Parker (Tobey Maguire) and M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) seem to finally be on
the right track in their complicated relationship, but trouble looms for
the superhero and his lover. Peter's Spider-Man suit turns black and
takes control of him, not only giving Peter enhanced power but also
bringing out the dark side of his personality. Peter must overcome the
suit's influence as two supervillains, Sandman and Venom, rise up to
destroy him and all those he holds dear.
Maguire, Peter Parker/Spider-Man - Thomas Haden Church, - Kirsten
Dunst, Mary Jane Watson - James Franco, Harry Osborn - Topher Grace, -
Thomas Haden Church, Flint Marko/Sandman - Topher Grace, Eddie Brock -
Bryce Dallas Howard, Gwen Stacy - Theresa Russell, Mrs. Marko - Bill
Nunn, Joseph ``Robbie'' Robertson - Elizabeth Banks, Betty Brant - James
Cromwell, Capt. George Stacy - Rosemary Harris, May Parker - Ted Raimi,
Hoffman - Dylan Baker, Dr. Curt Connors - J.K. Simmons, J. Jonah
Jameson - Tobey Maguire, Spider-Man/Peter Parker - James Franco, New
Goblin/Harry Osborn - Thomas Haden Church, Sandman/Flint Marko - Topher
Grace, Venom/Eddie Brock - Theresa Russell, Emma Marko - Bruce Campbell,
Maitre de' - Elizabeth Banks, Miss Brant - Perla Haney-Jardine, Penny
Marko - Willem Dafoe, Green Goblin/Norman Osborn - Cliff Robertson, Ben
Phillips - Chicago Tribune
FILM REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN 3 By Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune Movie Critic 2-1/2 stars Discovering
your superhero powers is a lot easier than maintaining the public's
interest in them, across the life of a franchise. Peter Parker, the
self-described "nerdy kid from Queens," knows this by now, as do
producer Laura Ziskin and director Sam Raimi, keepers of the $1.6
billion "Spider-Man" series. So, three films in, how is New York's
premier webmaster holding up? Not badly; not spectacularly. Compared
with the streamlined narrative, memorably tentacled villain and
plentiful satisfactions of "Spider-Man 2," this one's more conventional -
a notch below the first "Spider-Man," even though Raimi's enough of a
scamp to ensure that the franchise machinery doesn't entirely flatten
the latest installment. From the first voice-over narration, in which
Tobey Maguire refers to himself as "your friendly neighborhood ... you
know," screenwriters Alvin Sargent and Sam and Ivan Raimi acknowledge
the global audience's familiarity with this iconic crimefighter. At one
point Spidey even says, "I guess I've become something of an icon." Like
last summer's "Superman Returns," "Spider-Man 3" is dominated by its
tri-cornered love story. By now even Maguire's and Kirsten Dunst's
parents probably have had enough of the romantic entanglements involving
Peter/Spidey, aspiring actress and singer Mary Jane, and trust-fund
dreamboat Harry (James Franco), son of the Green Goblin and now a
part-time Goblin himself, out for Peter's blood owing to the mysterious
death of Goblin the First. The new entry in the series doubles up on
the villains. Spidey's chief adversary is "Sandman," a shape-shifting
victim of particle physics gone wrong, resembling the offspring of the
Hulk and the sandstorm from one of the recent "Mummy" pictures. He's
played, with a wee bit of help from the computer-generated effects
folks, by an earnest and effective Thomas Haden Church. The auxiliary
nemesis is Parker's rival tabloid photographer Eddie Brock (Topher
Grace), who transforms into the snakelike "Venom" when he runs afoul of
the black spidery gunk left behind by a meteor. The same slime afflicts
Peter/Spidey, causing a fearsome personality change. Once he turns to
the dark side, our hero starts thugging around in a Hitler haircut and
generally acting like a punk on a rageaholic bender. It's the same
personality split Superman went through in "Superman III." Raimi has
never been one to strike a consistent tone with any project; his heart
and talent lie in extreme pulp contrasts. There are times when
"Spider-Man 3" is a really exciting comic book movie. An early aerial
battle between Spider-Man (Maguire, he of the arachnidian gaze and
sleepy comic timing) and his "frenemy" Harry moves like lightning, and
while a scene involving an errant construction crane and a Manhattan
skyscraper feels a little off post-9/11 (what doesn't?), that, too, is a
grabber. Backed by a budget estimated by some at $300 million, the
new picture doesn't really look like a huge special effects bash. This
is a mixed blessing. You want big wows with this sort of entertainment,
and the wows here are medium. While they've gotten the
computer-generated web-zapping aerial business to look more supple than
it did in the first two films, when "3" is over, just after its fourth
protracted epilogue, you mainly recall Spider-Man getting flung against
girders over and over, in progressively less inventive fight scenes. Raimi
and company like their comic-book brutalities fairly brutal, and always
have. All the same, the bits that stick with you are the most overtly
comic, namely the exquisite turns of J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson,
newspaper editor who has no time for anything or anyone, and Bruce
Campbell, longtime Raimi crony from the "Evil Dead" days, serving up
unctuous shtick as a French headwaiter, or more accurately the punchline
to a French waiter joke. If it were up to me "Spider-Man 4" would star
Simmons and Campbell. The rest of the gang can do their thing in
flashbacks. "Spider-Man 3" Directed by Sam Raimi; screenplay by
Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent; photographed by Bill Pope; edited
by Bob Murawski; music by Christopher Young and Danny Elfman; production
design by Neil Spisak and J. Michael Riva; produced by Laura Ziskin,
Avi Arad and Grant Curtis. A Columbia Pictures release. Running time:
2:19. MPAA rating: PG-13 (sequences of intense action violence) Peter Parker - Tobey Maguire Mary Jane Watson - Kirsten Dunst Harry Osborn - James Franco Flint Marko - Thomas Haden Church Eddie Brock - Topher Grace Aunt May - Rosemary Harris
- Notes provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment. -
Pictures' Spider-Man(tm) 3 reunites the cast and filmmakers from the
first two blockbuster adventures for a web of excitement that will
transport worldwide audiences to thrilling new heights on May 4, 2007.
In Spider-Man(tm) 3, based on the legendary Marvel Comics
series, Peter Parker has finally managed to strike a balance between his
devotion to M.J. and his duties as a superhero. But there is a storm
brewing on the horizon. When his Spider-Man suit suddenly changes,
turning jet-black and enhancing his powers, it transforms Peter as well.
Under the influence of the suit, Peter becomes prideful and
overconfident and he begins to neglect the ones he cares about the most.
As two of the most-feared villains yet, Sandman and Venom, gather
unparalleled power and a thirst for retribution, Peter's greatest battle
is the one within himself. Spider-Man will need to rediscover the
compassion that makes him who he is: a hero.
presents a Marvel Studios/Laura Ziskin production, Spider-Man(tm) 3,
starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden
Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, James Cromwell, Rosemary
Harris, and J.K. Simmons. The film is directed by Sam Raimi
(Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2). The screenplay is by Sam Raimi
& Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent (Ordinary People, Spider-Man(tm) 2)
and the screen story is by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi; based on the
Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. The producers are Laura
Ziskin (Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2), Avi Arad (Spider-Man(tm),
X-Men), and Grant Curtis (Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2). The
executive producers are Stan Lee, Kevin Feige (Spider-Man(tm) 2, X Men
2), and Joseph M. Caracciolo (Spider-Man(tm) 2, Charlie's Angels®).
The director of photography is Bill Pope, ASC (Spider-Man(tm) 2, The
Matrix trilogy). The production designers are Neil Spisak
(Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2) and J. Michael Riva (The Pursuit of
Happyness, A Few Good Men). The film editor is Bob Murawski
(Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2). The visual effects supervisor is
Oscar®-winner Scott Stokdyk (Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2). The
special visual effects are by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc. The costume
designer is three-time Oscar® winner James Acheson (The Last Emperor,
Dangerous Liaisons, Restoration). Original music themes by Danny Elfman
(Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2). Score by Christopher Young (Ghost
Rider, Spider-Man(tm) 2).
Spider-Man(tm) 3 has been rated PG-13
by the Motion Picture Association of America for sequences of intense
action violence. The film will be released in theaters worldwide on May
ABOUT THE FILM
One of moviegoers' favorite film
characters returns in Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man(tm) 3, continuing
one of the biggest blockbuster franchises in film history. Together,
Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2 have grossed more than $1.6 billion
at the worldwide box office.
As the continuing adventures of
Peter Parker unfold, Spider-Man(tm) 3 wraps up some of the character
arcs begun in the first two films. Sam Raimi, who has directed all
three installments in the blockbuster franchise, says, "The heart of the
Spider-Man films has always been the depth of the characters and their
interconnected lives. Peter's love of Mary Jane Watson and his
friendship with Harry Osborn have always been the richest parts of our
"When developing this third installment, we asked
ourselves, `What does this young man still have to learn?'" says Raimi.
"We placed him in situations where he'd be forced to confront his
absences of character -- obstacles that, in previous stories, he might
not have been able to surmount. In this way, he would either be
defeated or grow into the heroic person who might be capable of
overcoming these obstacles. As the depth of our characters grow, they
become richer human beings and can achieve more than in the previous
"At the end of the second movie, for the first time,
there's reason for optimism in Peter's life," says producer Avi Arad,
who until recently served as CEO of Marvel. "He's won the girl -- but
when she says, `Go get 'em, tiger,' you know that she is realistic and
maybe uneasy about what life is going to be like. What Sam likes to do
is test the hero -- and that means that Spider-Man(tm) 3 will take us to
a very different place in Peter's life, in Mary Jane's life, and in
In Spider-Man(tm) 3, Peter Parker faces his
biggest challenge to date -- and the greatest battle of all is the
battle within himself.
When the film opens, things are finally
going so well for Peter that his success begins to go to his head a
little bit ... and when a black substance clings to Peter's scooter,
things take a turn. The substance attaches itself to Peter's Spider-Man
suit, changing it from the familiar red and blue to a deep black. The
transformed suit also changes Peter, as he becomes stronger and quicker
than ever before... but it also brings out the dark side of Peter's
personality that he is struggling to control.
"We wanted to
explore the darker side of Peter's character," says producer Laura
Ziskin. "When his suit turns black, it enhances and emphasizes
characteristics that are already in the host. In this case, it makes
him stronger and quicker, but also more prideful and aggressive."
I read the script I was really excited about the different direction we
were going with Peter Parker and the other characters and storylines,"
says Tobey Maguire, who returns to the role of Peter Parker. "We are
covering a lot of new ground here, with a fresh take on the story while
maintaining the continuity of the characters from the previous two
Kirsten Dunst returns to her role as Mary Jane Watson in
Spider-Man(tm) 3. "I think fans will love this movie, because we love
this movie," says Dunst. "It means so much to all of us, and we've
really worked hard at making every scene the best it can be."
reprising his role as Harry Osborn is James Franco. "Harry's story
picks up from the end of Spider-Man(tm) 2, when he learned the awful
truth about his father and his friend -- although he doesn't have the
full story. Harry is a troubled soul; he lived his whole life for his
father, and when his father was taken from him, the only thing he had
left in his life was to avenge his father's death."
Spider-Man(tm) 3 also features the incredible action sequences that
Spider-Man fans have come to expect. In this film, Spider-Man takes on
two classic villains: Sandman, who first made his appearance in the
fourth issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, and Venom, one of the comic
book's most memorable villains.
"Marvel comic books -- and
especially the Spider-Man books -- have always had a great bunch of
villains to choose from," notes Raimi. "So many great Marvel artists
and writers developed these characters. It was a very easy task to pick
up these wonderful tales and images and develop our story from them."
Haden Church plays Flint Marko, a man haunted by the mistakes of his
past, who is caught in a physics experiment gone wrong. His DNA becomes
fused with sand ... and he becomes Sandman, a villain who can change
his shape, size, and form at will. "I consider it an honor, really,"
says Church, an Academy Award® nominee for his role in Sideways, on
joining the franchise. "The Spider-Man(tm) films stand tall in the
pantheon of superhero movies. Many are called, few are chosen, and I'm
proud to be one of the few.
"Flint Marko becomes Sandman when he
stumbles into a radioactive test site where they're performing a
molecular fusion experiment and he accidentally becomes fused with
sand," Church adds. "As a result, he can change his shape and adapt to
his environment. He can be ten, 30, 80 feet tall. He can form giant
sand fists, hammers, a mace. He can shift into a sand tornado, or sift
into sand. He is as malevolent and menacing as any villain can be."
Grace joins the cast as Eddie Brock, a character in some ways similar
to Peter Parker, who transforms into Venom -- Spider-Man's arch-nemesis.
"When I was first talking about the movie, Sam asked me if I knew what
`arch-nemesis' meant. I thought it meant a huge villain, but Sam
pointed out that it really means a villain who has the same powers and
abilities as the hero, but uses them for evil," says Grace. "Sam has
gone to great lengths to make this character Spider-Man's equal and
Grace continues, "Eddie Brock, who becomes Venom, is
very similar to Peter Parker. They both work at the same place, they're
both striving for the same job, they both have the same woman in their
lives -- the difference is that Eddie is very insecure. You might say
that Eddie is the guy that Peter would have been if he didn't have the
good fortune of having Aunt May and Uncle Ben to bring him up."
again putting the lift and swing into Spider-Man's webs are the special
effects stars at Sony Pictures Imageworks. The team was nominated for
the Academy Award® for their work on the first Spider-Man(tm) film and
took home the Oscar® for their visual effects work on Spider-Man(tm) 2.
In continuing his work on Spider-Man(tm) 3, visual effects supervisor
Scott Stokdyk was responsible for overseeing the efforts of more than
200 Imageworks animators and artists.
"My biggest challenge on
Spider-Man(tm) 3 has been the necessity to turn on a dime and respond to
the changes as they come," says Stokdyk. "There's so much more going
on in this movie -- more characters and more plotlines. Sam is working
very hard to make sure all the pieces come together, and it was our
responsibility to respond in the execution of his vision."
Ziskin says that as with the first two films, audiences can expect
Spider-Man(tm) 3 to have a compelling story, exceptionally well-drawn
characters with complex relationships, but even bigger and better: "We
have more new characters, more villains and more struggle for Peter
Parker -- perhaps the biggest struggle of his life."
OLD FRIENDS ...
the beginning of Spider-Man(tm) 3, we find Peter Parker pretty much
where we left him at the end of the second Spider-Man story," says
director Sam Raimi. "He is coming to terms with what it means to be a
hero and the sacrifices he has to make to do the right thing. In terms
of his relationship with Mary Jane, the two are closer than they've ever
been -- she has learned that he is Spider-Man by the end of the second
film and she is trying to live up to the promise she made to share the
responsibilities of Peter's superhero status."
"We have watched
Peter, Mary Jane, and Harry grow up over the course of the first two
films, so we wanted to do something that was surprising but inevitable,"
adds Laura Ziskin. "We wanted to take the characters on a journey
which would satisfy the audience and ring true for the characters."
Returning for that journey are Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco.
is feeling pretty good-things are lining up in his life in ways they
never have before," says Maguire. "He is finally receiving recognition
as Spider-Man, as someone who is helping his community, and he is in
this great relationship with Mary Jane, who is also experiencing success
of her own. He is beginning to feel the kind of confidence of becoming
a man, mixed with the glowing attention he has begun to receive."
notes, "Peter has never had anyone look up to him as someone they
admire. Certainly, he's never had anyone cheer for him before. This
has an unexpected effect on Peter: it stirs his prideful self. This is
the beginning of a movement toward his dark side in this film." That
dark side is brought to the forefront when he comes into contact with a
black substance that attaches itself to Peter's Spider-Man suit. When
the substance turns his suit black, he finds he has greater strength and
agility than ever before... but also that the substance brings out his
pride and his vengefulness. "In the climax, Peter has to put aside his
prideful self. He must put aside his desire for vengeance," Raimi
continues. "He has to learn that we are all sinners and that none of us
can hold ourselves above another. In this story, he has to learn
Maguire was thrilled to return again to the role of
Peter Parker. "You always want to tread new ground and this was a
chance to do that with familiar characters," he notes. "The fresh take
is a direct continuity -- it comes out of Spider-Man(tm) and
Spider-Man(tm) 2. As an actor, it's really exciting -- there's a lot to
"We were always looking for ways to take the mask
off, so you can see what Peter is going through," says Maguire. "When I
see a movie, I get invested in the characters and I care about them.
I've got to connect with them so I can feel what they're feeling."
change in demeanor begins to take its toll on his relationship with
Mary Jane. "Mary Jane is very confident in her career, even though
there's still some insecurity there because of her family life growing
up," explains Dunst. "But when she loses her job just as Spider-Man is
being heralded, Peter is not there for her as much as she'd like him to
be. She is kind of pushed aside a little bit, and their relationship
begins to fall apart."
"Peter and M.J. are struggling with things
everybody deals with in a relationship," adds Ziskin. "They're both
trying to figure it out, and they're not in sync with where they are in
their lives -- they're missing each other at a rather critical moment."
that Tobey and I have worked on three movies together, we know each
other very well," Dunst says. "I know which buttons to press in him,
and he knows which to press in me. It makes for a more complicated,
adult relationship, which is great for the film. Everything we feel
about each other is all in the movie. Our relationship has matured."
previously showing off her vocal talent in such films as The Cat's
Meow, Dunst relished the chance to sing on screen once again. "I had
fun doing the singing scenes," she says. "I had prerecorded the singing
-- I was terrified to sing live -- but my first day of work was walking
down the stairs of the Broadway stage for `Manhattan Memories' in high
heels and a dress and then dancing at the bottom."
the central trio is James Franco as Harry Osborn. At the end of the
last film, Harry learned the truth about his father and the secret
identity of his friend, Peter. Harry's anger and bitterness toward
Spider-Man now extends to Peter, whom he now sees as his enemy.
Consumed by vengeful thoughts against Peter, whom he holds responsible
for the death of his father, Harry enters his father's lair and becomes
the New Goblin.
The filmmakers wanted a fresh look for the
hardhearted Harry. "We discussed how Harry would probably use the
latest technology available to him at OsCorp to create his arsenal,"
notes executive producer Kevin Feige. "We wanted something
contemporary, but still deadly practical."
"Harry has a vehicle
that's more sleek and agile than the glider -- he has taken his father's
weapons and dialed them up a notch," says producer Grant Curtis. "On
the other hand, some weapons, like the pumpkin bombs, you just can't
top. With the New Goblin, you get a mix of the old school with the
pumpkin bombs and the new school with the souped-up sky-stick."
designer James Acheson collaborated with the filmmakers on Harry
Osborn's military look. "Harry's clothing reflects a cross between
urban SWAT troops and kind of a black knight, but with rather nasty
attributes like blades that come out of his arm," says Acheson. "The
suit is mainly black. There's a hint of green here and there as a
reminder of his father, but Harry is very much his own man."
main dilemma comes down to this: How much does he love his friends?"
says Franco. "If he accepts the fact that he loves Peter and M.J., he
also has to accept that his life up until now has been a lie -- he's
been living only for hate, loving the evil man that was his father and
doing his bidding."
"We have come so far together with these
characters," says Raimi. "This film was a chance to continue each of
their stories, to show their journey since we first met them five years
ago and also to explore how far they still have to go."
... AND NEW FACES
Spider-Man(tm) 3 -- just as in the first two films -- the filmmakers
made a special effort to ensure that the villains are a reflection of
Peter and the struggles he endures as he comes of age. According to
Raimi, every character in Spider-Man(tm) 3 moves Peter Parker's story
forward. "We're holding up a mirror," Raimi says. "Each character is
there with a purpose -- part of the thread of Peter's life."
Spider-Man books have probably the greatest rogues' gallery of any
superhero comic -- there are so many memorable villains throughout the
books," says executive producer and Marvel's president of production
Kevin Feige. "With the villains in Spider-Man(tm) 3, we wanted to
continue the tradition -- following the Green Goblin and Doc Ock -- of
presenting villains that not only provide spectacle and a physical
challenge to Spider-Man's abilities, but characters that are
multi-layered and conflicted." To that end, the filmmakers called upon
two of the greatest and most memorable villains in Spider-Man lore:
Sandman and Venom.
SANDMAN Sandman is a classic villain, having made his first appearance in 1963 in The Amazing Spider-Man #4.
Marko/Sandman is one of the stalwarts of the Marvel universe, and the
character presents an opponent for Spider-Man that we've never been able
to explore before -- the intangible aspect of a villain," notes
producer Grant Curtis. "What if you punch your opponent, and there's
suddenly nothing there -- what if all of a sudden they become dust? The
beauty of Sandman is it's like battling a Swiss Army knife. You think
you've got him figured out, then he morphs into a sand cloud, or levels
his hammer fist at you, or becomes a pile of sand."
Award® nominee Thomas Haden Church plays the key role of the complex
Sandman. "We have been fortunate to be able to attract some
extraordinary actors to play the villains in the Spider-Man(tm) films,
and Spider-Man(tm) 3 is no exception," says Raimi. "When we saw how
Thomas Haden Church in his Sideways role presented a character with
warmth and humanity and grace -- even as the character consistently made
all the wrong choices -- we knew he could do the same for this classic
"I think they wanted Sandman to be a guy like
me -- a guy who's rough around the edges and could easily have been a
criminal; a guy who's bare-knuckled his way through a few events, which I
have in real life," says Church. "There's a roughness and a rawness
that Sam finds appealing."
"Flint Marko is a loner who has a
pretty dark past," says Church. "I thought a lot about Lon Chaney, Jr.
and the characters he was best known for -- there was always a sadness
in his eyes and a kind of disaffected quality to him as a man."
notes that in his early conversations with Raimi, he found another
inspiration for his character, one that roots Sandman in a legend
centuries old. "Sam gave me a storybook of a Jewish fable surrounding
the Golem -- a creature made of earth. That idea -- this creature who
was not a villain at heart -- was very meaningful to Sam and became a
"As Flint says of himself, he's not a bad person,"
Church says. "He's just made bad choices. He's carrying a massive
burden of guilt over something that happened in his past and things that
are happening right at that moment. He knows that what he's doing is
criminal, but I think he sees himself as a man of integrity. He's doing
what he feels he has to do. Nobody in the Spider-Man(tm) movies just
wears a black hat."
On the run after escaping from prison, Marko
stumbles upon a physics test and is fused molecularly with sand. After
this accident, Marko discovers he can draw material from his immediate
environment to his shape-shifting physicality. "The birth of Sandman is
going to be one of the most amazing scenes in Spider-Man(tm) 3," says
producer Avi Arad. "Flint Marko is on the run, and he walks into a
testing facility just as a new scientific process is being tested. In
the great Marvel tradition, Marko's bad timing leads to his
transformation into Sandman. It will be fascinating to see the creation
of this creature."
Church spent over a year preparing for the
role, with a physical training and diet regimen which led to his gaining
about 20 pounds of muscle before shooting began. "In the comic book,
Sandman was a bulky-muscled guy -- he looked like a guy out of the WWF,"
says the actor. "For the movie, we decided on a leaner look -- street
hardened, like Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront."
that all the hard work paid off when shooting started. "Sam outlined
for me what the physical rigors of the role would be, so I wasn't
surprised. All the physical activity and training really helped me
develop the stamina which I needed for a lot of my work in the film."
Brock, played by Topher Grace, is a smooth-talking, ambitious young
photographer who becomes a rival for Peter's job at the Daily Bugle.
When Spider-Man finally rids himself of the sinister black substance, it
finds Brock, who transforms into the deliciously evil Venom, also a
Marvel fan favorite. In many ways, Venom is a reflection of Peter
Parker himself; one might say that he is Peter's own dark side come to
"We were really excited to bring Venom into the film,
because it is a character that has its origins in Peter," explains
producer Grant Curtis. "When Spider-Man wears the black suit, the suit
begins to take on the imprint and abilities of Spider-Man. When Peter
rids himself of it, the substance moves to Eddie Brock, who is not as
good a man as Peter. It transforms Brock, a person who feels
universally ostracized, into Venom. Venom possesses some of the powers
of Spider-Man, and he wants to lash out."
"Venom is one of the
most difficult characters for Spider-Man to defeat," notes Arad.
"Venom knows Spider-Man: how he feels, what his strengths are as well as
his weaknesses. That is the ultimate enemy."
"Venom has a
unique origin story, and we looked forward to telling that story, doing
justice to a character who is arguably one of the most popular Marvel
characters of all time," says Curtis. "Venom has the same powers that
Spider-Man does, but it's tweaked a bit more and he's more aggressive --
he can jump farther, swing farther, and run faster. In a way, it's
like watching Spider-Man battle his stronger self when you see the
in-air ballet between the two. It's very exciting to watch."
Marvel comic introduced Venom in the 1980s. He made his first
appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #298, and Eddie Brock appeared for
the first time two issues later. Previously, Spider-Man's black suit
had first been featured on the cover of Secret Wars #8, in 1984.
had been a Marvel fan for years, and he relished the opportunity to
portray one of his all-time favorite villains: "I was reading the
comics years ago when Venom appeared, and I remember thinking he was
just the coolest, most charismatic character," says Grace. "I was so
honored just to come in to meet with Sam, Laura, and Avi; it was great
to hear Sam outline the entire plot of the film. I was nervous and
excited, and I still felt that way a year later, as we were shooting the
After Grace was offered the role of Eddie Brock/Venom,
director Sam Raimi discussed the character in depth with him. "Sam's
take on Venom being kind of an evil double of Peter was really
interesting to me," Grace continues. "We discussed that Venom delights
in being evil. He gets drunk on that power very quickly."
Sandman, who is present very early in the film, my character, Eddie,
undergoes a very slow transformation -- it's woven in throughout the
story," says Grace. "You wonder if Peter hadn't been under the spell of
something so terrible, would Eddie have had to go so far. It's one of
the many intriguing aspects of the story, having Peter Parker be one of
the reasons that a villain is born."
Ziskin says that Grace was
the ideal choice to portray Eddie Brock/Venom. "Topher is spectacular,
just riveting! He's fun and scary, and a great addition to the
Grace, a self-described "skinny guy," put on about 15
to 20 pounds for the role, working out during the several months before
shooting began. During pre-production, Grace was subjected to body
scans and motion capture data analysis for use by the costume and visual
"They were doing a scan of my body, and
someone mentioned that the scan would be really helpful for making my
action figure. My action figure!" recalls Grace. "It hadn't even
occurred to me that I would become an action figure! It was very
Another fan favorite, Gwen
Stacy, makes her film debut in Spider-Man(tm) 3. Well known to fans of
the comic books, Gwen made her first appearance in December 1965 (The
Amazing Spider-Man #31) and quickly became Peter Parker's first love.
Spider-Man(tm) 3, Gwen is a beautiful classmate who's developed a crush
on Spider-Man. Her presence brings a new dynamic to his relationship
with his true love, M.J. Gwen is also the object of desire for Eddie
Brock, who mistakes her casual friendliness for romantic interest.
Dallas Howard takes on the role. She says that despite the differences
between the comic book and screen versions of her character, Howard was
able to use the comic book as inspiration in bringing Gwen Stacy to
life. "There was a very deep relationship built into the comic books --
that became my foundation," says the actress. "Gwen is a supporting
character in this film, but there are nuances and subtext built into
Gwen's scenes with Peter. She's not a mere distraction for Peter
Parker. This is a person who, had things been different, could have been
a good mate for him. Because her father is a police captain, she's
accustomed to someone leaving and putting his life in jeopardy every day
and loving him unconditionally. I was able to build on that, to play
the character that was written in the comic book."
Ziskin notes that Howard was particularly excited to perform her own
stunts and game for anything that Raimi threw her way. "Bryce just
knocked us out when she came in to read with Tobey for the part of Gwen
Stacy," recalls Ziskin. "She had this kind of sunshine in the midst of a
lot of darkness and drama in the story. She was such a trooper, too.
Anything we asked her to do -- whether it be hanging from a building
several stories up or soaring in the air with Spider-Man -- she was
Oscar® nominee James Cromwell plays Gwen's father,
NYPD Captain George Stacy, who shares with Peter disturbing new
information about the death of Uncle Ben, and who becomes concerned with
Eddie Brock's intense interest in his daughter. Theresa Russell plays
Emma Marko, Flint Marko's estranged wife.
"It's wonderful to
bring new actors into the series because, although you have an existing
set of rules and storylines you want to adhere to, at the same time you
need to shake it up, bringing new voices and energies to the film that
we haven't experienced before," notes Raimi. "It gives the audience a
new experience, with the characters they love, but with a new energy
dynamic with those new faces on screen with them."
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
terms of logistics and scope, Spider-Man(tm) 3 is by far the largest of
the three films," says Ziskin. "We want to fulfill the audience's
expectations, yet bring new and exciting experiences to the third movie.
Sam has really upped the ante for this film, in terms of action
sequences and visual effects involving Sandman and Venom, so it is a
gigantic endeavor, with over 1,000 people working toward that goal."
production, Raimi relied on key members of his filmmaking team to bring
to life before the cameras as much of Peter Parker's story as possible.
"Whenever it's safe and practical, I like to capture the action in
camera," says Raimi. "Visual effects are an amazing tool for action
that human beings can't do -- but if a human being can do it, let's do
The talented team of stuntmen was ready, but so was the
cast. Bryce Dallas Howard, especially, surprised the filmmakers by
being game for anything they could throw at her. At one point, the
actress found herself hanging from a harness. "When a runaway
construction crane causes a beam to crash into a building, it demolishes
everything and causes the floor beneath Gwen to collapse," says Howard.
"Gwen tries to hang on to whatever she can grab, but eventually
plummets many stories before being rescued by Spider-Man."
performing several portions of the sequence on soundstages in Los
Angeles, Howard was eager to get in the harness again to fly with
Spider-Man over Sixth Avenue. "What's so great about movies is you get
to really experience these crazy, crazy stunts, things that you would
never emerge from alive in real life," says Howard. "I knew I would be
100% safe because Sam and the stunt team really protect the actors. So I
tried to do as many things as possible, because it's really fun and a
great adrenaline rush!"
Thomas Haden Church was also up to the
challenge -- in fact, even more so. Other than Tobey Maguire --
Spider-Man himself -- Church suffered the most brutal treatment to
complete the stunts for Spider-Man(tm) 3. Whether it was being yanked
five feet in the air so he could do a face-plant in the mud, or being
chased (and caught) by dogs, or dangling off the side of a set, or
falling onto train tracks, or having his face smashed into a pane of
plexiglass, the actor found himself bruised and battered repeatedly, but
was ready for anything. According to producer Grant Curtis, "It wasn't
intentional, but it seemed sometimes like if any actor was required to
get beat up in any way, Thomas was always drawing the short straw."
members of the production team that played key roles in ensuring that
these action sequences were both as safe and as spectacular as possible
were special effects supervisor John R. Frazier (who previously served
in the same capacity on the first two Spider-Man(tm) films) and second
unit director Dan Bradley (a veteran of Spider-Man(tm) 2). "Working
with Sam is like going back to school," says Frazier. "You have that
moment where you say, `Oh, this is going to be really, really hard, but a
lot of fun.' It's not unusual for me to be on a movie like
Spider-Man(tm) 3 for nine months, from the beginning planning stages
One scene that highlights their work is the
Subway Drain portion of an elaborate fight sequence between Spider-Man
and Sandman. Raimi worked closely with Frazier, Bradley, and visual
effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk on the sequence, in which Sandman is
blasted by the force of a burst water pipe and, quite literally, goes
down the drain. Sam wanted Sandman to melt away, in essence, during
"This is the largest water gag for one shot I've
ever done for a film," recalls Frazier, who had previously supervised
the special effects for Poseidon. "We used 50,000 gallons of water,
shooting out of a pipe which blasted the rear of the set fifty feet
away. When you see this sequence, the water appears to be a
six-foot-thick column of water; however, we made the center of the pipe
hollow, and used a restrictor plate to control the size of the column of
water. The water is recirculated using pumps which are able to pump
3,000 gallons a minute. We can fill both tanks in about five minutes,
so that we are ready for another take."
The sequence was covered
using eight cameras, according to Stokdyk. "This sequence is where
Spider-Man discovers Sandman's weakness -- water. We had to put a CG
Sandman in here because the velocity of the water is too great to have
Thomas Haden Church or a stuntman perform portions of the sequence.
Water is a huge challenge for visual effects, especially on a large
scale, so our goal here was to seamlessly integrate the elements for
this sequence between practical and CG."
For Bradley, one
favorite scene is the fight between Peter and Harry in the den of the
Osborn mansion -- which contrasts nicely with the aerial battle among
superheroes earlier in the film. "It's a great fight, because it's
mano-a-mano," Bradley says. "These two guys love each other like
brothers -- there's a lot of history between them. Because of
confusion, miscommunication, and immaturity, they end up hurting each
"We worked closely with Sam in choreographing the fight,"
says Bradley. "Sam wanted this to be a fight between two old friends
who had a falling out, rather than a `superhero' fight. It had to be
driven by the emotions of the two characters, better told through a
style of fighting that the audience might relate to. Sam, Tobey, James,
and my team worked hand in hand, so that the choreography felt real and
true to these characters."
Bradley's and Frazier's work is also
on display in an action sequence during a bank heist, in which a
security guard (played by none other than producer Grant Curtis) falls
victim to Sandman's wrath. "As a producer, Grant is uniquely qualified
for guarding money," laughs Bradley, "so Sam typecast him and invited
him to spend a lot of time on set being buried underneath tons of sand
as one of the armored car guards."
Apprehensive as he might have
been about performing the stunt, Curtis says that it would have been
pointless to argue. "I've worked with Sam for ten years, so I know that
once a decision's been made, he's going to get his way," he says.
sequence begins spectacularly, when Sandman smashes into the top of the
armored car with his fist -- which, in reality, Frazier's team made of
polyurethane foam. It was eight feet tall, six feet wide, and weighed
over 500 pounds. Then, debris -- sand -- came flying at Curtis. "On
the first take, I anticipated the crash and reacted too early," he
remembers. After an adjustment, he nailed the second take.
the end of the sequence, the guard is buried in sand. To film the
scene, the armored car was lifted and tilted at a fifty-degree angle so
that the sand could be dumped in and fill the car but with a fraction of
the pressure on Curtis. The producer soon found himself beneath 4,000
pounds of ground corncob -- the filmmakers' ingenious substitute for
The idea of using ground corncob as a double for sand did
not come immediately to the filmmakers. The first man charged with
investigating what kind of sand would make Sandman was costume designer
James Acheson. After all, as part of the team responsible for the look
of the character, Acheson would have to answer some critical questions
early in production. What does a character made from sand look like?
Would his face be gritty or smooth? Would his clothes also be made of
The first order of business for Acheson and the
filmmakers became deciding what kind of sand, exactly, would make up the
villain. Different kinds of sand from around the world were brought in
and examined. However, in their investigation, the filmmakers quickly
discovered that not only would importing sand be costly, but also, due
to its weight, too much of it would be unsafe for the actors and
stuntmen. At the end of the day, the creative solution of ground
corncob was perfect, because it is both safe and effective: it looks
like sand but weighs only half as much.
Whether helping to
figure out what kind of sand would make Sandman or solving any number of
other costuming challenges, Acheson's motto was: when in doubt, go back
to the original text. "We derive our inspiration, as always, from the
comic," he says. "Sandman is one of these remarkable characters who can
change shape, dissolve, disappear, grow, or become mud or concrete. We
designed various stages and different scales of Sandman's evolution,
working with wonderful sculptors to create maquettes, small statues of
Sandman in his various appearances."
As much as Sandman required
each of the departments to step up their game, so, too, did Venom --
Spider-Man's equal and opposite. Acheson and his team created various
stages of Venom's look, working with Raimi to create a tension in the
sculpting of the suit. "It was important to Sam and to James that we
keep the suit really sharp and aggressive, as with the tendrils that
crawl across Venom's face at points," says head specialty costumer
Shownee Smith, whose company Frontline Design worked under Acheson's
direction to manufacture the specialty costumes for the film.
order for the audience to connect with the characters, Raimi felt it
was essential that the eyes of the masked and the villainous characters
be visible at times during the course of the story. "For Sam, it was
very important to see Topher's eyes through the suit," says Acheson.
"Sam wants the emotion that real eyes and a real face convey, so in
order to maintain that, we designed various stages that Venom goes
through before he becomes a complete monster creation."
scenes where Brock transitions into Venom, Grace spent an hour being
placed into the suit, which added between 120 and 140 pounds to his
weight. The actor then spent an additional four and a half hours in
makeup for the addition of various appliances, including special sets of
teeth worn by Grace to give the character the illusion of a larger,
more menacing mouth. The filmmakers also attached monofilament to the
skin on Grace's face so that they could pull and distort the character
as he makes his transformation.
"At one point while shooting the
transition scenes, I thought, `What have I signed up for?!'" Grace
laughs. "I had black goo poured all over me, wires attached to my face
that people with fishing poles were pulling up, and other people below
me were pulling down ... When you see my character in pain, well, there
wasn't a whole lot of acting required."
Acheson also was
responsible for helping to design another villain, of sorts: the black
suit itself. When the goo attaches itself to Spider-Man's suit, it
turns black and brings out some of the darker sides of Peter's
personality. For Acheson, that presented a challenge -- how to design a
costume that would reinforce the idea that a costume was affecting the
character? "It is the same fabric as the Spider-Man suit, but dyed a
different color, and we've changed the color of the highlights,"
explains Acheson. "We've also changed the eyes slightly and have coated
the suit with a grid, printed in Plastisol, which we've screen printed
onto the suit. It is a similar grid system to the red and blue
Spider-Man suit, but printed with a black sheen that, we hope, gives the
suit a kind of liquidity. It becomes almost an organic structural
element within the suit."
Whether it's the familiar red and
blue costume or the new black one -- building a Spider-Man suit is an
enormous undertaking, according to Acheson. It takes 200 man-hours to
create one Spider-Man suit -- and filming required 40 suits. That's
8,000 man-hours just to create the Spider-Man suit -- not counting
Spider-Man's black suit or any other costumes.
the actors' movements when designing for their characters, and takes
into account the wire work they will need to perform when creating the
costumes. "Nearly all of the characters in this film wear safety
harnesses under their clothes, which obviously affects the way the
clothes move and the way the actor moves, so we keep all of these
aspects in mind during the design process," he says.
had designed the costumes for Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2, says
that the Spider-Man(tm) series still intrigues and challenges him. "I
continue to be interested in working with different technologies such as
foam, plastics and metals, as well as fabric," he notes. "I'm
interested in the fusion between the sculptor, the special effects shop,
and the costume workshop. We had a lot of interaction among those
departments with Spider-Man(tm) 3."
Also interacting with each of
the departments was production designer J. Michael Riva, the member of
the team responsible for bringing Raimi's stylish vision to life. Riva
is especially proud of his work in creating the construction site that
serves as the arena for the film's final battle. "Making a construction
site doesn't sound very difficult, but if you have only eight weeks to
design and build it, it's practically impossible," he says. "We used
over 20 tons of steel, 100 welders, and 200 carpenters working around
the clock, seven days a week to get it done! But we all did it."
set took six weeks to complete, using tons of steel from a cancelled
building project. A construction elevator, complete with operator,
transported cast and crew to the various levels of the elaborate set.
For the extensive lighting and electrical needs required for the
sequence, a labyrinth of connections was designed and installed eighty
feet above the stage floor, using over four miles of electrical cable.
By the time the set was ready for shooting, Stage 27 was outfitted with
approximately 21,000 amps, enough power to service over 200 homes.
great thing about a construction site is that it's a very dangerous
place. First, besides the implied height of the set, you have a lot of
steel and rebar lying around at such a site. You can always rely on Sam
to see opportunities and come up with an effective way to use these set
elements to enhance the danger in a scene," says Riva. "Second, it was
an open structure, pretending to be 50 stories high, open on all sides.
It offered Sam a jungle gym of possibilities to web up and down, to do
a chase all over the face of the steel structure. The higher they go
fighting their way up the building, the more the danger and tension
increase. It's a long way to fall if you're not Spider-Man!"
way that the filmmakers were able to reach such great heights is that
many members of the crew are veterans of either Spider-Man(tm) or
Spider-Man(tm) 2 or both films. One such example is a member of
Frazier's special effects crew -- "webmaster" George Stevens, who was in
charge of designing and building all of the webs in Spider-Man(tm) 2,
returned to tackle a similar job for Spider-Man(tm) 3. For a memorable
scene early in the film, in which Peter and M.J. share a romantic
evening in a giant web under the stars, Stevens built a web measuring 26
by 32 feet. "Counting the research we did before we starting building,
we worked on that web for two months," says Stevens. When the time
came for filming, Maguire and Dunst were lifted by harness and lowered
into the web.
ABOUT THE VISUAL EFFECTS
always demands new things, to be taken to new places," says director Sam
Raimi. "When it comes to visual effects, that means you either rely on
existing technology and apply it in new ways or develop new technology
to bring about these fantastic sights. You're always asking yourself,
`What haven't I seen before?' Well, if you haven't seen it before,
there's probably no technology to bring it about. In almost every case,
we had to develop the means to pull off the effects for Spider-Man(tm)
For visual effects supervisor Scott Stokdyk -- the man
charged with bringing the visual effects to the screen -- those words
were the beginning of a two-year process to develop the technology that
would make Spider-Man(tm) 3 the most visually stunning film in the
series so far. As great as the challenge to bring Sandman to the
screen was for the practical effects departments, perhaps no group faced
a greater hurdle than Stokdyk's team. "When we began the
pre-production process, the computer programs had not yet been developed
which could achieve the look of Sandman and his capabilities that Sam
wanted to see," recalls producer Grant Curtis. "However, Scott Stokdyk
and his team created new technology to manipulate every piece of sand on
our character. The existing technology allowed management of thousands
of particles at once -- but to animate Sandman the way Sam wanted to,
we would have to be able to render billions of particles. In the end,
the new software they wrote required ten man-years to code." A team of
programming engineers, led by Douglas Bloom, Jonathan Cohen, and Chris
Allen, stepped up to deliver the software that would give the animators
the tool they needed to do their job.
Producer Avi Arad notes
that before any work could begin, the animators first had to know what
they were up against. "We had to understand how sand behaves. Only
after we did that could we work out the mathematical equations to know
how to manipulate it."
Stokdyk saw from the very beginning that
to bring Sandman to the screen would require his team to step up their
game. "We knew from the start of this movie that we were facing a huge
challenge from an effects and character animation perspective -- sand,"
says Stokdyk. "Sam wanted the on-screen sand to be controllable, but
not magical. The sand had to flow in a very realistic fashion. We've
all seen falling sand, so that had to sell as real. But the sand would
also have to flow up and form into a human being."
that he and his team prepared for the challenge by first observing how
sand moves in the real world. "One of the first things we did was to
organize a sand shoot with Sam and Bill Pope, the director of
photography," Stokdyk continues. "We shot footage of sand every way we
would need it -- thrown up, thrown against blue screen, over black
screen. John Frazier, the special effects supervisor, shot it out of an
aero can at a stuntman. Anything we could imagine sand doing in the
film, we shot."
What they found was a new way to think about
sand. "Sand has unique challenges in that it behaves sometimes like a
solid -- you'll often see individual grains flying -- and sometimes like
a liquid -- think of rolling sand dunes," Stokdyk continues. "We knew
that raw particle count was going to be our big challenge -- not only
from a technical standpoint, but from an artistic one, combining effects
animation of sand flying around with character-driven animation."
Stokdyk and the effects animators were working out the "quantum
mechanics" of the motion of sand, Spencer Cook, the animation supervisor
on Spider-Man(tm) 3, began the process of designing the character.
"Sandman is really an interesting challenge in that he requires such
integration between character animation and effects animation," he says.
"The sand, and the way sand moves on his body, and the way he moves
are all intimately tied together. Not only did we have to animate the
character realistically and in line with Thomas's performance, but all
while chunks of sand are falling off the character."
character there, emoting, but it's just a pile of sand," says Stokdyk.
"If we've pulled together enough grains of sand to make people feel
something, then we've pulled it off."
In the end, the artists
were all extremely proud of their creation. "Sony Pictures Imageworks
delivered on Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2, but for Spider-Man(tm)
3 it changed the industry standard," says Curtis.
course, was not the only character that posed a considerable challenge
for Cook; animating the black-suited Spider-Man required subtle changes
to reflect the character's more aggressive personality. "He'll move a
little quicker here and there, hunch his shoulders a little more, pull
his elbows up a little higher when he's stuck to a wall. We tried to
find poses that the classic Spider-Man would not do -- where the
red-suited Spider-Man was graceful and elegant in his motions,
black-suited Spider-Man is more blunt, rough, and reckless."
creating Venom, Stokdyk notes that the character has at least three
distinct stages. First, of course, is the initial transformation, in
which Topher Grace's skin is pulled away from his body and tendrils of
goo cross his face until they completely envelop him. "As he gets
angrier, he turns into more of a monster, more of a beast," Stokdyk
notes. First, he becomes a kind of double for Spider-Man, played by
Grace. By the very end of the film, he becomes an entirely CG character
-- the classic Venom from the comic books, with a menacing, unhinged
jaw and full mouth of very sharp teeth. "Everything is alive on
`comic-book Venom,'" Stokdyk continues. "The challenge was to make a
character that was monstrous, very detailed, very kinetic -- but not
delicate. Despite all the detail, he's still menacing."
Sandman, black-suited Spider-Man, and Venom had been the only great
challenges that Stokdyk and his team would face, it would have been
enough. But Stokdyk was also determined to break new ground in terms of
live-action integration with the visual effects. The supervisor was on
hand during production so that he could be ready to take the ball as
soon as the scenes were filmed. "It was important to Sam and me to
incorporate as much live action into the CG as possible," he says. "The
typical reason a shot is animated is because a person can't do all of
it. We wanted to find a way to have an actor or stunt person do part of
the action, and synthesize the rest. The goal was to find a balance
between keeping the shot real and making it exciting and cinematic."
dramatic example of this idea comes early in the film, as Peter Parker
finds himself ambushed by the New Goblin -- his friend, Harry Osborn.
Interestingly, this scene was the very first shot in principal
photography on Spider-Man(tm) 3 and began right where Spider-Man(tm) 2
left off. Stage 30 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California
-- the final stage used for Spider-Man(tm) 2 for the elaborate Doc Ock
pier set -- became the first site for filming on Spider-Man(tm) 3. A
brick wall and alley set was created by the art department and rigged by
the stunt department for the aerial battle.
"It was Sam's idea
to show Peter fighting as Peter, not as Spider-Man," says producer Avi
Arad. "It's a terrific moment, because it brings home what a personal
battle this is for Peter when you can see his face."
Maguire and James Franco completed much of the aerial stunt sequence
themselves, doing wire work suspended high above the stage floor.
"Tobey is really handy with stunt situations, and he picks it up really
quickly," says stunt coordinator Scott Rogers. "James is also terrific
-- he's got a great attitude. Both actors are used to the type of
physicality required for their roles, and they excelled."
Stokdyk, achieving such great heights would not have been possible
without the contribution from his team at Sony Pictures Imageworks,
assembling, in the end, between 200 and 250 people to complete more than
900 effects shots. "You live and die by your team," says Stokdyk.
"They were always ready to respond, always on their toes. That's part
of the process of working with Sam; you have to be flexible and ready to
ABOUT THE CAST
TOBEY MAGUIRE (Peter
Parker/Spider-Man) reunites with Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and
director Sam Raimi for Spider-Man(tm) 3, the third installment of a
franchise that to date has grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide.
both critical and commercial success in his career, Maguire recently
starred opposite George Clooney and Cate Blanchett in Steven
Soderbergh's The Good German. Maguire's credits include an acclaimed
performance as horse jockey Red Pollard in Gary Ross's Seabiscuit. The
race horse epic received seven Academy Award® nominations including Best
An actor since his childhood, Maguire has appeared in
numerous film and television projects, including This Boy's Life, in
which he starred opposite Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio; and
Griffin Dunne's 1996 Academy Award®-nominated short Duke of Groove,
featuring Kate Capshaw, Uma Thurman and Kiefer Sutherland. In 1997,
Maguire followed that up with the Fox Searchlight release The Ice Storm,
directed by Ang Lee. The film put Maguire on the map with critics and
audiences alike for his portrayal of misunderstood youth.
other credits include Woody Allen's literary satire Deconstructing
Harry; Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the
novel by Hunter S. Thompson; and New Line's 1998 fantasy Pleasantville,
directed by Gary Ross and co-starring Reese Witherspoon. Maguire
cemented his career as a compelling actor with turns as Homer Wells in
Lasse Hallstrom's poignant coming-of-age drama The Cider House Rules (a
film nominated for seven Academy Awards®); Jake Roedel in Ang Lee's Ride
with the Devil, the story of a young American bushwhacker striving to
define himself in a country redefining its image amidst social turmoil;
and James Leer in Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys, in which Maguire starred
opposite Michael Douglas as a student with a tendency to fictionalize
his own family history.
Maguire's first outing as a producer
was the big-screen adaptation of David Benioff's novel "The 25th Hour"
for the Walt Disney Company. The critically acclaimed film was directed
by Spike Lee and stars Ed Norton.
Maguire is developing several
projects through Maguire Entertainment, among them Tokyo Suckerpunch,
an adaptation by writer Ed Solomon of Isaac Adamson's novel, which tells
the story of a young columnist who portrays himself as a hero living in
a fictionalized version of modern-day Tokyo. Maguire is producing with
Red Wagon Entertainment's Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher. Also in
development is the big-screen adaptation of Jonathan Tropper's
bestselling novel, Everything Changes, which Dan Futterman (Capote) is
currently writing. Maguire will produce with Wendy Finerman for Columbia
Pictures. Maguire will also produce Hot Plastic with Radar Pictures and
Ted Tally for Focus Features. Based upon the celebrated novel by Peter
Craig (who is adapting the screenplay), Hot Plastic centers on a father
and son con team who both fall for the same woman.
DUNST (Mary Jane Watson) recently starred in Sofia Coppola's Marie
Antoinette opposite Jason Schwartzman and in the Cameron Crowe film
Elizabethtown opposite Orlando Bloom. Prior to that, she starred in
Wimbledon as a young tennis ace opposite Paul Bettany, and reprised her
role as Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man(tm) 2, a role she originated two
years earlier in Spider-Man(tm).
Dunst also starred in the
acclaimed surreal comedy Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, written
by Academy Award® nominee Charlie Kaufman, directed by Michel Gondry,
and starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and Mark Ruffalo; Mona Lisa Smile
with Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal; the
independent film Levity starring Billy Bob Thornton and Morgan Freeman;
Peter Bogdanovich's The Cat's Meow; the box-office hit Bring It On;
Crazy/Beautiful, directed by John Stockwell; Little Women, with Susan
Sarandon and Winona Ryder; Jumanji, with Robin Williams; Mother Night,
with Nick Nolte; the Barry Levinson film Wag The Dog, starring Dustin
Hoffman and Robert DeNiro; Neil Jordan's Interview with the Vampire,
opposite Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt; and Small Soldiers, with the late
Phil Hartman. She is set to star in an as-yet-untitled film about the
late Marla Ruzicka, a relief worker who advocated for Iraqi and Afghani
victims of the American-led invasions of their respective countries.
has amassed a growing list of accolades. Her performance in Interview
with the Vampire earned her a Golden Globe nomination, the Blockbuster
Video Award for Best Supporting Newcomer, and an MTV Award for Best
Breakthrough Artist. The Hollywood Reporter also named Dunst Best Young
Star for her portrayal of a teenage prostitute for the hit series "E.R."
Earlier this year, she was awarded Female Star of the Year at ShoWest.
got her start at the age of three, when she began filming television
commercials. With more than 50 commercials under her belt, she made the
jump to the big screen in 1989 with Woody Allen's New York Stories.
career has not been limited to the big screen. In addition to her work
on "E.R.," she starred on Showtime's "The Outer Limits" and "Devil's
Arithmetic" produced by Dustin Hoffman and Mimi Rogers, the telefilm
"Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy," the Wonderful World of Disney's
"Tower of Terror," and Lifetime Television's "15 and Pregnant."
playing Harry Osborn in Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2, JAMES
FRANCO (Harry Osborn) returns to the role in Spider-Man(tm) 3.
metamorphosis into the title role of James Dean in TNT's biopic earned
rave reviews and industry-wide attention. For his portrayal of the
screen legend, he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture
made for Television, and was nominated for an Emmy and a Screen Actors
Franco, who recently starred in Karen Moncrieff's
The Dead Girl, next stars opposite Seth Rogen in David Gordon Green's
comedy Pineapple Express, produced by Judd Apatow. He also stars in
First Look's An American Crime, starring Catherine Keener; In the Valley
of Elah, written and directed by Paul Haggis; and the dark comedy
Camille starring opposite Sienna Miller.
His credits include
the World War I drama Flyboys; the naval academy drama Annapolis; the
romantic drama Tristan & Isolde; John Dahl's The Great Raid; Robert
Altman's The Company; Nicolas Cage's directorial debut Sonny; City by
the Sea opposite Robert DeNiro; and the Martin Scorsese-produced Deuces
On television, Franco starred in NBC's critically acclaimed series "Freaks and Geeks."
has also written, directed and starred in several short plays,
including "Fool's Gold" and "The Ape," which have been adapted to film.
He is currently in post-production on Good Time Max, which he wrote,
directed, and stars in.
He resides in Los Angeles.
HADEN CHURCH (Flint Marko/Sandman) received an Academy Award®
nomination for his role as Jack, starring opposite Paul Giamatti, in
Alexander Payne's critically acclaimed film Sideways. The Fox
Searchlight Pictures release premiered at the 29th Toronto Film Festival
and went on to win numerous awards in 2004 and 2005, including a Golden
Globe for Best Comedy Picture, the Broadcast Film Critics Award for
Best Picture, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Ensemble Cast, and
six Independent Spirit Awards. Church was also honored as Best
Supporting Actor by the Broadcast Film Critics and the Independent
Church recently starred opposite Robert Duvall in
American Movie Classics' Western epic telefilm "Broken Trail," directed
by Walter Hill, and earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for his
performance. He lent his unique voice in two voiceover roles -- as
Dwayne in DreamWorks' Over the Hedge and as Brooks the crow in
Paramount's Charlotte's Web. Church made his feature film debut in 1993
in Tombstone, directed by George P. Cosmatos. His other feature films
include the box-office blockbuster George of the Jungle opposite Brendan
Fraser, and the film Free Money opposite Marlon Brando. In addition,
Church is the co-screenwriter and director of the film Rolling Kansas,
which premiered as an official selection to the Sundance Film Festival
For television, Church starred as the mechanic Lowell
Mather on the long-running NBC comedy "Wings." He also starred as the
self-righteous Ned Dorsey opposite Debra Messing in the Fox series "Ned
and Stacey." In 1997, Time Magazine proclaimed that "Ned Dorsey is one
of the six reasons to watch television." That same year, and for the
same performance, Church was declared "unfit to live with dogs" by
National Public Radio.
Church resides on his ranch in Texas.
GRACE (Eddie Brock/Venom), who was a weekly fixture in homes across
America in the hit comedy series "That `70s Show," seamlessly
transitioned from the small screen to the big screen. As testament to
his success, he was honored with Breakthrough Acting Awards by both the
National Board of Review and the New York Online Film Critics for his
starring roles in In Good Company and P.S. in 2004.
Grace is executive producing and starring in Kids in America for
Imagine/Universal. Grace co-wrote the script with his producing partner
Gordon Kaywin and stars opposite Anna Faris. He will also executive
produce with Kaywin and star in Source Code, a sci-fi thriller for
Universal. Grace also has the comedy Coxblocker in development with
Seann William Scott.
Grace's major breakthrough in film came with
his debut role in Steven Soderbergh's Oscar®-nominated Traffic, which
he followed up with a memorable cameo in Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven.
He also reprised his cameo in the sequel, Ocean's Twelve. Grace's other
credits include Robert Luketic's romantic comedy Win a Date With Tad
Hamilton!, with Kate Bosworth and Josh Duhamel; and Mike Newell's Mona
Lisa Smile, opposite Julia Roberts and Kirsten Dunst.
into acting in high school, where he starred in productions such as "The
Pirates of Penzance," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,"
and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Upon graduation,
he moved to Los Angeles to attend USC where after only a short time he
was called in to read for the starring role of Eric Forman on "That `70s
Show" by a high-school classmate's parents who remembered him from a
high-school performance. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
DALLAS HOWARD (Gwen Stacy) most recently starred in the M. Night
Shyamalan film Lady in the Water opposite Paul Giamatti, followed by
Kenneth Branagh's forthcoming adaptation of the Shakespeare classic "As
You Like It" for HBO Films, in which she stars as Rosalind opposite
Kevin Kline and Alfred Molina. Prior to that, she appeared opposite
Willem Dafoe and Danny Glover in the Lars von Trier film Manderlay, the
filmmaker's follow-up to Dogville. Manderlay premiered at the 2005
Cannes Film Festival.
Howard made her feature film debut starring
in the M. Night Shyamalan film The Village opposite Adrien Brody,
Joaquin Phoenix, and Sigourney Weaver. After leaving the Tisch School
of the Arts program at New York University, Howard immediately began
working on the New York stage. Her stage work includes the role of
Marianne in the Roundabout's Broadway production of "Tartuffe;" Rosalind
in the Public Theatre's "As You Like It;" Sally Platt in the Manhattan
Theater Club's production of Alan Ayckbourn's "House/Garden;" and as
Emily in the Bay Street Theater Festival production of "Our Town."
CROMWELL (Captain Stacy) received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar®
nomination for his memorable performance as Farmer Hoggett in the
smash-hit, Babe. Cromwell's recent motion picture work includes The
Longest Yard; I, Robot; Space Cowboys; Frank Darabont's critically
acclaimed The Green Mile; The General's Daughter; Snow Falling on
Cedars; The Bachelor; The Sum of All Fears; DreamWorks SKG's Spirit:
Stallion of The Cimarron; Stephen Frears' Oscar®-nominated film The
Queen; and Becoming Jane.
Additionally, he starred as Grandpa in
The Education of Little Tree, and Police Captain Dudley Smith in L.A.
Confidential. Among his many other films are Star Trek: First Contact,
The People vs. Larry Flynt, and Babe: Pig in the City.
can now be seen on Fox's "24" as Phillip Bauer. He earned Emmy
nominations for his work on the HBO original series "Six Feet Under,"
the HBO movie "RKO 281," and the NBC drama "ER." Cromwell also starred
in TNT's "A Slight Case of Murder." His body of work encompasses dozens
of miniseries and movies-of-the-week, including a starring role in
TNT's "A Slight Case of Murder," a cameo appearance in HBO's "Angels in
America," "The West Wing," "Picket Fences," "Home Improvement," "L.A.
Law," and "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
Cromwell has also
performed in many revered plays, including "Hamlet," "The Iceman
Cometh," "Devil's Disciple," "All's Well That Ends Well," "Beckett," and
"Othello" in many of the country's most distinguished theaters,
including the South Coast Repertory, the Goodman Theatre, the Mark Taper
Forum, the American Shakespeare Festival, Center Stage, the Long Wharf
Theatre, and the Old Globe. He recently played A. E. Houseman in the
American premiere of Tom Stoppard's "The Invention of Love" at A.C.T. in
Cromwell has directed at resident theaters
across the country and was the founder and artistic director of his own
company, Stage West, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He also co-directed
a short film, which was shown at the London Film Festival.
in Los Angeles, Cromwell grew up in New York and Waterford,
Connecticut, and studied at Carnegie Mellon University (then Carnegie
Tech). His father, John Cromwell, an acclaimed actor and director, was
one of the first presidents of the Screen Directors Guild. His mother,
Kay Johnson, was a stage and film actress.
The veteran film
and stage actress, ROSEMARY HARRIS (Aunt May), returns to her role as
Aunt May in Spider-Man(tm) 3, after having portrayed Peter Parker's
beloved aunt in the blockbuster hits Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm)
Harris received an Academy Award® nomination for her
performance in 1994's Tom & Viv opposite Willem Dafoe, and more
recently portrayed the widowed matriarch Valerie in the critically
acclaimed Sunshine with Ralph Fiennes. In the film, Valerie's younger
incarnation is played by Harris' own daughter, the Tony-winning actress
Harris appeared opposite Annette Bening in Being
Julia and she recently completed work on Sidney Lumet's forthcoming
Before The Devil Knows You're Dead opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Ethan Hawke, and Albert Finney.
Harris first worked with director
Sam Raimi in the supernatural thriller The Gift. She made her feature
film debut in 1954 opposite Elizabeth Taylor, Stewart Granger, and Peter
Ustinov in the classic Beau Brummell and has appeared in such films as
The Boys From Brazil, Crossing Delancey, director Kenneth Branagh's
Hamlet, and My Life So Far.
Harris is an eight-time Tony Award
nominee for her theater work and won a Tony in 1966 for her performance
as Queen Eleanor of Aquitane in "A Lion in Winter" opposite Robert
Preston. Her seven other Tony nominations were for her stage roles in
"Old Times," "The Royal Family," "Heartbreak House," "Pack of Lies,"
Noel Coward's "Hay Fever," "A Delicate Balance," and "Waiting in the
Wings" opposite Lauren Bacall.
Harris was recently honored with
an Obie Award for her performance in Edward Albee's "All Over." She
made her Broadway stage debut with Moss Hart's "Climate of Eden" and her
extensive credits include performances in "The Seven Year Itch" in
London and the Broadway production of "Lost in Yonkers." Harris'
classical work at the Old Vic and the Royal National Theater includes
roles as Desdemona opposite Richard Burton's "Othello," Ophelia to Peter
O'Toole's "Hamlet," and Ilyena in Chekov's "Uncle Vanya" with Laurence
Olivier and Michael Redgrave.
Harris received a Golden Globe
award for her work in the television production of "The Holocaust" and
an Emmy Award for "Notorious Woman - The Life of George Sand." Her other
television credits include "The Chamomile Lawn" and "Death of a
J.K. SIMMONS (J. Jonah Jameson) reprises the role
he created as Peter Parker's gruff Daily Bugle boss in Spider-Man(tm) 3,
which marks his fifth film collaboration with director Sam Raimi.
Simmons' other films with Raimi are Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2,
The Gift, and For Love of the Game.
Simmons recently appeared in
Thank You For Smoking, The Ladykillers, Hidalgo, Off the Map, First
Snow, Rendition, and the forthcoming Juno. Simmons' other feature films
include The Mexican, Autumn in New York, The Jackal, The Ref, Facedown,
Texas Rangers, Above Freezing, and Extreme Measures.
television, Simmons is a series regular on "The Closer." He also
starred in the acclaimed HBO original series "Oz," and has a recurring
role on "Law & Order." Simmons plays McLaughlin in the upcoming HBO
film "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee." He has appeared in guest spots
on "The West Wing," "Homicide," "New York Undercover," "Feds,"
"Everwood," "ER," and "Spin City." He was a regular on the series "The
Simmons has performed on Broadway in "Laughter on the 23rd
Floor," "Guys and Dolls," "A Few Good Men," "Peter Pan," and "A Change
in the Heir" and off-Broadway in "Das Barbecu" and "Birds of Paradise."
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
RAIMI (Director/Screen Story/Screenplay) returns to helm a third
adventure with one of the world's most popular comic book superheroes in
Spider-Man(tm) 3 after directing the first two blockbuster adventures,
Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2.
Raimi previously directed
the supernatural thriller The Gift starring Cate Blanchett, Hilary
Swank, Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear, and Giovanni Ribisi. Raimi also
directed the acclaimed suspense thriller A Simple Plan, which starred
Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, and Bridget Fonda, and earned Thornton
an Academy Award® nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Additional
directorial credits include the baseball homage For Love of the Game
starring Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston.
With his longtime
producing partner Rob Tapert, Raimi returned to his horror roots in
2002, forming Ghost House Pictures. Ghost House is dedicated to the
financing, development, and distribution of high concept genre films.
Their next release is David Slade's 30 Days of Night, based on the comic
book by Steve Niles.
Known for his imaginative filmmaking style,
richly drawn characters and offbeat humor, Raimi wrote and directed the
cult classic The Evil Dead, which became an immediate favorite when it
debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and spawned the equally impressive
Evil Dead II.
Raimi then proved his mastery of the fantasy
thriller genre, writing and directing Darkman starring Liam Neeson and
Frances McDormand, which he followed up with Army of Darkness, a comic
sword-and-sorcery fantasy starring Bruce Campbell. Raimi also served as
executive producer for John Woo's Hard Target, and co-wrote (with Joel
and Ethan Coen) The Hudsucker Proxy starring Tim Robbins, Paul Newman,
and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Raimi also directed the western The Quick and
the Dead starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Sharon Stone, Russell Crowe, and
Raimi's extensive television work includes the hit
syndicated series "Xena: Warrior Princess," which he executive produced
with Tapert. The highly successful series starring Lucy Lawless ran for
six seasons. Raimi and Tapert also executive produced the enormously
popular "Hercules: Legendary Journeys" and served as executive producers
for the CBS series "American Gothic."
Raimi's interest in
filmmaking began as a youngster in Michigan, where he directed his own
Super 8 films. Later, he left Michigan State University to form
Renaissance Pictures with Tapert and longtime friend and actor Bruce
IVAN RAIMI (Screen Story/Screenplay) is a
screenwriter and physician. In addition to Spider-Man(tm) 3, Raimi has
collaborated with his brother, director Sam Raimi, on many writing
projects, including the classic comic sword-and-sorcery fantasy Army of
Darkness, starring Bruce Campbell. Ivan co-wrote the screenplay for
Army of Darkness with Sam, who directed the film. He also co-wrote the
comic-book adaptation of Army of Darkness for Dark Horse comics.
Raimi's credits also include the screenplay for the horror thriller
Darkman, starring Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand and directed by Sam
Raimi. He also co-wrote the motorcycle comedy, Easy Wheels. Raimi was
one of the creators on the 1997 ABC series "Spy Game," which starred
Raimi currently lives in the Midwest, where he practices Emergency Medicine and also works as a private investigator.
SARGENT (Screenplay) is a two-time Academy Award® winner for his
screenplays for Julia and Ordinary People and an Academy Award® nominee
for Paper Moon. He has won three Writers Guild Awards (for Julia,
Ordinary People, and Paper Moon), a BAFTA award for Julia and, in 1991,
received the Writers Guild Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement.
Sargent most recently wrote the screenplay for the blockbuster hit
Spider-Man(tm) 2 directed by Sam Raimi.
Sargent wrote the script
for Unfaithful starring Diane Lane. His other films include Anywhere
But Here, Other People's Money, White Palace, Dominick and Eugene, Nuts,
Straight Time, Bobby Deerfield, The Effect of Gamma Rays on
Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, I
Walk the Line, The Sterile Cuckoo, The Stalking Moon, and Gambit.
LEE (Based on the Marvel Comic Book/Executive Producer), the chairman
emeritus of Marvel Comics, is known to millions as the man whose Super
Heroes propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic-book
industry. Hundreds of legendary characters, including Spider-Man, The
Incredible Hulk, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, The
Avengers, The Silver Surfer, Thor and Dr. Strange, all grew out of his
Lee served as executive producer for
Columbia's worldwide blockbusters Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2,
directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.
most recently executive produced the global hit Ghost Rider, which has,
to date, taken in over $200 million worldwide. Lee also executive
produced X-Men: The Last Stand, after executive producing the first two
smash X-Men films. He also served as executive producer of Fantastic
Four, Hulk, Elektra, Daredevil, and the Blade trilogy. Next, Lee will
executive produce Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
was in the early 1960s that Lee ushered in what has come to be known as
"The Marvel Age of Comics," creating major new Super Heroes while
breathing life and style into such old favorites as Captain America, The
Human Torch and The Sub Mariner.
During his first 25 years at
Marvel, as editor, art director and head writer, Lee scripted no fewer
than two and as many as five complete comic books per week. His
prodigious output may comprise the largest body of published work by any
single writer. Additionally, he wrote newspaper features, radio and
television scripts and screenplays.
By the time he was named
publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972, Lee's comics were the nation's
biggest sellers. In 1977, he brought the Spider-Man character to
newspapers in the form of a syndicated strip. This seven-days-a-week
feature, which he has written and edited since its inception, is the
most successful of all syndicated adventure strips, appearing in more
than 500 newspapers worldwide.
In 1981, Marvel launched an
animation studio on the West Coast and Lee moved to Los Angeles to
become creative head of Marvel's cinematic adventures. He began to
transform his Spider-Man and Hulk creations into Saturday morning
television and paved the way for Marvel's entry into live-action feature
Under the umbrella of his new company POW! (Purveyors of
Wonder!) Entertainment, Inc., Lee is creating and executive producing
an animated "Stan Lee Presents" DVD series, with the first three slated
for release this year: "Mosaic" (January `07), "The Condor" (March `07)
and "Ringo" (with Ringo Starr). Lee's television credits with POW!
include serving as executive producer and star on NBC SCI FI's hit
reality series "Who Wants To Be a Superhero?," and as co-producer and
creator of "Stripperella" on the Spike cable channel, in addition to
previously executive producing "Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., "The
Incredible Hulk," "Spider-Man" and "X-Men."
Lee has written more
than a dozen best-selling books, including Stan Lee's Superhero
Christmas, The Origins of Marvel Comics, The Best of the Worst, The
Silver Surfer, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, The Alien Factor,
Bring on the Bad Guys, Riftworld, The Superhero Women and his recent
autobiography Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee.
DITKO (Based on the Marvel Comic by) was born in Johnstown,
Pennsylvania, on November 2, 1927. He studied at the famous Cartoonists
and Illustrators School in New York City, landing his first professional
break in comic books in 1953. Amongst his influences were Mort Meskin,
Jerry Robinson, Burne Hogarth, and Jack Kirby.
In a career
lasting more than 45 years, Ditko has worked on titles such as The
Amazing Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Doctor Strange, Tales of the
Mysterious Traveler, Captain Atom, The Question, Mr. A, The Creeper, The
Hawk and the Dove, Shade the Changing Man, Static and numerous others.
Ditko lives in New York City, and continues to be prolific in his craft.
ZISKIN (Producer) has established herself as one of Hollywood's leading
independent producers and studio executives with a passion for
discovering new talent.
Ziskin returns to produce a third
adventure with one of the world's most popular comic book superheroes in
Spider-Man(tm) 3, after producing the first two blockbuster adventures.
Earlier this year, Ziskin produced the 79th Annual Academy
Awards®, her second time producing the show. In March 2002, Ziskin
produced the 74th Annual Academy Awards® (the first woman to produce the
awards solo). The show was nominated for eight Emmy Awards including
Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special.
executive produced the Norman Jewison-directed HBO Film "Dinner With
Friends," written by Donald Margulies from his Pulitzer Prize-winning
play and starring Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Greg Kinnear, and Toni
Collette. The film was nominated for two Emmy Awards, including
Outstanding Made for Television Movie.
In 1984, Ziskin
partnered with Sally Field in Fogwood Films and produced Murphy's
Romance, which yielded an Academy Award® nomination for James Garner as
Best Actor. She also produced No Way Out starring then-newcomer Kevin
Costner and Gene Hackman. In 1990, she was executive producer of Pretty
Woman, which remains one of the highest grossing films in Disney's
In 1991, Ziskin produced two films -- the comedy hit
What About Bob?, from a story by Ziskin and Alvin Sargent, starring Bill
Murray and Richard Dreyfuss; and the critically acclaimed The Doctor,
starring William Hurt and Christine Lahti under the direction of Randa
Haines. In 1992, Ziskin produced Hero, which was also from a story by
Ziskin and Sargent, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Dustin
Hoffman, Andy Garcia, and Geena Davis. In 1994, she produced To Die For
starring Nicole Kidman (who won a Golden Globe as Best Actress --
Musical or Comedy) and directed by Gus Van Sant. She also developed and
served as executive producer of Columbia Pictures' As Good as It Gets,
which garnered Academy Awards® for stars Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson. In
1994, Ziskin was named president of Fox 2000 Pictures, a newly formed
feature film division of 20th Century Fox. Under her stewardship, Fox
2000 released such films as Courage Under Fire, One Fine Day, Inventing
the Abbotts, Volcano, Soul Food, Never Been Kissed, Fight Club, Anywhere
but Here, Anna and the King, and The Thin Red Line, which garnered
seven Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture.
has been actively involved in issues that concern both the environment
and families, having served on the board of Americans for a Safe Future,
the National Council of Jewish Women, and Education First. In
addition, she was honored by Senator Barbara Boxer as a "Woman Making
History IV," by the City of Hope as Woman of the Year, and she received
Premiere Magazine's Women in Hollywood award, the Big Sisters of Los
Angeles Sterling Award, Women's Image Network Award, Women in Film's
Crystal Award, the Israel Film Festival's Visionary Award and, most
recently, The Producers Guild of America's David O. Selznick Award.
recently, AVI ARAD (Producer) was the chairman and chief executive
officer of Marvel Studios, the film and television division of Marvel
Entertainment, and chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment. In
June of 2006, Arad branched off to form his own production company,
which has produced films based on some of Marvel's most renowned
properties, such as Iron Man, the Hulk and Spider-Man. Arad has been the
driving force behind Marvel's Hollywood renaissance, with a track
record that has been nothing short of spectacular, including a string of
eight consecutive No. 1 box office openings. As an executive producer
and producer, his credits include Spider-Man(tm) and its sequel,
Spider-Man(tm) 2 (Columbia Pictures), which set an industry record for
opening-day box office receipts; X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The
Last Stand (Twentieth Century Fox); The Hulk (Universal Pictures);
Daredevil (New Regency); The Punisher (Lionsgate Entertainment); Blade,
Blade II, and Blade: Trinity (New Line Cinema); Elektra (Twentieth
Century Fox); The Fantastic Four (Twentieth Century Fox); and, most
recently, Ghost Rider (Columbia Pictures). Arad's current live-action
feature film slate includes Spider-Man(tm) 3 (Columbia Pictures),
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Twentieth Century Fox), and
Bratz: The Movie (Lionsgate) -- all slated for 2007 -- with Iron Man
(Paramount Pictures) and The Incredible Hulk (Universal) slated for
Born in Cyprus and raised in Israel, Arad came to the
United States during his college years and enrolled at Hofstra
University to study industrial management. He earned a bachelor of
business administration in 1972. A long-established expert in youth
entertainment, Arad is one of the world's top toy designers. He has been
involved in the creation and development of over 200 successful
products, including action figures, play sets, dolls, toy vehicles,
electronic products, educational software, and video games. In fact,
virtually every major toy and youth-entertainment manufacturer,
including Toy Biz, Hasbro, Mattel, Nintendo, Tiger, Ideal, Galoob, Tyco
and Sega, has been selling his products for more than 20 years.
CURTIS (Producer) most recently served as co-producer on the first two
blockbuster adventures, Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2. He is
also the author of The Spider-Man Chronicles: The Art and Making of
Spider-Man 3, which will be published May 4 by Chronicle Books.
previously served as associate producer on Sam Raimi's supernatural
thriller The Gift starring Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves,
and Giovanni Ribisi. Curtis' association with Raimi began in 1997,
serving as Raimi's assistant on the critically acclaimed A Simple Plan,
which earned Billy Bob Thornton an Academy Award® nomination. He later
worked with Raimi on the baseball drama For Love of the Game starring
Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston.
Curtis graduated from the
University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in marketing. He
received a master's degree in mass communication from Central Missouri
State University, after which he relocated to Los Angeles.
FEIGE (Executive Producer), as President of Production at Marvel
Studios, has creative oversight over the company's film projects, its
animation work for television and DVD, and its theme park activities.
joined Marvel in 2000 and has been involved in key capacities in all of
Marvel's theatrical productions, including the X-Men trilogy,
Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2, and Fantastic Four and its upcoming
sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He is currently
producing Iron Man, which is now before the cameras starring Robert
Downey, Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow; and The Incredible Hulk, which begins
production in June.
In addition to his work on the X-Men and
Spider-Man(tm) franchises, Feige was executive producer on The Hulk,
Elektra and The Punisher, and he co-produced the 2003 hit Daredevil.
In 2003, Feige was included in The Hollywood Reporter's Next Gen Class
of 2003 as one of the top 35 executives poised to become industry
After graduating from the USC's School of
Cinema-Television, Feige worked for Lauren Shuler Donner and Richard
Donner at their Warner Bros.-based The Donners' Company. While there,
he worked on the action-adventure Volcano and the hit romantic comedy
You've Got Mail. He then transitioned into a development position that
led to an associate producer role on X-Men, the film that revamped the
comic book genre.
JOSEPH M. CARACCIOLO (Executive Producer)
recently served as executive producer on the Columbia Pictures film
Guess Who starring Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher. He also served as
executive producer for Columbia Pictures' Spider-Man(tm) 2.
3 marks Caracciolo's fourth film with producer Laura Ziskin, having
served as the executive producer on To Die For, directed by Gus Van Sant
and starring Nicole Kidman, who earned a Golden Globe Award for her
performance. Caracciolo also served in the same capacity on the
Ziskin-produced Hero, which starred Dustin Hoffman, Andy Garcia, and
Geena Davis, and was directed by Stephen Frears. Caracciolo was also the
executive producer for the blockbuster Charlie's Angels starring Drew
Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu; and for two of Adam Sandler's
films, the hit comedies Big Daddy and Mr. Deeds.
numerous other film credits as executive producer include 8MM, Courage
Under Fire, The Sunchaser, My Girl, My Girl 2, Lost in Yonkers, True
Colors, The Dream Team, Parenthood, and Biloxi Blues.
POPE, ASC (Director of Photography) continues -- in his words -- "his
apprenticeship under the tutelage of the master, Sam Raimi," which began
with their collaboration on Raimi's Darkman starring Liam Neeson and
Frances McDormand, continued with the comic sword-and-sorcery fantasy
Army of Darkness, and most recently contributed to the worldwide
box-office phenomenon Spider-Man(tm) 2.
In addition, Pope lensed
the The Matrix trilogy directed by the Wachowski brothers. His other
credits as cinematographer include Clueless, directed by Amy Heckerling;
and Team America: World Police with Matt Stone and Trey Parker.
SPISAK (Production Designer) designed the blockbuster adventures
Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2. He also designed Raimi's The Gift
starring Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank, Keanu Reeves, Greg Kinnear, and
Giovanni Ribisi; and For Love of the Game starring Kevin Costner and
Kelly Preston. More recently, Spisak served as production designer for
Nora Ephron's Bewitched starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.
also designed John Woo's Face/Off starring Nicolas Cage and John
Travolta as well as Heat, directed by Michael Mann and starring Al
Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Val Kilmer. His other film credits include
Disclosure, My Life, Benny & Joon, Pacific Heights, and The Trip to
J. MICHAEL RIVA (Production Designer) is an
Academy Award® nominee for his designs on The Color Purple. He most
recently designed The Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. Riva
designed Zathura: A Space Adventure, Stealth, Charlie's Angels,
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, as well as Ivan Reitman's Dave. Riva
has doubled as the production designer and second unit director on A Few
Good Men, Radio Flyer, Scrooged, and The Goonies. Other memorable
production design credits include Six Days Seven Nights, Evolution,
Congo, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon
2, Lethal Weapon 4, Ordinary People, Bad Boys, and Brubaker.
his television credits is the Emmy Award-winning telefilm "Tuesdays
with Morrie" and "The 74th Academy Awards®," for which he received an
BOB MURAWSKI (Film Editor) most recently
co-edited Sam Raimi's blockbuster hit Spider-Man(tm) and edited
Spider-Man(tm) 2. He also previously co-edited Raimi's The Gift. He
began his career as an assistant editor on Darkman, and then served as
editor on Raimi's Army of Darkness starring Bruce Campbell. Murawski
also edited Hard Target for acclaimed director John Woo. His other
credits as film editor include From Dusk `Til Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money
and Night of the Scarecrow. He did additional editing on the dramatic
television series "American Gothic."
Murawski has cut music
videos for such groups as The Ramones, Motorhead, and Sublime. In
addition to editing, Murawski runs Grindhouse Releasing, a
Hollywood-based distribution company dedicated to the restoration,
preservation, and theatrical distribution of classic exploitation films.
STOKDYK (Visual Effects Supervisor) won the Academy Award® for his work
on Spider-Man(tm) 2. He was also nominated for an Oscar® for his work
on Spider-Man(tm), while collaborating with visual effects designer John
Dykstra and director Sam Raimi.
For Spider-Man(tm), Stokdyk's
team created the digital characters of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin,
as well as an innovative, synthetic Manhattan, which allowed the
filmmakers the ability to move Spider-Man through a virtual cityscape
with complete freedom. For Spider-Man(tm) 2, huge advancements were made
in the digital environment and a unique process was built to recreate
the actors in CG.
Stokdyk joined Imageworks in 1997 working as a
digital artist on Contact and Starship Troopers. He was CG supervisor on
both Godzilla and Stuart Little. Stokdyk received his first Oscar®
nomination as Digital Effects Supervisor for the creation of the
incredible disappearing man and gorilla in Hollow Man (Best Visual
Prior to Imageworks, he worked as a digital
artist on Titanic and Terminator 2:3-D, and as a sequence supervisor on
The Fifth Element
JAMES ACHESON (Costume Designer) most
recently designed the costumes for Sam Raimi's blockbuster hits
Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2. He also served as costume designer
for Daredevil starring Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck.
is a three-time Academy Award® winner for his costume designs, earning
his first award in 1988 for his work on Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last
Emperor starring Peter O'Toole, John Lone, and Joan Chen. He followed up
with a second win in 1989 for Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons
starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Keanu Reeves,
and Uma Thurman. Acheson was honored with his third Academy Award® in
1996 for his designs for the Michael Hoffman-directed Restoration
starring Robert Downey, Jr., Meg Ryan, Ian McKellen, and Sam Neill.
numerous other film credits include The Man in the Iron Mask, Mary
Shelley's Frankenstein, The Sheltering Sky, Highlander, and Bernardo
Bertolucci's Little Buddha, on which he served as costume designer and
production designer. Acheson has collaborated with several members from
the Monty Python comedies, starting in 1979, when he designed the
costumes for Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits starring John Cleese, Sean
Connery, Shelley Duvall, and Michael Palin. He then designed costumes
for Gilliam's Brazil as well as Terry Jones' Monty Python's The Meaning
of Life and The Wind in the Willows, for which he also did production
DANNY ELFMAN (Original Music Themes by) is one of the
world's most versatile and successful contemporary composers. Nominated
for the Academy Award® for his original scores for Good Will Hunting,
Men In Black, and Big Fish, he is perhaps best known for his
collaboration with Tim Burton on thirteen films including Pee's Wee's
Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, Batman (for which he won a Grammy Award for
Best Instrumental and a nomination for Best Score), Edward Scissorhands,
Batman Returns, The Nightmare Before Christmas (another Grammy
nomination for Best Score), Mars Attacks, Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the
Apes, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Corpse Bride.
Elfman most recently wrote the original scores for Meet the
Robinsons and Charlotte's Web. He also wrote the original score for the
Oscar®-winning musical Chicago and scored the worldwide smashes
Spider-Man(tm) and Spider-Man(tm) 2. His credits also include The Hulk,
Red Dragon, Men In Black II, Proof of Life, Family Man, A Simple Plan,
Dolores Claiborne, the Grammy-nominated Dick Tracy, Darkman, Sommersby,
Dead Presidents, Black Beauty, To Die For, and Mission: Impossible.
Elfman is currently scoring the thriller The Kingdom.
YOUNG (Score) has evolved into one of the most skilled of a new
generation of film composers who are able to move effortlessly between
hardcore melodrama and off-the-wall satire and comedy. He combines the
orchestral craftsmanship of the great film composers of the `50s, `60s,
and `70s with an edgy sensibility as well as a keen and sharply tuned
intelligence. His music can enhance dramas with subtlety and simplicity,
propel suspense and action films with powerfully thrusting rhythms and
electrifying textures, and provide comedies and unusual subject matter
with hip, cutting-edge musical commentary. He achieved early recognition
in 1987 with his bone-chilling score to the Clive Barker horror tale
Hellraiser and in 1988 added two more thundering horror scores to his
resume: Hellbound: Hellraiser II and The Fly II.
distinctive and imaginative approaches to several unique projects have
made him a highly sought-after commodity on films with unusual subject
matter. He wrote an ingenious score incorporating breathing effects for
the offbeat film The Vagrant in 1992. His score to the moody
serial-killer film Jennifer Eight added immeasurably to the film's
unnerving atmosphere, while his darkly dramatic score to the Christian
Slater/Kevin Bacon prison drama Murder in the First distinguished it
from several competing courtroom thrillers.
In 1995, his music
elevated a trio of thrillers: the sci-fi horror film Species received an
unnerving score in the manner of Saint-Sans, the cyber-reality
adventure Virtuosity was energized by a supercharged action score, and
the Sigourney Weaver/Holly Hunter serial-killer film Copycat received a
brilliantly nuanced score that burrowed deeply into the psychologies of
both Weaver and Hunter's characters. He tuned in perfectly to the
offbeat sensibility of the Bill Murray comedy The Man Who Knew Too
Little and provided an appropriate urban blues groove to the John Dahl
gambling melodrama Rounders. His other works include the scores for Head
Above Water; Jon Amiel's Entrapment; The Big Kahuna, starring Kevin
Spacey and Danny DeVito; Norman Jewison's Hurricane, starring Denzel
Washington; Wonder Boys, starring Michael Douglas and Tobey Maguire; and
Sam Raimi's The Gift, as well as the scores to such hits as Runaway
Jury and The Core.
Young's most recent film credits include Ghost
Rider(tm), starring Nicolas Cage; Something's Gotta Give, starring Jack
Nicholson and Diane Keaton; Raimi's Spider-Man(tm) 2, The Grudge, Miss
Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, starring Sandra Bullock; Beauty
Shop; and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. His work will next be heard in
Young also believes in giving back to the film music
community. 2007 marks his tenth year teaching as part of USC's film
KEVIN O'CONNELL (Supervising Sound Mixer)
has been a sound mixer for 25 years. He is currently working at Sony
Studios in the state-of-the-art Cary Grant Theater. His credits
include Terms of Endearment, Top Gun, A Few Good Men, Armageddon, Pearl
Harbor, Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2, Memoirs of a Geisha, and
Apocalypto. He has been nominated for the Academy Award® for Best
Sound Mixing a record 19 times.
GREG P. RUSSELL (Supervising
Sound Mixer) started his career at T.T.G. Recording Studios in 1977 as
an assistant recording engineer for television and film scoring. In
1981, he moved to Evergreen Studios, where he worked with such artists
as Neil Diamond, Al Stewart, Heart, Ringo Starr, and many others. In
1983, he transitioned from recording engineer to re-recording mixer at
B&B Sound Studios, where he mixed 55 feature films and numerous
television shows, earning him an Emmy Award and two nominations.
then moved to Warner Bros., and in 1989, he received his first of his
eleven Academy Award® nominations, for his work on Ridley Scott's Black
Rain. In 1995, he moved to Sony Studios, where for the past twelve
years he has been mixing in the Cary Grant Theater with partner Kevin
O'Connell. Since then, he has been nominated for the Oscar® for Sound
Mixing for The Rock, Con Air, Armageddon, The Mask of Zorro, The
Patriot, Pearl Harbor, Spider-Man(tm), Spider-Man(tm) 2, Memoirs of a
Geisha, and this year's Apocalypto.
Spider-Man(tm) 3 marks his 160th feature film.
N. J. OTTOSSON, M.P.S.E. (Supervising Sound Editor/Sound Designer) is
an industry veteran with over 100 movies to his credit. His recent
films include Spider-Man(tm) 2, for which he was nominated for an
Academy Award® for Best Achievement in Sound Editing, as well as The
Grudge, The Grudge 2, RV, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and The
Paul was born in Sweden and came to the United
States in 1987 to try his luck as a musician. After finding success in a
rock band, Ottosson realized his true interests lay elsewhere and he
started recording and mixing albums and smaller movies.
won an Emmy in 1998 for the National Geographic Explorer program "Rats"
and produced one of the segments for the 2007 Academy Awards®.
PICTURES IMAGEWORKS INC. is an Academy Award® winning, state-of-the-art
digital production studio dedicated to the art of visual effects
production and character animation. Among the key members of the
Imageworks' Spider-Man(tm) 3 visual effect team are visual effects
supervisor Scott Stokdyk (Oscar® winner for Spider-Man(tm) 2, Oscar®
nominee for Spider-Man(tm) and Hollow Man); animation director Spencer
Cook; digital visual effects supervisors Ken Hahn and Peter Nofz;
computer graphics supervisors Grant Anderson, Dave Seager, Francisco
DeJesus, Bob Winter and Albert Hastings; senior visual effects producer
Terry Clotiaux and visual effects producer Josh R. Jaggars.
Pictures Imageworks has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture
Arts and Sciences with Oscars® for its work on Spider-Man(tm) 2 and the
CG animated short film The Chubbchubbs!, as well as nominations for The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe,
Spider-Man(tm), Hollow Man, Stuart Little and Starship Troopers.
continues to raise the level in the visual effects and
character-animation industry, becoming a major force by providing
leading edge technology to its world-class artists.
AWARD®" and "OSCAR®" are the registered trademarks and service marks of
the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
MARVEL, and all
Marvel characters including the Spider-Man, Sandman and Venom characters
(tm) & (C)2007 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved.