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Spider-Man Case Study

Rob Miller | Wednesday November 09, 2011

Categories: Analysis, Film Analysis, Films & Case Studies, Hollywood Films, Spider-Man, Genres & Case Studies, Action, Action Adventure, Adventure, Fantasy, Superhero, Hot Entries, CCEA, CCEA Case Studies

Paper 1 | Superhero Films Case Study | Spider-Man

“Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can; spins a web, any size, catches thieves just like flies look out! Here comes the Spider-Man?

Synopsis and Character Profiles


Toby Maguire plays Peter Parker, an orphaned, teenage High School student plagued by feelings of inadequacy and rejection. He is stereotypically ‘geeky’ and pines for the ‘girl next door’, Mary Jane Watson (played by Kirsten Dunst), and lives with his Uncle Ben and Aunt May, who he is very close to and who dote on him. Mary Jane shows no interest in Peter and thinks she is in love with High School bully, Flash Thompson (played by Joe Manganiello). Thus the emotions Peter has for her is ignored and unrequited. Maguire was chosen for the role as he is a relatively small actor, with boyish and vulnerable looks, while Dunst retains a stereotypical, expressive beauty in terms of her secondary persona.

One day, on a college Science Field Trip, he is bitten by a genetically engineered, radioactive ‘super spider’ and begins to realise -as a result of this- his body has permanently changed. He has the ability to become muscle bound with super strength and agility, cling to surfaces, react quickly to danger with his ‘spider sense’ and clear vision, and shoot webs from his wrists to enable him to both travel at great speed, but also to defeat and ensnare his enemies. He has become Spider-Man.

Soon after Peter discovers his super powers, an eccentric millionaire businessman, Norman Osborn (played by Willem Dafoe) administers himself with a performance enhancing serum, causing a psychotic, murderous alter ego of the Green Goblin to emerge and donning a freakish battle suit and mask proceeds to terrorise New York City. Dafoe, like Dunst is an expressive character actor who suited well the role of an eccentric businessman turned evil wrong-doer. Osborne’s son Harry, (played by James Franco) is a friend of...

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