From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The film is the first in the Spider-Man film series. The film was directed by Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and Willem Dafoe. The script was credited to David Koepp.
The film begins with Peter Parker, a high school student, being bitten by a genetically altered spider. After misusing his newly-given abilities, which indirectly caused the death of his Uncle Ben, he becomes the heroic Spider-Man. Peter hopes to win the heart of Mary Jane Watson, the girl he has loved since he was a boy, and battles the villainous Green Goblin, who is the father of Peter's best friend, Harry Osborn.
After being stuck in development hell for nearly 25 years, the film was released on May 3, 2002 by Columbia Pictures. The film received multiple good reviews, went on to break box office records, and become the third highest grossing film of 2002 worldwide, making $822 million worldwide. Spider-Man became the most successful film based on a comic book and is the 18th most successful film of all time. The success of the film led to two sequels, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, the latter of which surpassed the first film's record.