The original Spider-Man movies were a labour of love for Sam Raimi. The horror movie veteran was a massive fan of the Wallcrawler and actively campaigned to direct the film despite some misgivings at Sony that he wasn’t the right person to make the Marvel movie.
We know Raimi, of course, managed to convince Sony to trust him with the keys to the action movie franchise, and Spider-Man 2002 went on to be a huge success. The film earned $825 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing movies of 2002, and it arguably kickstarted the entire superhero genre.
Sony, however, probably realised it had something special on its hands when the dailies started to come in, and executives saw how dedicated Raimi and the Spider-Man cast were to the project. You see, the cast didn’t just do one take and call it a day (this wasn’t Clint Eastwood’s Spider-Man), and for one scene, in particular, they literally did more than one hundred takes to get it right.
The scene in question happens early in the film when Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is getting to grips with his powers. Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) is getting her lunch when she slips, and Peter quickly grabs her before catching her lunch – which was flung into the air – on his own tray.
It’s an iconic stunt from the film that could have been quickly done with computer effects, but Raimi insisted they did it practically. This meant poor Maguire had to attempt the scene numerous times, and according to the head of the VFX team John Dykstra it took a long time to get right.
“This next gag here, where he catches all this stuff,” he explains on the Spider-Man commentary track. “He actually did that. Pretty good. Take 156.”
“Not CGI, by the way, that’s all Tobey,” Dunst them chimes in. “Which is pretty impressive. They used sticky glue stuff to stick his hand to the tray.” Hilariously Sony apparently wanted to cut the scene, but after 16 hours spent filming it, Raimi was insistent it be included.
If you love the Wallcrawler, check out our list of the best Spider-Man actors.