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Spider-Man Screenwriter Reveals James Cameron's Biggest Influence in the Movie

By Jared N. , Jun 18, 2020 03:03 AM EDT

The Spider-Man franchise has had a long convoluted journey until it finally reached movie theater screens in 2002 thanks to Sam Raimi as director and David Koepp as the screenwriter. Marvel's web-slinging hero was finally brought to life in a movie after the attempt by James Cameron failed.

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man
(Photo : Columbia Pictures)

Around the 1980s, Cannon Films attempted to create their own Spider-Man movie but ultimately failed. Then, that was when James Cameron, director of Terminator, became attached to the movie and wanted to direct and write it for Carolco Pictures.

However, Cameron's Spider-Man project never got to see the light of day and it didn't get completed. This unfortunate event led to many years of legal battles to get the right to showing Spider-Man on the big screen.

The legal battles over the screen rights of Spider-Man finally concluded when Columbia Pictures got to win the screen rights to Spider-Man. But the 2002 Spider-Man movie that they made was influenced quite a bit by the unproduced Spider-Man movie from Cameron.

What Did The Spider-Man Screenwriter Think?

According to the movie's screenwriter Koepp in an interview with IGN, he claimed that he did borrow elements from the version that Cameron wrote.

During a Zoom interview, Koepp recalls that he never saw any version that came before his from development since they only came out of litigation recently. He says that if there were different versions of Spider-Man, then they were like Cannon back in the 80s and 90s. However, Cameron's vision was one that was a major influence.

The Spider-Man scriptment that James Cameron created moved Koepp since Cameron took the protagonist seriously, which is something that superhero movies of that time hadn't done before.

Mary Jane and Peter Parker kissing
(Photo : Columbia Pictures)

Koepp had his own particular desires of how the movie should go since he was a fan since he was a child. But he was impressed with how Cameron took Peter Parker seriously as a character, and how he took the superhero genre for a movie seriously.

The screenwriter mentioned that it was when he was writing Spider-Man between 2000 and 2001, where there hasn't been an excellent superhero movie since the second Batman movie.

The scriptment of Cameron gave demands that Spider-Man should be taken seriously and to commit time and effort to the endeavor. This demand was a new but bold one at the time. It was 85 pages long, which says that the movie is real and the people in it are real too.

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What Influence Did James Cameron Have On Spider-Man?

The Spider-Man of Cameron had a drastically dramatic difference to Spider-Man that Koepp kept for the screenplay that he wrote. Koepp said that Cameron had great ideas in his scriptment. He liked the organic web-shooters that Spider-Man had, which had a varying opinion among fans.

The idea was Cameron's and Koepp was happy to carry it over to his screenplay. Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker having organic web-shooters was divisive at the time, which is why future versions of Spider-Man in movies opted for the comic-accurate mechanical web-shooters.

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