Spider-Man 3 is a 2007 superhero film written and directed by Sam Raimi, with a screenplay by Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent. It is the third film in the Spider-Man film franchise based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The film stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons and James Cromwell.
The film begins with Peter Parker basking in his success as Spider-Man, while Mary Jane Watson continues her Broadway career. Harry Osborn still seeks vengeance for his father's death, and an escaped convict, Flint Marko, falls into a particle accelerator and is transformed into a shape-shifting sand manipulator. An extraterrestrial symbiote crashes to Earth and bonds with Peter, influencing his behavior for the worse. When Peter abandons the symbiote, it finds refuge in Eddie Brock, a rival photographer, causing Peter to face his greatest challenge.
Spider-Man 3 was commercially released in multiple countries on May 1, 2007, and released in the United States in both conventional and IMAX theaters on May 4, 2007, by Columbia Pictures. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, in contrast to the previous two films' highly positive reviews, it stands as the most successful film in the series worldwide, Marvel's most successful film, Sony Pictures Entertainment's highest grossing film to date, as well as the second highest-grossing superhero film behind 2008's The Dark Knight. The film has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for Sequences of Intense Action Violenc.
Peter Parker has begun to feel secure in his life and plans to propose to Mary Jane. While Peter and Mary Jane are on a date, a small meteorite crashes nearby, and an extraterrestrial symbiote attaches itself to Peter's moped. Meanwhile, escaped convict Flint Marko falls into a particle accelerator that fuses his body with the surrounding sand. The result allows him to shape shift at will, becoming the Sandman. Peter's best friend, Harry Osborn, who seeks vengeance for his father's death, which he believes Peter caused, attacks him. During the scuffle, Harry injures his head and suffers from partial amnesia, making him forget his vendetta.
Later, during a festival honoring Spider-Man for saving Gwen Stacy's life, Sandman attempts to rob an armored car, and overpowers Spider-Man. Gwen's father, police officer Captain Stacy, later informs Peter and Aunt May that Marko is the one who killed Ben Parker. A vengeful Peter waits for Marko to strike again. The symbiote bonds with his costume while he is asleep; Peter discovers that not only has his costume changed, but his powers have been enhanced as well. Perhaps capitalizing on Peter's current conflicted and anguished state of mind, the black suit brings out the more vengeful, selfish and arrogant side of Peter's personality. Wearing the new suit, Peter locates Flint Marko, fights him in a cavernous underground subway tunnel and, upon discovering that water can dissolve Marko's body, rips open a large water pipe to deliver what he believes to be a lethal torrent of water.
The shift in Peter's personality alienates Mary Jane, whose career is floundering, and she finds solace with Harry. Harry recovers from his amnesia and, urged on by an apparition of his dead father, forces Mary Jane to break up with Peter. After Mary Jane leaves Peter, stating she is in love with another man, Harry meets him at a restaurant and claims to be the other man. Later, Peter confronts him at the Osborn mansion. With the help of the black suit, Peter is victorious in a brutal fight, which leaves Harry's face disfigured. Influenced by the suit, Peter exposes and humiliates Eddie Brock, a rival freelance photographer, who has just gained overnight star status at the The Daily Bugle by submitting doctored photographs supposedly showing Spider-Man to be a criminal. Peter changes how he dresses and alter his hairstyle and begins to behave like a conceited lout. Meanwhile, Sandman recovers from his injuries, and swears revenge on Spider-Man.
In an effort to make Mary Jane jealous, Peter brings Gwen to the nightclub where Mary Jane works. He gets into a fight with the club's bouncers and unintentionally shoves Mary Jane, knocking her to the floor. Peter realizes the symbiote-suit is changing him for the worse. He walks out of the nightclub and goes to a church bell tower to dispose of it. Initially, he is unable to remove the suit, but the symbiote eventually weakens, enabling Peter to break free. Eddie Brock is at the same church praying for Peter's death when the symbiote falls from the tower and takes over his body. Eddie, now reincarnated as Venom, finds Sandman and suggests joining forces to destroy Spider-Man.
The pair put Mary Jane in a taxicab and hang it from a gigantic symbiote web. Peter approaches Harry for help, but is turned down. However, Harry learns the truth about his father's death from his butler Bernard, and arrives in time to rescue Peter; they form an alliance against the two villains. As the fight progresses, Eddie attempts to impale Peter with Harry's glider, but Harry jumps in the way and is fatally wounded. During his fight with Venom, Peter notices that falling lengths of pipe appear to distress the symbiote, and Peter recalls how the church bell's toll weakened it, and frees Eddie from it by creating a ring of several pipes around Venom to make a 'fence' of sonic vibrations. Peter throws a pumpkin bomb at the symbiote, and Eddie jumps into the ring in an instinctive attempt to rebond with it; both Eddie and the symbiote are incinerated in the resulting explosion.
After the battle, Marko recovers and tells Peter that he had no intention of killing Ben Parker, and that it was an accident born out of a desperate attempt to save his daughter Penny's life, who was dying and that Ben Parker's death has haunted him for the rest of his life. Peter forgives Marko, who dissipates and floats away. Peter and Harry forgive each other before Harry dies with Mary Jane and Peter at his side. Peter and Mary Jane begin to mend their relationship when Peter walks into the jazz bar where Mary Jane is singing.
Cast and characters
- Tobey Maguire?as?Peter Parker / Spider-Man: A superhero, a brilliant?physics?student at?Columbia University, and photographer for the?Daily Bugle. As he grows arrogant with the city starting to embrace him for the first time in his career, an alien symbiote attaches itself to Peter's costume and influences his behavior for the worse. Maguire said he relished the opportunity to play a less timid Peter in this film.
- Kirsten Dunst?as?Mary Jane Watson: Peter Parker's girlfriend and a Broadway actress, whom he has loved since childhood. Mary Jane has a string of bad luck in the film, reminiscent of Peter's misfortune in?Spider-Man 2, losing her job because of bad reviews and losing her boyfriend when the symbiote takes him over.
- James Franco?as?Harry Osborn / New Goblin: The son of Norman Osborn and Peter Parker's best friend, who believes Spider-Man murdered his father. After learning Peter is Spider-Man and that Norman was the Green Goblin, Harry becomes the New Goblin to battle his former friend directly.
- Rosemary Harris?as?May Parker: The aunt of Peter Parker and the widow of Ben Parker, Peter's uncle. She gives Peter her?engagement ring?so he can propose to Mary Jane, and gives him lessons in forgiveness.
- J. K. Simmons?as?J. Jonah Jameson: The aggressive chief of?The Daily Bugle. He has particular dislike towards Spider-Man, whom he considers a criminal.
- Dylan Baker?as?Dr. Curt Connors: A college physics professor under whom Peter Parker studies. He examines a piece of the symbiote and tells Peter it "amplifies characteristics of its host... especially aggression."
- Willem Dafoe?as?Norman Osborn / Green Goblin: The hallucination of Harry Osborn's late wicked father returns to encourage his son to destroy Spider-Man.
- Cliff Robertson?as?Ben Parker: Peter Parker's deceased uncle.
- Bill Nunn?as?Joseph "Robbie" Robertson: A longtime employee at?The Daily Bugle.
- Michael Papajohn?as?Dennis Carradine: The carjacker who was believed to have murdered Uncle Ben.
- Elizabeth Banks?as?Betty Brant: Receptionist at?The Daily Bugle?for J. Jonah Jameson.