By my count, Spider-Man: No Way Home is the 10th feature film to follow the web-slinger from Queens. Let’s go all the way back to 2002, when Tobey Maguire was the first Peter Parker we had on the big screen. That got us started on the Sam Raimi trilogy: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3. After an attempted false start on a fourth Spider-Man by Mr. Raimi, Sony rebooted the franchise; That’s when Andrew Garfield, right around the same time as his incredible performance in The Social Network, was cast in the role. And it was a role that never found the right cinematic environment for his talented star; after a couple of outings in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the decision was made to try something else.
Then our friend Peter came into the MCU, and Tom Holland came into the picture. With Spider-Man: Homecoming, Far From Home, and No Way Home (in addition to group outings in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame), Holland has already appeared as Spidey more times than anyone else. actor. In addition to what the MCU is doing, Sony kept the rights to its own Spider-Man world, which also included the Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, along with the Spider-Man villain spin-offs. Venom (which had a sequel and has a third movie on the way), the not-so-good Morbius, and more on the way.
So, with all those movies, we’ve also had quite a few actors playing Spider-Man and inhabiting different versions of the same universe (and sometimes finding their way into different universes as well). Each of them has brought something different to the role, and each has different qualities that make their portrayal of the hero unique. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be a favourite. Without further ado, here are all of the Spider-Man actors, ranked from worst to best.
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Into the Spider-Verse is a difficult movie to classify for the purposes of this list. The premise of the film is that there are multiple people (and at least one animal) in the multiverse who wear the mantle of Spider-Man. We had to put a cap on it, so we only included the main character from the movie and his two versions of the original Spider-Man.
With all this explained, Chris Pine plays the version of Spider-Man that existed in the Sam Raimi universe. He only appears in the movie briefly, at first, but we see him do all the fun things from the events of Spider-Man (a certain backwards kiss), Spider-Man 2 (the train rescue), and Spider-Man 3 (dancing). down the street). Pine’s vocal cameo is… really cool. He knows how to convey the seriousness of the character, but he sounds like someone who really loves his life and everything he does. Pine’s brief appearance is so good it makes you think maybe, just maybe, he would have made a great live-action Spidey at one point (as if Captain Kirk in Star Trek and Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman weren’t already enough). ).
Pine’s Peter Parker contrasts with Jake Johnson’s Peter Parker. While Pine is basically the best Spider-Man—he gets everything right—Johnson’s Spidey is more like Chris Hemsworth in Avengers: Endgame. Things have gone wrong: Mary Jane has left him and he has been transferred to another universe. Pine’s Spider-Man is dead, but Johnson’s – a lazy, depressed and detached version of Peter Parker – is left not knowing what even happened.
Johnson isn’t a traditional action movie star, so her vocal cast here is a pretty inspired choice. Best known for his role in New Girl, and now in HBO’s excellent Minx, the fact that Johnson has some charm in his voice shouldn’t be surprising. But that charm comes here in the form of a lovable loser, especially in contrast to how Pine voices his version of his character.
Give credit to Shameik Moore, the last of the Spider-Verse sector on this list, for being the only one to make the ranking playing a character not named Peter Parker. Moore played the main character of the Spider-Verse, fan-favorite comic book character Miles Morales.
As a teenager, Moore’s vocal performance captures a lot of the same things as Tom Holland’s performance in the MCU. What he captures so well is the sense of youthful innocence: he’s a teenager who just wants to do what’s right for his friends and his family, groping his way through life, suddenly with new powers and a new secret. . He loves his Air Jordans (which Nike has adapted into a real-life limited sneaker), has a favorite song, and is a very nice character to watch in what has to be one of the best Spider-Man movies to date, if not the best.
When the Marvel Cinematic Universe acquired the rights to bring Spider-Man into their world, the only way they could take it was to make Spidey radically different. That’s why they hired Tom Holland, who plays the hero more youthfully and energetically than his predecessors in the role. And the rest, now, is history.
Holland’s take on Spidey is very different from that of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Holland brings a level of innocence and irreverence to the portrayal that makes his portrayal of the character fresh.
The energy that Holland brings to the role is truly special. Tobey’s Spider-Man, an older, more mature version of the character, was similar to the Spider-Man animated series; Tom Holland’s youth, quick wit and constant jokes are in line with the comics.
And though Holland almost always shines on screen with an electricity seldom equaled, it’s the dramatic moments that really make him special. With six appearances in the MCU, he’s already got a ton of highlights to reel in, but it’s one moment in Infinity War, and a few in Spider-Man: No Way Home, that took everyone’s breath away.
Tobey was the first Spiderman an entire generation (me included) knew. He wasn’t just an actor playing Peter Parker, he was Peter Parker. It wasn’t until I saw Seabiscuit a couple of years later that I became familiar with any of Tobey’s other work. He was the first Spider-Man, and for a while, it seemed like even if there was someone else playing the part, he was always going to be the most faithful version of the character.
In Sam Raimi’s trilogy of films, Tobey always brings it, from the second movie’s climactic cinematic moments to the third movie’s country moments (which I stand for with my life! The emotional Spider-Man is gold, hug him). He plays the character quite seriously, and it works. He is discreet enough for us to believe it. And when he reappears in [SPOILER] Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s delightful to see that this original version of Spider-Man, in his own universe, has somehow found a way to make it all work.
Andrew Garfield is a great actor. Have you seen The Social Network? He just has an aura that comes off of him at all times, and it’s magnetic on screen. You could watch basically any Garfield performance and see it: there is no doubt that he has immense acting talent.
That’s why it was so frustrating to see how his Spider-Man turned out in his first two installments as a character. There are plenty of problems in both The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and none of them are Garfield’s fault. Garfield plays both parts of our hero interestingly; His Peter is a little cooler and more modern than the other versions of the character, but it’s when he puts on the mask and starts throwing webs and cracking jokes that he really shines. Garfield is a good Peter Parker, but he is hands down the best Spider-Man.
That’s why Spider-Man: No Way Home helped him rise to the top of our list. He finally had a movie to match his performance. He finally had a bet and a drama to match what he did. And the film’s writers did the right thing by giving him a storyline that allowed him to flex those acting muscles while remaining undeniably Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man. His portrayal of this unique hero has always been fun, but his surprising turn in Spider-Man: No Way Home is a hit for this genre.
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The definitive ranking (from worst to best) of the actors who have played Spider-Man
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