The ongoing debate over the best Peter Parker usually doesn’t include Nicholas Hammond, who brought the mild-mannered superhero to life on CBS’ short-lived The Amazing Spider-Man series from 1977 to 1979. That show may not be as fondly remembered as The Incredible Hulk series that aired around the same time. However, Hammond seems to have nothing but good memories of his time as one of the first live-action wallcrawlers. In fact, he feels that the show could have lasted longer than it did.
Hammond recalled his brief Spider-Man tenure in a new wide-ranging conversation with The Hollywood Reporter. Hammond also confessed that he was reluctant to join the series at first. But when the producers explained that they wanted to “take a sort of fanciful character and convince the viewers he is real, make them forget that essentially what they are watching is a comic book character,” he agreed to sign on. Unfortunately, network execs lost faith in the show after it aired just 13 episodes across two seasons.
“They started chopping and changing [the schedule] around and the audience just couldn’t follow us,” said Hammond. “I think they did a very poor job of marketing the show. And it is a pity because I think we could have run for a few more years.”
Additionally, Hammond detailed some of the hurdles the show faced during production. These issues ranged from costume malfunctions to the logistical problems of running two crews at once. Plus, it was an expensive undertaking, which many fans assumed was to blame for the absence of any real Spider-Man villains from the comics. But it turns out that the series’ preference for more grounded enemies was very intentional. Regardless, Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee wasn’t impressed when he saw the finished product.
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“I think what Stan was disappointed by was a choice we made — that frankly, I felt was the right choice — which was to root it all in reality,” noted Hammond. “Meaning, we did not have fantasy comic book villains. We had people, we had drug dealers, blackmailers, criminals. So in a way, we turned it slightly into a crime show where there were issues about pollution and nuclear waste. I think he wanted comic book villains that Spider-Man fights. We thought it was better to have this guy with his power trying to stop people who were doing serious harm to the planet and to people. So we had a parting of ways there.”
Hammond’s conversation inevitably steered toward Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is rumored to feature several other live-action Spider-Men from years past. And while it certainly would have been interesting to see a 71-year-old Peter Parker swinging around the multiverse with Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield, it doesn’t sound like Hammond was invited to the party. (Assuming there even is a party.)
“I think it would have been huge fun,” added Hammond. “It would have been a kick in the pants to have the old guy there. I was really hoping I would be approached but unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”
Would you have liked to see Hammond show up in No Way Home? Let us know in the comments down below!
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