Peter Parker (The Amazing Spider-Man film series)
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
|Last appearance||Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023)|
|Portrayed by||Andrew Garfield|
Max Charles (young)
|Significant other||Gwen Stacy|
Peter Benjamin Parker, also known by his alias Spider-Man, is a
Garfield's version of the character is a successor to the version of
Garfield's iteration of the character had some differences in personality to the
While The Amazing Spider-Man duology itself received a generally mixed response, Garfield's performance as Parker has received widespread critical acclaim, and is commonly seen as a highlight of the film series. Since Garfield's appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home which was also critically praised, fans have launched a campaign for the cancelled The Amazing Spider-Man 3 to be made.
Development and execution
Previous films and rebooting Spider-Man
Peter Parker, also known as
Following the release of
The week after Raimi's departure, the studio announced that Marc Webb, whose previous film 500 Days of Summer was his directorial debut, would direct the reboot. Tolmach, having been made president of Columbia Pictures and Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, said they were looking for a director who could give "sharp focus" to Parker's civilian life. Despite initially being hesitant due to the cultural impact of the previous films, Webb accepted the offer. Webb stated in a press release that he did not intend to replace Raimi, instead saying that he sought to take the opportunity to add "...ideas, stories, and histories that will add a new dimension, canvas, and creative voice to Spider-Man". Webb compared Spider-Man to the James Bond franchise, saying that there was "...so much material in Spider-Man that there are so many stories to tell and so many characters". He denied that the film was a remake, explaining that they were envisioned as being a "different universe and a different story with different characters".
British-American actor Andrew Garfield was cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man for the 2012 film and its sequel, with his casting being officially made on July 1, 2010. Other actors considered for the role were Jamie Bell, Alden Ehrenreich, Frank Dillane, and Josh Hutcherson. Webb stated he knew Garfield was the right choice after filming him in a cutscene eating a cheeseburger while trying to calm Gwen Stacy down. On accepting the role Garfield explained, "I see it as a massive challenge in many ways ... To make it authentic. To make the character live and breathe in a new way. The audience already has a relationship with many different incarnations of the character. I do, as well. I'm probably going to be the guy in the movie theater shouting abuse at myself. But I have to let that go. No turning back. And I wouldn't want to." Max Charles plays a young Peter Parker in the film, with Webb stating that a young Peter was needed to "explain the origins of Peter Parker" and not just Spider-Man. After taking the role, Garfield studied the movements of athletes and spiders, and tried to incorporate them, saying Parker is "a boy/spider in terms of how he moves, and not just in the suit". He did yoga and Pilates for the role to be as flexible as possible. When first wearing his costume, Garfield admitted to shedding tears and trying to imagine "a better actor in the suit", which he described as "uncomfortable" and admitted to wearing nothing beneath it since it is skintight. Garfield also performed some of his own stunts in the film. When filming Garfield explained that he had four months of training and described his physical roles on stunts as terribly challenging and exhausting. Film producer Avi Arad explained that "Andrew is not only a brilliant actor but he is a sportsman. This gave us the opportunity to try things with him that were it not so it would have been almost impossible."
Following the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Garfield was allegedly let go of the role after failing to appear for a crucial appearance, according to documents released in the aftermath of the 2014 Sony Pictures hack. Other reasons cited included creative differences with Sony Pictures management and a failure to adapt to Hollywood culture. In addition, the second film saw mixed reviews and a franchise-low in box-office revenue. After leaked information from the hack also indicated Sony to be in talks to have Sam Raimi direct Spider-Man vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, a multiversal crossover film featuring Garfield's Spider-Man encounter Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man, as well as a new trilogy starring Maguire; and to also be in talks with Marvel Studios about integrating a rebooted version of Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), beginning with Captain America: Civil War (2016), a deal was reached in early 2015 between the two studios to make the latter official, effectively cancelling The Amazing Spider-Man franchise.
Despite the reboot of the Spider-Man film series, Garfield reprised his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), a film set in the MCU, appearing alongside Maguire's iteration of the character as a supporting character to the new MCU iteration of Spider-Man played by Tom Holland. It was reported in 2020 that Garfield would reprise his role as his version of Peter Parker alongside the other cinematic iterations of the character in the third MCU Spider-Man film; however, these reports were never confirmed by Sony or Marvel Studios and were publicly denied by both Holland and Garfield several times in order to keep their involvement in the film a secret. In an interview with Variety that was published on January 6, 2022, Garfield said that his experience working on Spider-Man: No Way Home was "joyful", and that it gave him closure with his version of the character. Tom Holland described the inclusion of his Spider-Man predecessors Garfield and Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man: No Way Home 'was an idea that seemed impossible' before it came to fruition. Holland has also stated he regretted not contacting Garfield after he initially succeeded him in the role and felt lucky that Spider-Man: No Way Home had given both actors a second chance to discuss the Spider-Man character.
Powers and suit design
Unlike the Spider-Man of the previous series, this iteration of the character is unable to shoot organic webs from his arms, relying on self-designed mechanical web shooters attached to his suit. Webb explained that he felt that the web-shooters were "able to dramatize Peter's intellect". However, like all other versions of the character, this iteration of Parker has superhuman physical abilities, reflexes, and senses, and is able to crawl on walls.
During the design process for the spandex Spider-Man suit used in The Amazing Spider-Man, Webb put an emphasis on making the suit look as if it was made by a high-school student. This was shown through decisions such as making the lenses for the eyes from a pair of sunglasses. Webb explained that he and the crew wanted a design that would make the body look more acrobatic, with the "legs of the spider [symbol on the chest]" used to emphasize it. Webb revealed that the film used varying suits for different lighting conditions. The webbing on the costume was also made darker.
The suit was more streamlined in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, emphasizing updates supposedly made by Peter and Gwen in between the two films. Changes included larger lenses in the mask and modified web shooters, in addition to some modifications allowing Garfield to use the restroom while in the suit.
Characterization and analysis
As portrayed in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, Peter is described as an "arrogant, misunderstood outsider", as well as "whip-smart and likably cheeky, with an undercurrent of teenage angst," compared to Tobey Maguire's "earnest" and "dorky" rendition of the character. He is portrayed as intellectually gifted, technologically proficient and street smart, able to hack into computer systems and design his own web shooters after stealing canisters of genetically-engineered spider web from Oscorp and recall a complex equation his father had worked on. He also has a snarky, sarcastic and witty sense of humor and messes around and humiliates criminals with mocking insults and deadpan one-liners, toying with a car thief on his first official night as a vigilante. When he is not goofing around with criminals and super-villains, he is determined and courageous and despite some initial hesitation and after rethinking the purpose of his vigilante alter-ego, decides to use his superpowers for legitimately altruistic purposes and to help others in need; for example, when confronted with the choice, he chooses to protect the innocent by rescuing a man's son, Jack, rather than chase down The Lizard. Unlike other versions of the character, Peter is seen skateboarding in the film, which Marc Webb says makes Peter less terrified of swinging from webs.
Webb described The Amazing Spider-Man as "a story about a kid who grows up looking for his father and finds himself." Both Webb and star Garfield described Parker as an outsider by choice, someone hard to get close to. As in the early comic books, the character "is a science whiz. If you look back to the early Stan Lee and Steve Ditko comics, he's a nerd with big glasses," said Webb. He explained "the idea of what a nerd is has changed in 40 or 50 years. Nerds are running the world. Andrew Garfield made a movie [called The Social Network] about it. ... What was important in those early comics was this notion that Peter Parker is an outsider and how we define that in a contemporary context."
Garfield compared his Spider-Man façade as a metaphor for
The Amazing Spider-Man series
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Peter is first seen in the film as a six-year-old boy, as his father
After discovering a briefcase containing his father's work, and with encouragement from Uncle Ben, Peter seeks out his father's co-worker,
Peter later visits Connors at his home, revealing he is Richard's son and gives Connors his father's "decay rate algorithm," the missing piece in Connors' experiments on regenerating limbs. In school, Peter is put in detention after using his new abilities to humiliate Flash. His uncle changes work shifts to meet with the principal and ask Peter to walk Aunt May home for him that night. Peter forgets to do so, distracted while at Oscorp helping Connors regenerate the limb of a laboratory mouse with a new serum. At home, he and Ben argue, and Peter leaves. At a nearby deli, a cashier refuses to let Peter buy milk when Peter is two cents short. When a thief suddenly raids the store, Peter allows him to escape. While searching for Peter, Ben attempts to stop the thief and is killed. The thief escapes as Peter finds Ben dead on the sidewalk.
Flash and Gwen console a grieving Peter at school the following day. Afterward, Peter uses his new abilities to track down criminals matching the killer's description, later resolving to create a mask to hide his identity during his exploits. He adds a
Peter suspects Connors is the Lizard, and later unsuccessfully confronts Connors' Lizard form in the sewers, leaving behind his camera. Connors learns Peter's identity via the name on the camera and pursues him to Midtown Science High School where they fight. In response, the police start a manhunt for both Spider-Man and Lizard. Connors heads to Oscorp, intending to disperse his serum across the city and make everyone into lizards, while Gwen develops an antidote in Oscorp's lab. The police corner Spider-Man and Captain Stacy discover that he is Peter, but he lets him escape to go save Gwen. Realizing Spider-Man is on their side, the police and several crane operators then coordinate to help a wounded Spider-Man reach Oscorp Tower in time. Spider-Man manages to replace Connors' serum with the antidote, reverting Connors to human form, but not before Connors mortally wounds Captain Stacy. Before his death, Captain Stacy makes Peter promise to stay away from Gwen for her safety. He initially keeps the promise, but later admits to Gwen that failed promises are "the best kind", hinting that he will continue to see her.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
In 2014, Peter is in action as Spider-Man, assisting the NYPD with chasing down criminals stealing a truckload of plutonium while trying to make it to his high school graduation. He apprehends the criminals, led by mobster Aleksei Sytsevich, before making it to the ceremony, where Gwen is giving a speech as the school's valedictorian. The couple agrees to meet up afterward for dinner before she is called by her mother for a family photo. Later in the evening, Peter tells Gwen about his visions of her father and insists that he needs to keep his promise, resulting in the two breaking up again.
Harry begins to show symptoms of his father's illness and uses the device Norman gave him to deduce that Spider-Man's blood could help save him. He asks Peter for help finding him but Peter refuses, unsure of what effects the transfusion would have, fearing another incident like with Dr. Connors. Parker visits Harry again, this time as Spider-Man, but again refuses. He confides in Gwen about the situation and also gives her luck. Peter uses information left behind by his father to locate a video message Richard left. In it, Richard explains that he had to leave New York because he refused to let Norman Osborn use what they had created with his research for biological warfare and that the spiders that ultimately bit Peter were created with Richard's DNA, thereby explaining why Peter is the only successful 'cross-species' to be created.
As a vengeful Harry begins to conspire with Dillon, who now calls himself "Electro", Peter receives a voicemail message from Gwen, telling him that she was offered the job in England and is heading to the airport to fly there earlier than expected. Peter manages to catch her and professes his love for her, and the two agree to go to England together. They are interrupted by a blackout caused by Electro. Peter takes Gwen down where the police are and Gwen helps him adjust his web-shooters to counter Electro. Peter heads off to fight with Electro having the upper hand. As Electro begins electrocuting Spider-Man, Gwen comes in a police car and hits Electro, against Peter's demands. The two defeat and kill Electro by overloading his electricity supply.
Just after they do so, Harry arrives, now as the Green Goblin, having figured out Spider-Man's identity and wanting revenge for being refused the blood transfusion. Goblin takes Gwen and drops her where Spider-Man catches her. The two fight at the top of a clock tower, and Spider-Man manages to subdue the Goblin. However, during the fight, Gwen falls and is supported by a web-connected to one of the gears. Harry is then defeated but Gwen falls again, and Peter tries to save Gwen using his web. Though Peter successfully catches her, she dies nonetheless due to whiplash snapping her neck. Devastated by his failure to save his girlfriend, Peter ends his career as Spider-Man.
Five months pass and Spider-Man is nowhere to be seen in New York, as Peter spends every day at Gwen's grave. Later, an unknown team of men breaks Sytsevich out of prison. Equipped with an electromechanical suit of armor, Sytsevich dubs himself the "Rhino" and rampages through the streets. Peter, inspired by re-watching Gwen's graduation speech, resumes his role as Spider-Man and confronts him.
An alternate ending of this film shows Peter encountering his father Richard at Gwen's grave, with Richard having faked his death to keep Peter safe. Richard comforts his son on Gwen's death, having both lost someone they deeply love, and he inspires Parker to carry on while stating "with great power comes great responsibility."
Marvel Cinematic Universe
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Many years after Gwen's death, Peter (dubbed "Peter-Three" during the events of the film) is accidentally transported to
Marvel Infinite tie-in comics
Taking place in between the events of both films, Peter took on an assignment from
Though he does not appear, this version of Peter Parker is mentioned in the Marvel Comics storyline "Spider-Verse", which features many iterations of the character from multiple universes. He is mentioned as resembling "the guy from The Social Network", a film that Garfield had also starred in.
In other media
- During development of the 2012 reboot, there were discussions with Marvel Studios to include the franchise canon to the MCU, as the idea was prompted to have Oscorp appear in the New York City skyline for The Avengers. However, the idea was scrapped as the skyline was already fully rendered by the time they had settled for the design of the Oscorp building. 
- Prior to Sony's 2015 decision to collaborate with Spider-Man trilogy, with Raimi himself reportedly asked to direct it. This never came to fruition,although Maguire and Garfield's iterations of the characters would eventually appear together in No Way Home.
- An unused scene involving a cameo consisting of Andrew Garfield's version of Spider-Man, alongside Tobey Maguire's and Tom Holland's versions in better source needed]
- This version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man appears in The Amazing Spider-Man voiced by Sam Riegel. In this alternate continuation of the film, the story follows Peter in conflict with newly escaped Cross-Species and Alistair Smythe, Dr. Connors' replacement at Oscorp, all while housesitting in the city for an old friend named Stan.
- The suit featured in The Amazing Spider-Man is available as an alternate costume in the game Spider-Man Remastered (2020) for PlayStation 5 and Microsoft Windows.
Andrew Garfield's interpretation of Spider-Man was considered one of the highlights of both The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, and critics have now called this iteration of the character "underrated" in retrospect. Film reviewers praised the realistic portrayal of Peter Parker, with Roger Ebert stating that the reboot "gave Peter better reasons to take up his superhero role, even if the origin story didn't need to be told once again." In addition, Garfield's portrayal of Spider-Man's snarky humor and chemistry with co-star Emma Stone were also praised. Mary F. Pols of Time magazine said that even though the story was familiar Garfield and Webb made it feel "convincingly fresh and exciting." In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Garfield received praise for his emotional performance despite criticism of the film's convoluted plot.
Writing in August 2020, Eric Eisenberg of CinemaBlend referred to the Marc Webb series as the "middle child" of Spider-Man movies compared to the Sam Raimi trilogy and Spider-Man's inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and that Garfield was a "victim of circumstance". He also noted that the films displayed Peter Parker's technological prowess more in-depth than the preceding trilogy. However, he called Garfield's iteration "too cool" for Peter Parker, calling him a "rebel with a skateboard" as opposed to the nerd commonly associated with the character.
|2012||The Amazing Spider-Man||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Summer Movie Star: Male||Nominated|||
|2013||People's Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Superhero||Nominated|||
|Favorite On-Screen Chemistry[b]||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Movie Actor||Nominated|||
|Favorite Male Buttkicker||Nominated|
|2014||The Amazing Spider-Man 2||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie Actor: Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Nominated|||
|Choice Movie: Liplock[b]||Nominated|
|2015||Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Male Action Star||Nominated|||
|2022||Spider-Man: No Way Home||Critics' Choice Super Awards||Best Superhero Movie||Won|||
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Team[c]||Nominated|||
#MakeTASM3 movement and possible Venom crossover
Garfield's appearance in No Way Home was met with a highly positive reception from both fans and critics. Subsequently, a fan campaign using the hashtag #MakeTASM3 began on Twitter advocating for Sony to produce a third film in the Amazing Spider-Man series, with Garfield reprising his role. Both the hashtag (with 86,000 tweets) and Garfield's name (302,000 tweets) trended on Twitter during the opening weekend of No Way Home.
Some have suggested that the Amazing Spider-Man films are connected to and retconned into Sony's Spider-Man Universe, with the proposal that Garfield's Spider-Man battle Tom Hardy's Venom in a future film, based on a conversation in No Way Home in which Garfield's Peter Parker complains that Maguire and Holland's versions of Parker have gotten to fight aliens while he has not. Garfield has stated that he would be open to reprising his role as Parker, especially alongside Holland and Maguire again. Garfield also stated on The Happy Sad Confused Podcast that he would be interested in a Venom crossover, while Tom Holland also expressed his support for a potential The Amazing Spider-Man 3, saying "I would love to see [it]". Sony's official Twitter account has acknowledged the #MakeTASM3 hashtag, though the account stated that it's just a managed social platform and not actually a production company that decide which movies should be greenlit.
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- Peter Parker (Earth-120703) on Marvel Database, a Marvel Comics wiki
- Amazing Spider-Man on the Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
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