original spider-man teaser

If you’re an old like me, you can most likely recall seeing the original teaser for Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man. Instead of a standard teaser featuring scenes from the superhero film, an entire mini-movie was created in which Spidey thwarts a bunch of bank robbers fleeing in a helicopter. The teaser ended with the helicopter trapped in a giant web, like a mechanical fly. A giant web…strung up between the Twin Towers. After the September 11th attacks, the teaser was quickly pulled, and never officially released again. Now, someone has restored the original Spider-Man teaser in HD, and you can watch it below.

Original Spider-Man Teaser

In 2001, I was 18-years-old and blissfully unaware of the superhero movie onslaught that awaited me in the future. There were plenty of superhero movies around back then, but they weren’t so prevalent as they are today. A big-budget Spider-Man movie was a big deal back then. It was also a big deal that Sam Raimi, who was primarily known then for his horror movie work, was helming the project. So when the first Spider-Man teaser dropped a full year before the film’s release, it caused a bit of a commotion. It helped that the teaser itself was really cool.

Most movie teasers tend to feature quick clips from the film being advertised. But the Spider-Man teaser was different. It was its own short film, featuring footage shot explicitly for the teaser and never intended to be in the movie itself. In the teaser, a group of crooks rob a bank and proceed to make their getaway in a helicopter (you know, like all bank robbers do). It looks as if the thieves are going to escape – until their helicopter inexplicably halts in mid-air, and is then yanked backward. We see a long, white rope tugging at the helicopter, pulling it back the way it came, before cutting to a shot of the chopper stuck in a giant web between the Twin Towers. Then, just in case audiences had yet to figure out what the hell this was all about, we see a few shots of Spider-Man swinging through the sky.

The teaser debuted in May of 2001 (before screenings of A Knight’s Tale), and continued to play in front of movies all summer. Then everything changed. After the September 11th attacks, Hollywood scrambled to remove the World Trade Center from as many upcoming pieces of entertainment as they could. That purge also included pulling the Twin Towers teaser for Spider-Man, and also recalling a poster that showed the towers reflected in Spidey’s eye.

Technically speaking, the Spider-Man teaser was never lost. It’s been available on YouTube for years. But the version uploaded online was a low-quality recording, and an official release on home video copies of Spider-Man was never made available. Now, someone has taken it upon themselves to restore the teaser as a 35mm 4K Scan with color correction. The result is impressive: this teaser looks brand new.

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