If the rumours are to be believed, Spider-Man: No Way Home could feature every actor who has played the role in the live-action films. However, there is an actor who played a live-action Spider-Man who definitely won’t be appearing – the first actor to play the role on the small screen.
American-Australian actor Nicholas Hammond played Peter Parker in the 1970s TV show The Amazing Spider-Man, and he is disappointed that he wasn’t asked to be part of what looks to be a Spidey reunion in No Way Home. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hammond said: “I think it would have been huge fun. 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.”
He also confessed to having a favourite of the actors who have played him on the big screen in the last twenty years; “Tom Holland’s version is the closest to what we were doing; trying to make him very much a real guy, someone who you could actually forget he had these powers and get caught up in Peter’s story,” Hammond says. “That was what we were going for.”
The Amazing Spider-Man ran for just 13 episodes between 1977-1979, and did not achieve the same success as The Incredible Hulk starring Lou Ferrigno, which aired 80 episodes from 1978-1982. Hammond says that the show was expensive to make, with a separate crew needed just to cover the stunts and a two-part episode being shot in Hong Kong.
Something that the show did do, which perhaps the MCU version could learn something from, was to ground the character in reality; “I felt it was the right choice — to root it all in reality,” Hammond says. “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. 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.”
Hammond played Friedrich in The Sound of Music and recently had a role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Sam Wannamaker.
Spider-Man: No Way Home will be released on December 17, 2021.