Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and fifth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Just like last week, one legend today, one tomorrow and one Sunday.
There was going to be a sex scene in James Cameron’s “Spider-Man” film.
With the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” trailers blowing up the internet, I thought it would be nice to take a look at one of the earliest attempts to adapt Spider-Man into a film (but not the earliest), James Cameron’s 1992 attempt, which came very close to coming to fruition.
Cameron wrote a script for the film, but the script was really not a full script and more like a more developed version of a treatment. Essentially, scenes he wanted to highlight would be written in full script format and other scenes would be more generalized. Plus, there were storyboards (detailed ones early on but less and less detailed and less of them period as the treatment goes on). You can check out the entire thing here.
In any event, an interesting aspect of the film was just how sexually charged the whole thing was.
Cameron clearly plays towards the whole going through puberty angle when Peter Parker wakes up (after he’s bitten by the spider) and his organic webbing has sprayed all over his bed…
THE NEXT DAY. Tight on Peter as he wakes up. He opens
his eyes cautiously. Not knowing what to expect. PULL
BACK to reveal that he is still in bed. All is normal.
He breaths a sigh of relief. In fact… he feels pretty
good. Lots of energy. He pulls back the covers and…
Something is causing the sheet to stick to him. He lifts
it, revealing a sticky, white mass completely covering
him, gluing him to his bedding. It is some silky
substance webbing him into the covers. He cries out in
dismay… struggling to free himself from the gluey
strands. Where did it come from? He notices his
They are oozing a pearlescent white fluid from almost
invisible slits about a quarter of an inch long. He
pushes on the skin next to one of the slits and… a dark
shape, the size and color of a rose-thorn… emerges from
beneath the skin. It shoots a jet of liquid silk into his
And, of course, once he has powers, he goes to Mary Jane Watson’s house to peep in on her through her bedroom window…
He goes to Mary Jane’s house. Drop down from the roof and
looks in her window. She turns off the light, and
thinking she is unobserved, strips off her clothes. She
slips into bed in just her panties and a T-shirt. But
even this forbidden glimpse is too much for Peter. He
loses his concentration and with it his palm grip on the
wall. He crashes into the rose bushes. He is bounding
into the darkness as lights come on in the house behind
But the main scene we’re talking about here comes later in the film, when Mary Jane has become interested romantically in both Peter and Spider-Man (she thinks that they’re two different people) after Peter beats the hell out of Mary Jane’s boyfriend, Flash Thompson, after Flash strikes Mary Jane and she’s interested in Spider-Man because, well, come on, dude’s a superhero.
So anyhow, Spider-Man takes her to the Brooklyn Bridge, and he has a better memory there than most of his trips to bridges…
In a dizzying down-angle we see how the suspension cables
all meet radially at the top of the tower… like the
treads of some vast spider web. Peter and MJ seem to sit
at the very center of the web, surrounded by the lights of
the city. It is a warm spring night. And the moment is
She stands with her back against a girder, needing to feel
something solid. Spider Man stands before her, a
perfectly formed male silhouette with a soothing low
Courtship among the spiders is highly
ritualized. It varies from species to
species. The male spider may circle the
female, or wave his front legs… to
signal that he is not prey.
Spider Man moves in a hypnotic arc around her. He raises
his hands in a dance-like movement. Lowers them.
The female usually signals her
willingness by an uncharacteristic
MJ takes a deep breath. Her lip trembles. Her knees are
weak. Her eyes, though, are steady, gazing at the
silhouette before her. She doesn’t move of speak. He
In certain crab spiders, such as Xysticus,
the male will attach strands of silk to
the female… tying her limbs…
Spider Man moves his hand gracefully across her, and she
sees the sheerest silk webbing glinting in the moonlight.
First one wrist. Then the other. Hypnotic movement in
the moonlight. Her arms are bound to the wall. Her
breathing gets more rapid.
Since the female can break free at any
time, the bonds have only symbolic
The male must be very bold… to take
such liberties with the predatory female.
Yes. He is very bold. But he must also
(he moves very close)
Close your eyes.
He removes his mask and kisses her. Their mouths very
slowly and very sensuously devour each other.
Peter and MJ are locked together. He is mesmerizing,
gentle, powerful. He pushes up her skirt. They make
love, high above the world.
She doesn’t look.
That’s pretty painful.
I mean, this was pretty darn early in the process, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if Cameron had backed down from including the sex scene in the final product, but it’s still fascinating that he wanted to have it in there in the first place.
Sadly (?), there were so many competing interests in the rights for the film that it got held up and Cameron moved on and it would take a decade until the rights issues were settled and we got our first “Spider-Man” film, which settled for just a cool kissing scene…
And yeah, I get that it is kind of weird that I had a legend about superhero sex last week, as well, but hey, “Spider-Man” trailer is out, what are ya gonna do?
Check out some Spider-Man film legends and superhero film love interest legends from Legends Revealed:
Check back tomorrow for part 2 of this week’s legends! It involves “up, up and away!”
And remember, if you have a legend that you’re curious about, drop me a line at either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com!