Did You Know That? There Are Two Academy Award Winners Who Nearly Became Spider-Man Before Tom Holland
Among Marvel superheroes, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is a fan favorite. Several performers have won fans’ hearts over the years with their compelling portrayals of the high school boy who gains abilities from a spider bite. Some of the most well-known actors who have played the character are Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland.
However, some of the industry’s most recognized actors, including Academy Award winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Heath Ledger, came close to playing the iconic superhero.
Leonardo DiCaprio Was Supposed to Play Spider-Man in James Cameron’s Spider-Man.
James Cameron intended to develop a film on the web-swinging superhero Spider-Man after working with Leonardo DiCaprio on Titanic. Since then, the film has been regarded as his masterpiece. He was completely committed in his idea with DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger from the 1990s.
According to Screen Crush, Cameron stated that it would have been considerably different because he wanted to go into the “gritty reality” with the film. In an interview with Empire Magazine (via Dan of Geek), DiCaprio stated that he does not recall any additional negotiations about playing the Marvel superhero on cinema.
“I know he [Cameron] was semi-serious about doing it at some point, but I don’t remember any further talks about it,” he went on to say. Unfortunately, Cameron was never given the chance because Marvel sold the rights to make a Spider-Man film. He even attempted to get film rights, but all attempts failed, and the project never got off the ground.
Heath Ledger Could Have Been Sam Raimi’s Trilogy’s Star
When Sam Raimi took over the Spider-Man project, he had a large list of candidates for the role of the web-swinging superhero. Leonardo DiCaprio, the Oscar-winning actor, was once again nominated, along with Heath Ledger.
While Tobey Maguire eventually secured the role and went on to star in the Spider-Man trilogy, he was not the first actor to be considered for the role. At the time, the Brokeback Mountain actor was known for films such as 10 Things I Hate About You and The Patriot.
According to Entertainment Weekly, CAA agent Steve Alexander said that he was approached for the lead part in Sam Raimi’s 2002 film. He declined the offer, though, because he was not very interested in comic books. “It would have been stealing someone else’s dream,” the Academy Award winner explained.
It was also claimed that he sought to expand his acting career. He went on to play the DC villain Joker, which is still regarded as the best representation of the character. Sadly, Ledger died in January 2008. For his portrayal in The Dark Knight, he received a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.