Someone once tried to make a terrible ‘Spider-Man’ horror movie

Marvel's Stan Lee managed to convince Cannon Films to abandon the idea

There could once have been a terrible Spider-Man movie released, long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe began.

Back in 1985, the rights to make a movie based on the comic series passed to Cannon Films, who paid $225,000 (£179,306) for a five-year option to make the film.

According to Digital Spy, the horror version of Spider-Man would see ID photographer Peter Parker deliberately exposed to radiation by corporate scientist Doctor Zork. Parker would then become a huge eight-armed spider-human hybrid who becomes suicidal.


Spider-Man is intended by Zork to lead his race of mutants, but turns on him and ends up fighting the monsters instead. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper and Outer Limits creator Leslie Stevens were reportedly hired to draft the script.

However, Marvel boss Stan Lee wasn’t impressed with the plans and managed to convince Cannon heads Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus to drop that version of the project. Ted Newsom and John Brancato pitched a new take on the story, which saw Parker and teacher Otoo Octavius transformed into Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus respectively.

Tom Cruise was tapped to play Parker, while Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lee, and Lauren Bacall or Katharine Hepburn also wanted to appear.

Sabrina The Teenage Witch creator Barney Cohen wrote the script, while Joseph Zito (Invasion USA) took over directorial duties. The budget was later halved to $10 million, causing Zito to quit. Eventually, the project was completely abandoned and the rights reverted to 21st Century.

Meanwhile, a new Spider-Man film will be released next month (July 5). Spider-Man: Far From Home will see Parker (Tom Holland) going on a European break with his friends, which is interrupted by forces of evil.