Marvel Comics’ webslinger has gotten an important boost in his film career. “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Aliens” helmer James Cameron last week handed in a script for the live-action “Spider-Man” pic currently in early production stages at Carolco.
A Marvel source confirmed the accelerated involvement of Cameron, the Lightstorm Entertainment topper who will also direct the pic. No talent or distribber have been attached, though a sizable budget package and negotiations for a big star reportedly are in the works.
“This is going to be as big as the ‘Batman’ movie,” said oneagent. “This is a big-budget film where he will try to pull in that kind of a triple deal,” referring to “Batman’s” powerhouse troika of stars Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson and director Tim Burton.
Carolco reps had no comment. Cameron, on location helming the Lightstorm feature “True Lies” for Fox, could not be reached.
The adventures of reluctant superhero Peter Parker — a college kid who gets bitten by a radioactive laboratory spider, giving him the power to scale walls and squirt gooey webs from his wrists — have been one of Gotham-based Marvel Comics’ biggest sellers since his creation in 1962.
“I understand that the new design of Spider-Man will revert back to his look in earlier days,” said Marvel rep Pamela Rutt, referring to the character’s simpler appearance planned for the movie. “It will be more faithful to the original rendering of the character, with changes around the eyes.”
The urban avenger in blue and red tights and webbed facemask was created by Stan Lee and drawn by artist Steve Ditko in the 1962 “Amazing Fantasy” comics before Spidey spun off independently in 1963 with his own book.
There are currently more than six monthly Marvel titles featuring Spider-Man.
Sources at Fox said that animation execs in the kid TV area are also eagerly eyeing the revamped interest in the arachnid crimefighter.
An animated “Spider-Man” special is “in the earliest stages of production,” Fox insiders say. It will reportedly air on Fox Children’s Network in fall 1994 as a possible pilot for a 65-part series resembling Warner Bros.’ hugely popular animated “Batman” series.
Another Marvel property, “X-Men,” is said to be going Hollywood soon as a live-action pic. According to Marvel, the Saturday morning animated hit of the same name is the highest-rated Fox show in the ages 6-17 demo.