In 1999, Fincher — the filmmaker known for making movies such as 1999’s Fight Club, 2010’s The Social Network, 2014’s Gone Girl, and more — pitched a Spider-Man movie that would’ve taken place after Peter was already bitten by a radioactive spider.
Fincher told The Guardian in a recent interview, “They weren’t f—ing interested, And I get it. They were like: ‘Why would you want to eviscerate the origin story?’ And I was like: ‘Cos it’s dumb?’ That origin story means a lot of things to a lot of people, but I looked at it and I was like: ‘A red and blue spider?’ There’s a lot of things I can do in my life and that’s just not one of them.”
What other directors were considered for Spider-Man?
Fincher wasn’t the only director considered to helm 2002’s Spider-Man before the gig went to Sam Raimi. Other notable names who were in the running include Tim Burton, M. Night Shyamalan, Tony Scott, Chris Columbus, Roland Emmerich, and more.
James Cameron was also attached to write and direct a Spider-Man movie at one point before the 2002 movie was released. Cameron’s vision for the movie saw Electro and Sandman as the main antagonists, while later rewrites substituted Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus in as the villains. His pitch also reportedly included heavy profanity and a sex scene between Peter and Mary Jane Watson set on the Brooklyn Bridge.
Raimi ultimately went on to direct two more Spider-Man films starring Tobey Maguire following the first movie, while Fincher made the Jodie Foster-starring Panic Room in 2002. Fincher’s latest, The Killer, stars Michael Fassbender and is currently playing in selected United States theaters before it hits Netflix on November 10, 2023.