Comic book adaptations may be a cinema staple these days, but when Sam Raimi‘s first Spider-Man opened a decade ago, Hollywood still wasn’t entirely sure about this whole superhero movie thing. In fact, it was in part thanks to the critical and commercial success of that movie that we’re in the middle of a costumed-hero glut at the moment.

The trend came full circle this week with Marc Webb‘s reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, which starts fresh with a brand-new Spidey (Andrew Garfield) and a revamped origin tale. As that film takes the box office by storm, Kees van Dijkhuizen has taken it upon himself to revisit Raimi’s original trilogy. Watch his 6-minute montage of highlights from the Tobey Maguire movies — yes, even the disappointing last one — after the jump.

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Before we launch into the Andrew Garfield era of the Spider-Man movie franchise, Sony would really like it it you revisited the Tobey Maguire age one last time with its upcoming Blu-ray reissues of the Sam Raimi films. Also after the jump:

  • Sony drops the first TV spot for Men in Black 3
  • Blade 2‘s Blu-ray reissue will feature Guillermo Del Toro commentary
  • Damon Lindelof explains why Prometheus isn’t exactly a prequel
  • Dumb and Dumber 2 is happening, say the Farrelly Bros.
  • James Bond will be sipping Heineken in Skyfall

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Before Disney bought Marvel, the main place to find superheros like Hulk and Spider-Man in a theme park was Island of Adventure at Universal Studios Orlando. Doctor Doom’s Freefall, the Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 3D Experience were among the most popular rides at the park. However, advances in digital projection and 3D technology had left the latter looking dated in recent years and last year it was announced the ride would get a substantial upgrade.

That upgrade goes into full effect March 8 with a grand reopening including enhancements to the film portion of the ride as well as huge technical upgrades. Read about them all after the jump. Read More »

It’s still the middle of winter now, but it’s never too soon to start planning ahead for vacation time — and with Universal Orlando’s announcement of new and updated attractions to debut in 2012, the theme park is looking better than ever. After the jump, find details on such rides as Despicable Me Minion Mayhem and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, as well as updates on the Blue Man Group show and more.

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Fans of films that might-have-been, but never-will-be, are likely aware of David Fincher‘s history with Spider-Man. (And if you read Superhero Bits Monday, you already know about this update. We’ve simply decided to highlight in detail.)

In 1999, Fincher was on a short list to possibly make the film that ended up being Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (you can read about that here). A decade later he was once again on Sony’s wishlist before Marc Webb appropriately took the job to direct 2012′s The Amazing Spider-Man. In both cases, Fincher simply couldn’t connect with the material. We now have a pretty good idea why.

The meticulous director of Fight Club, The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, opening Tuesday, wanted to pack all of Spider-Man’s origin into an operatic music video that would have served as the opening credits before delving into a totally different story. Read his exact quote and more after the jump. Read More »

The effects house Amalgamated Dynamics is giving gifts this week. First we got a really brilliant reel of practical effects created for this year’s prequel The Thing. Now the company has posted an early effects test for one design of the Green Goblin that was created for Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man.

This test shows a Goblin that is a lot more like the classic comic book version than what we saw in the film, and also one that allowed a lot of emoting on the part of the actor wearing the makeup. But whoever wore this (Willem Dafoe eventually played the role) would have been totally buried in the prosthetics, which may have been part of the reason Raimi went with a mask instead.The mask is also more in keeping with the style of film Raimi ultimately made, even if it wasn’t a great version of the Goblin.

Check out the two-minute video below. Read More »

We didn’t get Donald Glover but we are getting Miles Morales. This past June, the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker, died in Marvel’s alternative “Ultimates” universe, making national headlines. On Wednesday, Ultimate Fallout #4 will reveal Parker’s webslinging replacement to be Miles Morales, a half-black, half-hispanic teenager. Cue even bigger headlines.

Plus, according to writer Brian Michael Bendis, Morales’s look as the new Spider-Man was indirectly influenced by Donald Glover’s campaign for the lead role in The Amazing Spider-Man when the reboot was being cast. Read Bendis’ quote, information about the character and more after the break. Read More »

Don’t expect to see popular Marvel comics characters like Spider-Man at the Disney theme parks any time soon. That seems to be the core take-away from today’s announcements from Universal Studios. The company made two announcements this morning:

  • A Despicable Me 3D experience will replace the Jimmy Neutron attraction at Universal Studios Florida in 2012.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure will be fitted with all-new digital animation done in 4K high definition.

By investing money to completely reanimate the Spider-Man ride, Universal is sending a clear message to theme park visitors: “we still own the rights to attractions based on some of the popular Marvel characters and you won’t see these characters at the Disneyland theme parks any time soon.” Read the full press release after the jump, which includes a bunch of details about the new Despicable Me ride.
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