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Jude Law was up for playing Spider-Man, is a self-proclaimed fan

Back in 2000, all sorts of names were circulating the red-and-blue spandex suit, and things could have been very different if Maguire wasn't chosen

Jude Law

If you think superhero casting speculation reaches fever pitch these days, imagine what it was like back in 2000, before there had ever been a live-action Spider-Man on the big screen. Before Tobey Maguire was eventually cast, some wild names were thrown out there, and it’s funny to imagine how different things could have been.

When Sam Raimi was already attached, his regular collaborator Bruce Campbell’s name came up, which would have been amusing given that he was 42 years old in 2000. Two names that circulated the role were ‘big in the 90s’ and it’s interesting to imagine how differently their careers could have gone if cast – Chris O’Donnell (who had played Robin by this point) and Freddie Prinze Jr (who would go onto play Fred in the Scooby-Doo movies in 2002).

The two biggest names circulating the role were Tobey Maguire’s best friend – Leonardo DiCaprio, whose rep politely responded; “He’s obviously approached all the time about great-sounding ideas, but he’s gotta see the script.” Given that DiCaprio had films made by both Scorsese and Spielberg released in 2002, it never seemed like a likely prospect.

Another name that came up was Jude Law, which is interesting given that two British actors would go on to play the role. His rep said [via ET]; “There have been some overtures about it. Jude has been a Spider-Man fanatic since he was a kid.” Law was in a similarly prestigious position to DiCaprio at the turn of the century – working with Anthony Minghella, Sam Mendes and Steven Spielberg. So, again, a superhero movie doesn’t seem to fit with this.

Also, Law was 30 in 2002, so pushing the age limit of playing a high schooler somewhat (not that that stopped Andrew Garfield). Garfield had worked with Robert Redford, Terry Gilliam, and David Fincher before accepting the Spidey role – so you never really know who is going to flip from awards-bait to spandex.

With Holland having completed his MCU trilogy of Spider-Man films, the role is potentially up in the air once more. While we wait to find out the future of our favourite web-shooting wall-crawler, check out our guide to the Spider-Man actors, ranked.