Cancelled Movies. Wiki
Spider-Man Cannon poster

Spider-Man: The Movie is a proposed adaptation of the Marvel comic book character Spider-Man which was scheduled to be released around Christmas of 1986. After Cannon Films made the decision to fire Ted Newsom and John Brancato from the project, Joseph Zito remained on-board to direct simply because Zito was the only filmmaker to be both a native New Yorker and a fan of Spider-Man, and took his newfound position very seriously.


The plot would center on a very dark and gritty version of New York City that would be very cold, unforgiving and crime-drivin, but regains its optimism thanks to the web-swinging superhero Spider-Man, who is more vibrant and inspirational in contrast to everything around him.

Why It Was Cancelled[]

  • In the 1980s, almost all of the films distributed by Cannon Pictures were box office failures, the most notable ones being Superman IV: The Quest for Peace and Masters of the Universe. They both stripped Spider-Man: The Movie from its $20M budget to a $7M budget, prompting Zito to leave the project all together in the fall of 1987.
  • Zito hoped to use Dr. Otto Octavious/Doctor Octopus as the main antagonist, with the late Bob Hoskins reportedly in mind for the role. Cannon would reject this idea, believing that Doctor Octopus would increase the budget further more, then they would suggest an exclusive villain called "The Night Ghoul", that would've been a scientist that turns himself into a humanoid bat-creature, but Stan Lee himself rejected this and settled on Dr. Curtis Connors/The Lizard being the main antagonist instead.
  • Elements of the movie were reworked into the 1989 movie Cyborg, which was also made by Cannon Pictures.
  • Cannon Pictures went out of business in 1994.

Cast and Crew[]

  • Scott Leva as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
  • Dr. Curtis Connors/The Lizard (unconfirmed casting choice)
  • Katharine Hepburn (or Lauren Bacall) as May Parker
  • Stan Lee as John Jonah Jameson Jr.
  • Joseph Zito as the film's director
  • Barney Cohen as the film's writer


  • In 2002, Columbia Pictures released Spider-Man into theaters.
  • Scenes that were going to be in this version went into the making of Cyborg.
  • James Cameron's Doctor Octopus played by Arnold Schwarzenegger failed to get off the ground in the sequel, of his cancelled Spider-Man film.
  • The Doctor Octopus character was scrapped again in 2002's "Spider-Man" film, where Ed Harris was considered to play an older and hairless version of the character. He didn't make it into the movie nor final script because the filmmakers felt they weren't ready to do war-triangles for Peter Parker.
  • Doctor Octopus finally appears in the sequel "Spider-Man 2" released in 2004 as the main antagonist.
  • A reboot titled "The Amazing Spider-Man" was released in 2012, it has a similar plot and cast of characters to what Joe Zito originally planned to put on the big screen.
  • Doctor Octopus was also intended to appear as an antagonist in Mark Webb's cancelled films The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Sinister Six. He was intended to be played by either Russell Crowe or Christoph Waltz.

Alternative posters[]

Script of the film[]