Brilliant Details In The Sam Raimi Spider-Man Movies

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The OG Spidey trilogy deserves your respect.

What’s your favorite Spider-Man? With No Way Home coming out soon, the question on everyone’s mind is whether Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will actually be making an appearance. We don’t know what else to do with all our hype other than count down the most amazing details in the OG Raimi Spider-Man movies.


Real-life wrestler Randy Savage played Bone Saw, which you probably knew. But did you also know that Savage used to wrestle as The Spider?


Before he was Macho Man Randy Savage, Randy Poffo was a minor league baseball player with dreams of making it to the big leagues. He loved wrestling, but it was against his baseball contract due to the high risk of injury. So Randy Poffo would wear a mask to hide his face, and his first wrestling character was named The Spider. Fast-forward roughly 30 years, and Randy Savage is one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time, playing the most iconic onscreen wrestler ever: Bone Saw McGraw. His opponent? The Human Spider!


As Peter Parker sketches out a few costume ideas, he accidentally commits copyright infringement.


Peter busts out his art skills in the first movie, trying to figure out what his look will be for the wrestling match. As he scribbles, we see that he’s stumbled across a logo that’s already taken. Let’s just hope Natasha and her lawyers don’t find out.


Wondering where Peter learned to play the piano? Aunt May, of course.


People had a lot to say about Spider-Man 3. After a scene in which he plays a song to make Mary Jane jealous, one smaller question audiences had was where the heck Peter learned to play the piano. Could he always play, and we’ve just literally never seen it? Was Venom somehow making it possible? Does unchecked hatred increase musical ability? Turns out, it could be the first one. In the bank scene in Spider-Man 2, Aunt May lies that she’s started teaching piano lessons again. This suggests that she used to teach piano, and Peter probably picked up the instrument through good ol’ May. 


The Importance of Being Earnest, which Mary Jane stars in (Spider-Man 2), mirrors Peter’s dilemma throughout the movie.


The Importance of Being Earnest is about a character who is able to ignore their responsibilities by pretending to be someone they’re not. Pretty similar to someone with great power and even greater responsibilities who isn’t sure how to balance their identities.


Peter Parker’s landlord, Mr. Ditkovich, is named after Marvel writer/artist Steve Ditko.

Sony, Historic Collection / Alamy

Steve Ditko is a legendary writer and artist best known for creating the character of Doctor Strange and co-creating Spider-Man. With Stan Lee, Ditko also created pretty much every character we’re hyped to see in No Way Home: Doc Ock, Sandman, Lizard, and Green Goblin. As a tribute to the legend, Peter’s landlord was given the name Mr. Ditkovich.


When Norman Osborn was asked to resign from his own company, he quickly flies through the five stages of grief.


Let’s count them down!

Denial: “You can’t do this to me.”

Anger: “You know how much I sacrificed?!”

Bargaining: “Max, please.”

Depression & Acceptance: Seeing he has no way out, Norman breathes heavily and looks like a defeated animal. He only accepts what’s happened when he realizes he can just murder everyone.

Creditu/loorollkid on Reddit


Peter saved the pictures he took in Spider-Man, and they’re briefly visible in Spider-Man 3.


Peter Parker may be a photographer, but we mainly just see his work for the Daily Bugle. But if you’ve ever met a photographer, you know they have PLENTY to show you. So it makes sense that Peter would save some pictures he took of Mary Jane — especially if he snapped the picture just before a spider gave him superpowers.


While testing out his powers, Peter Parker tests out some catchphrases that a certain rival comic company might not have approved of.


We usually imagine the Marvel/DC rivalry as a tense, no-nonsense battle between the two biggest players in the comics arena. So it’s always fun when one references the other, like when Chloé Zhao got a Superman reference into Eternals. Tobey Maguire riffed two iconic lines that unmistakably belong to DC characters when testing out his web powers: “Up up and away, web!” and “Shazam!”


The alley where Peter dumps his suit is meant to be the same alley where he kissed Mary Jane in the first movie.


When Peter Parker says, “I am Spider-Man, no more,” he really means it. He means it so much that he throws his suit away in the same alley where he did one of the most Spider-Man things ever: kissed Mary Jane Watson while hanging upside down. Was that particular alley easiest for the studio to shoot in? Was it a pre-built set they recycled? Let’s just give Sam Raimi the benefit of the doubt and say it’s super deep.


In one of Stan Lee’s cameos, he uses the same phrase he said often in the comics.


In Fantastic Four #19, published in 1963, Stan Lee first said “‘Nuff said” in his Bullpen Bulletin. The bulletin was a part of the comic book in which Lee could go over news in the Marvel Universe, promote new issues, and make announcements. That “‘Nuff said” became as cherished a catchphrase of the man as “Excelsior!” It’s only fitting that one of Lee’s most touching cameos in Spider-Man 3 has him saying it. ‘Nuff said.


The spider that bites Peter Parker was hand-painted by a spider wrangler.


Every child dreams of growing up to be an astronaut, secret agent, or spider wrangler. Steven Kutcher is living the dream as a professional spider-man, and he wrangled the house spider that was used in the first movie. The initial idea was that a spider resembling a black widow bites Peter, but those tend to be, y’know, super dangerous. When they say Kutcher “wrangled” the house spider, I like to imagine a tiny little leash and spider-snacks. Kutcher used paint (non-toxic) to paint the spider, and the bite was created using CGI.


Many speculate that this helmet is a nod to another infamous Spidey villain.


When we first see how Harry Osborn has set up shop in his father’s lair, Raimi shows us Norman’s stuff, then Harry’s stuff. We see the Green Goblin’s glider, then Harry’s…snowboard. We also see the Green Goblin’s helmet and Harry’s facemask, but in between those two pieces of headgear we get this silver helmet. It could easily be a version of the Green Goblin’s helmet, but fans think it’s a nod to the Hobgoblin. Did Roderick Kingsley (the Hobgoblin) somehow buy Oscorp? Did Harry tinker with the idea of becoming some version of the Green Goblin that would wind up being the Hobgoblin? We can’t be sure, but the small glimpse of this helmet was enough to set off the rumor mill.


While unconfirmed, there’s a possibility that Bruce Campbell may have been Mysterio in a future Spider-Man movie.


First thing’s first: Bruce Campbell himself has said that he was never told by Raimi that he was set to play Mysterio. The franchise was supposed to have several more films before Spider-Man 3 tanked, and rumor has it that there was a storyboard of Campbell as the master of illusions. Campbell as Mysterio could fit the fact that he plays three different characters in the trilogy. When the rumors started, fans were quick to point out a line Campbell has in Spider-Man 2 about “maintaining the illusion.” Regardless of whether this theory has any legs, we could always use more Bruce Campbell.


The wallpaper in Peter’s bedroom consists of tiny spider webs.


This one may seem like a stretch, but it was actually confirmed in the director’s commentary. A bit of foreshadowing, Peter Parker’s bedroom wallpaper is made up of hundreds of spider webs. No wonder the guy turned into a human spider.


When Sandman’s face gets filed into sand, his teeth don’t.


OK, this one doesn’t include a comic reference, Stan Lee cameo, or Easter egg. Spider-Man 3 has a lot of memorable images: the church scene, Tobey’s bangs, hip thrusting. Another shot that tends to stick with you is when a Venom-laced Spider-Man shoves Sandman’s head against a moving train. His face is slowly filed down (into sand), but the CGI artists paid incredible attention to detail. They went so far as to animate each of his teeth flying out of his head!


He may be in a full-bodied suit, but those Green Goblin stunts were almost all done by Willem Dafoe.


Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina gave two stand-out performances as villains in the Raimi Spider-Man movies, but the two actors had opposite approaches to stunts. While Molina didn’t trust himself to do stunts and was reluctant to take work away from stuntmen, Dafoe was more than willing to step onto the glider. Roughly 90% of all Dafoe’s stunts were performed himself.


Are you excited for the Spider-verse to expand? Let me know in the comments below!