombs. Though it may seem as though Topher Grace’s once illustrious star has faded into obscurity, 2017 may see the comeback of Topher Grace. This year, he has a supporting role in the Brad Pitt-led Netflix original, War Machine, and also has a starring role in the Leonardo DiCaprio-produced Delirium. Most recently, as of the summer of 2016, Grace married his girlfriend of three years, actress Ashley Hinshaw.
9. Bryce Dallas Howard
Before Emma Stone took over the reigns of Gwen Stacy for the short-lived Amazing Spider-Man franchise, Bryce Dallas Howard played the character for Spider-Man 3. In 2007, the same year that Spider-Man 3 opened up in theaters, Howard gave birth to her first child, Theodore, with her husband, actor Seth Gabel. Then, the couple had their second child, Beatrice, in 2012. As far as her career is concerned, she’s one of the most wanted actresses in Hollywood today. She’s currently coming off of the heels of starring in the billion-dollar blockbuster, Jurassic World, and is filming the sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom right now as we speak. She’s also enjoying some award-season acclaim for her work in the film Gold and the show Black Mirror.
8. Rosemary Harris
Rosemary Harris has led a well-respected career as a stage and screen actress for the bulk of her nearly 70-year career. Her career has seen her nominated for an Oscar, and she’s won Tonys, Emmys, and Golden Globes. However, this is the kind of success and prestige that only theater buffs and intense cinephiles really care about. Harris struggled to gain recognition from a mainstream audience until winning over the hearts of millions with the wise, sage-like performance as Aunt May, which she retained throughout the Spider-Man franchise. When the trilogy was over, she continued to take part in plays and films on occasion, but in recent years, it seems as though she’s quietly retired. Her last stage role dates back to 2012, while her last film was in 2015. For now, at least, she mostly dedicates her time to supporting her daughter, Jennifer Ehle, who co-starred in the 2014 remake of Robocop.
7. Elizabeth Banks
While Elizabeth Banks’s breakout role into Hollywood saw her in a small (but recurring) role in the Spider-Man trilogy as Daily Bugle secretary Betty Brant, it would take no time for her star to blossom. Thanks to a revealing turn in The 40-Year Old Virgin, Banks earned some early acclaim and exposure before gaining access to bigger starring roles. The role also eventually led to her directorial efforts for the films Just a Little Heart Attack, Movie 43, and Pitch Perfect 2. In just slightly over a decade, Banks has had quite the impressive Hollywood career, her next endeavor being dedicated to starring in the Netflix original series Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later. In 2011, she and her husband, sportswriter Max Handelman, had their first child via surrogate and then another in 2012.
6. Bill Nunn
Though Bill Nunn earned much acclaim and attention for playing Daily Bugle editor and fellow employee of Peter Parker’s, Robbie Robertson, throughout the Spidey trilogy, his movie career has actually expanded far beyond the franchise. He first became famous for his performance of Radio Raheem in the Spike Lee classic Do The Right Thing. Since then, he enjoyed the spoils that come with being a character actor by participating in major films like New Jack City, Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, and He Got Game. In between films, he managed to stay involved with his own community outreach program, which he established in Pittsburgh in 2008. He also worked on stage, most notably for a starring role in a production of Fences. Sadly, on September 24th, 2016, Nunn passed away after suffering from leukemia.
5. Dylan Baker
Dylan Baker played Dr. Curt Conners in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. Had a 4th Sam Raimi-directed film panned out as planned, Spider-Man 4 would have seen Baker finally play the villainous side to Conners: The Lizard, a role which went on to Rhys Ifans for The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. Don’t feel too bad for Baker, though, as his premature exit from the Spidey franchise allowed him time to give a creepy supporting performance in the cult film Trick r’ Treat, a film that earned Baker the Fangoria Chainsaw Award. As Baker has always done, he continues to take up character parts in independent films. In the television world, Baker is most notable for playing Colin Sweeney on CBS’s The Good Wife, which earned the actor three Emmy nominations.
4. Bruce Campbell
From being the King of the B-Movies to the King of the Cameos, Bruce Campbell took part in a different cameo in every Spider-Man movie under his former Evil Dead director, Sam Raimi. For the first film, he was a wrestling promoter who gave Spider-Man his name. In the second, he was an usher for one of MJ’s shows. In the third, he was a French waiter. When the Spidey movies ran their course, Campbell took up the role of Sam Axe on the USA Network spy drama Burn Notice. He played the role for six years all the way up until the show left the airwaves in 2013. In more recent years, Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi reunited to revive their Evil Dead franchise for the Starz original series Ash vs The Evil Dead.
3. Cliff Robertson
In many ways, Cliff Robertson’s role as Uncle Ben is the heart and soul of the Spidey franchise — or at least the first Spidey film — due to how Uncle Ben’s death directly works as a precursor to Peter Parker deciding to be a superhero. Though his final film role would come from his 2007 cameo in Spider-Man 3, acting was not the only interest that the Oscar-winning actor partook in. He also had an interest in aviation. He often flew planes in his spare time, once flying over the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11 before being asked by air traffic to land immediately after the Towers were struck later on. His work in the aviation field earned Robertson a spot in the 2006 National Aviation Hall of Fame as well as the 2008 Ambassador of Good Will Aviation Award. On September 10th, 2011, Robertson tragically passed away just a day after his 88th birthday.
2. James Cromwell
Though his supporting role in Spider-Man 3 as Captain Stacy (Gwen Stacy’s dad) is a small one, James Cromwell is a highly regarded actor who has such a wide and varied acting pedigree that we’ve all seen his face attached to a handful of movies and shows over the years. Such works of his would include his Oscar-nominated turn in Babe, his Emmy-winning performance on American Horror Story: Asylum, and his critically acclaimed work on Six Feet Under. In 2014, he was married to his third wife, actress Anna Stuart. When he isn’t acting, Cromwell happens to be quite the passionate and prolific social activist. In June 2017, Cromwell was sentenced to seven days in jail for refusing to pay fines relating to his 2015 arrest at a protest at a New York power plant over how the plant harmed the environment. What a rebel.
1. Joe Manganiello
The first time we saw Joe Manganiello on the big screen was as high school bully Flash Thompson in the first Spider-Man movie, a role which he was gracious enough to reprise for a silent cameo in Spider-Man 3. From there, he would accept a flurry of recurring TV roles on shows like One Tree Hill and How I Met Your Mother, but he truly struck gold when he joined the cast of True Blood. Another good career move on Manganiello’s part was when he started pumping iron heavily at the gym. All of the muscle mass he gained made him a shoo-in for the part of Richie in Magic Mike and its sequel, which arguably might be his most fan-favorite role to date. After playing a male stripper, he made his directorial debut by helming a documentary about a male strip club called La Bare. As of 2015, he’s currently married to Sofia Vergara.
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