Spider-man: Homecoming is the latest feature film iteration of the character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1962 and featured in Marvel Comics.
The first big-budget movie production of Spider-man came in 2002, when The Evil Dead director Sam Raimi took the helm for Sony Pictures.
It saw Tobey Macguire as the web-slinger, Kirsten Dunst as love interest Mary Jane Watson and Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin.
It was a huge success with film critics—and unusually for a sequel, 2004’s Spider-man 2 was even more popular, achieving 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, a site that aggregates film critics reviews.
But it was Spider-man 3 that made the most money at the box office, $891 million, compared to the original films’ $822 million and the sequels $784 million.
The success of the Raimi-directed Spidey films inspired Marvel to start producing its own competing movies.
It was between 2008 and 2012 that the Avengers Assembled, with Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America all brought to life…
Then coming together in Marvel’s The Avengers—another huge financial hit, which took $1.5-billion.
Seeking to better compete with Marvel, 2012 was also the year that Sony rebooted the Spidey franchise—with Marc Webb directing Andrew Garfield as The Amazing Spider-man’, a film which tapped into the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, his first true love—and saw Rhys Ifans as The Lizard.
Again it was quickly followed by a sequel, Amazing Spider-man 2.
Neither of the Webb-directed films achieved the critical success of Sam Raimi’s trilogy, and both were financial disappointments.
The first film took in $758-million and the sequel $709-million——less that the original films, and well below what Sony was hoping.
Over recent years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has continued to grow with further sequels and the launch of new characters including Ant Man.
Then in 2016, a third big-budget version of Spider-man, played by Tom Holland, made debut in Captain America: Civil War, a film that pits two bands of superheroes against each other.
Now Holland returns in Spider-man: Homecoming, a film produced by Marvel but financed and released by Sony in a first-time merger of their previously separate movie universes..
Set after the events in Civil War, it’s the first Spider-man film, impacted by another Marvel Universe film, and sees Spider-man under the watchful eye of Tony Stark aka Iron Man.