Spider-Man has been interpreted by many directors over the years, from Sam Raimi to Peyton Reed. But in the beginning, filmmaker David Fincher was tapped to direct the Marvel character.
But his Spider-Man movie would’ve gone in a vastly different direction than Raimi’s.
Why David Fincher wanted to direct a Spider-Man movie
David Fincher | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Fincher had very specific ideas for his Spider-Man when he was originally approached to direct the film. But according to Fincher himself, Sony wasn’t too receptive to the idea Fincher had in mind for the project. Fincher planned on skipping over Spider-Man’s origin story to focus on Peter Parker when he was already accustomed to being a superhero. This was because Fincher didn’t necessarily come on board for a superhero film.
“I’m not interested in doing a superhero,” Fincher once said in an interview with The Establishing Shot. “The thing I liked about Spider-Man was that I liked the notion of this kind of moment in time where you’re both totally vulnerable and completely invulnerable.”
But Fincher wasn’t too fascinated by the idea of someone becoming Spider-Man to begin with.
“I just couldn’t shoot somebody getting bit by a radioactive spider,” he said. “I couldn’t go to sleep knowing I’d done that.”
Because of this, Sony decided to go with Raimi’s series of films instead.
What a David Fincher Spider-Man movie looked like
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Fincher had a lot of ideas about his Spider-Man film that differentiated itself wildly from Raimi’s. Whereas Raimi focused on the relationship between Spider-Man and his love interest Mary Jane, Fincher would’ve focused on another love story.
“I wanted to start with Gwen Stacy and the Green Goblin, and I wanted to kill Gwen Stacy,” Fincher once told Gizmodo.
Spider-Man’s story would’ve still been shown in his version of the film. But whereas Raimi devoted an entire movie to Spider-Man’s origins, Fincher planned to skim through the origin story by using the credits.
“The title sequence of the movie that I was going to do was going to be a ten minute — basically a music video, an opera, which was going to be the one shot that took you through the entire Peter Parker [backstory],” Fincher said. “Bit by a radio active spider, the death of Uncle Ben, the loss of Mary Jane, and [then the movie] was going to begin with Peter meeting Gwen Stacy. It was a very different thing, it wasn’t the teenager story. It was much more of the guy who’s settled into being a freak.”
David Fincher hasn’t been excited about the idea of directing another comic book movie since Spider-Man
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Fincher confided in a 2008 MTV News interview that he believed the studio made the right decision in rejecting his Spider-Man film. But since then, Fincher hasn’t been interested about directing another superhero adaptation. It doesn’t help that from a young age, Fincher has been somewhat over the concept of superheroes in general.
“There’s so little dialogue in comic-book movies that isn’t about narrative, where you have to be next and how to get the talisman and why it has to be in a lead-lined box or whatever. I loved that stuff as an 8-year-old but I was pretty much over it by the time I was 11,” Fincher said.
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