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The Sensational Spider-Man is a 2013 superhero action film and a reboot of the Spider-Man film series. It stars Josh Hutcherson as the titular hero, Amanda Seyfried as his love interest Gwen Stacy and Jason Isaacs as the main villain, Quentin Beck. The film was directed by Josh Trank and scored by Brian Tyler. It is the first Spider-Man film in the Marvel Movie Universe.

Plot

Peter Parker is a lowly high-school nerd who lives with his aunt and uncle in New York. His only friend is Harry Osborn; however, Harry is the son of billionaire industrialist Norman Osborn. During a school field trip to a genetics lab, Peter barely manages to speak to his crush, Gwen Stacy. However, he is distracted when a genetically altered spider escapes confinement and bites his hand. 

Peter returns home and begins to get strange feelings as the spider's DNA combines with his own. He passes out and wakes to find that he has gained spider-like abilities. He quickly slaps together a costume, planning to enter a nearby wrestling tournament and use his abilities to win and buy an expensive car to impress Gwen. However, following a wrestling match, he gets into an argument with the owner and is not paid. He then spots the man chasing after a burgular who has robbed him; Peter declines the offer to catch the criminal, instead actually helping him to flee, telling the victim that catching criminals is not his problem.

Peter is shocked when he returns home to find the police outside of his house and Aunt May crying. A police officer explains to him that Uncle Ben was fatally shot by a home intruder. The police reveal that the man had a tattoo on his wrist; Peter remembers the same tattoo from the thief he had prievously let escape, and to his horror, he realises that he let his uncle's killer get away.

The shock entices Peter to don a newly redesigned version of his wrestling costume to become the vigilante 'Spider-Man.' He sets out on a mission to hunt down his uncle's killer, attacking petty criminals and checking their wrists for tattoos. Peter eventually spots the same burglar engaged in a car chase with the police. The thug evades the police, but Peter follows him to a warehouse. He confronts the man and disarms him; the terrified man begins to suffer from a heart attack. Not wishing to sink to his level and kill a man, Peter reaches to help him, but the man reacts fearfully and falls through a window. Peter decides to continue his vendetta against crime as Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, Hollywood special effects artist and professional illusionist Quentin Beck's career is going slowly down the toilet. When he is kicked from an upcoming summer blockbuster, he decides to use his knowledge to become a supervillain and take revenge. Creating his own costume, Beck becomes Mysterio, a deadly enigma who begins to plot his terrifying vengance, which culminates in his plan to sabotage the film premiere. 

His master plan, however, requires him to steal supplies from the shipping port, during which he first encounters Spider-Man. He then decides to work Spider-Man into his plot, planning to disptach him along with his other enemies at the premiere.

Mysterio initiates a deadly gas attack but Spider-Man helps to evacute the building. Mysterio then kidnaps Gwen's father, police captain George Stacy, and brings him to the top of the tower observatory. He and Spider-Man battle and the hero ultimately prevails with Stacy's help, and Mysterio falls to his death. Stacy explains to Spider-Man that although he is not completely trust him, they can work out a 'healthy working relationship.'

Peter and Gwen then attend the funeral of one of the people killed during Mysterio's attack and Gwen finally asks him out. However, Peter explains, through a cryptic speech, that it would be too dangerous for them; his enemies will always go after the people he loves. The film ends with Spider-Man swinging through New York.

Cast

Josh Hutcherson - Peter Parker/Spider-Man

Amanda Seyfried - Gwen Stacy

Jim Parsons - Harry Osborn

Michael Douglas - Ben Parker

Glenn Close - May Parker

Jason Isaacs - Quentin Beck/Mysterio

Hugo Weaving - Norman Osborn

Hugh Laurie - J. Jonah Jameson

Leighton Meester - Betty Brant

Travis Van Winkle - Flash Thompson

Bruce Greenwood - George Stacy

Production

Development

Following Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, a fourth film was planned. However, both Raimi and series star Tobey Maguire dropped out and the film was cancelled. It was then decided that the franchise would be rebooted and made part of the Marvel Movie Universe

After working on Chronicle, director Josh Trank was brought in to helm the project. Trank brought Max Landis on board to write the film's screenplay, having worked with him on Chronicle. Brian Tyler was then hired to compose the score for the film.

After this, the studio began casting the main actors. The biggest task was finding someone to play the new Spider-Man. Josh Hutcherson was selected from a range of actors such as Emile Hirsch, Nicholas Hoult, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Dave Franco (the brother of James Franco, who played Harry Osborn in the Raimi trilogy) and Chronicle star Dane DeHaan. Hoult and Lerman went on to appear in the DC Movie Universe together and Dane DeHaan was later cast as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars sequel Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Trank and Landis decide to pass on making Mary Jane Watson the love interest in the first film, wanting to differ their film from Raimi's and also follow the comics more accurately. Amanda Seyfried was chosen over AnnaSophia Robb, Teresa Palmer, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Roberts and Julianne Hough. Lawrence also went on to appear in the DC Movie Universe, as did Seyfried herself.

Michael Douglas and Glenn Close were seen to have good chemistry right away stemming from thier work in Fatal Attraction and they were quickly cast. Trank stated that their were no other choices. 

The casting of Jim Parsons as Harry Osborn was a controversial one, reminiscent of Heath Ledger's casting as the Joker or Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. Trank and the studio stood by the choice, with even James Franco himself commenting that he thought Parsons would do a terrific job. 

When Hugo Weaving was cast, many fans began to speculate that he would be a villain. It was then revealed that he was playing Norman Osborn, fueling further speculation that the film's main villain was going to be the Green Goblin. Others were more cautious, referring to an interview Trank gave where he stated that he wanted his film to stand alone from Raimi's. Trank himself soon announced that the villain was going to instead by Mysterio.

Fans waited anxiously for casting news relating to the villain before rumours started up that Jason Isaacs had accepted the role. Others tipped to be playing Mysterio were Alan Tudyk, William Sadler, Mathie Almaric and Neil Patrick Harris. Finally, it was confirmed that Isaacs was indeed playing Mysterio.

Sequels

The Sensational Spider-Man had four sequels; The Sensational Spider-Man 2, The Sensational Spider-Man 3, The Sensational Spider-Man 4 and The Sensational Spider-Man 5.

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