Top 5: Actors Who Were Almost Spider-Man

Josh Hutcherson

5. Josh Hutcherson

This Hunger Games star was neck and neck with Andrew Garfield to play Peter Parker in the revamped Amazing Spider-Man movie, even going so far as to do a screen test with Emma Stone. But that’s precisely when Garfield nabbed it, leaving Hutcherson free to do Hunger Games.

4. Jake Gyllenhaal

After a back injury on the set of Seabiscuit in 2002, chances were slim that Tobey Maguire would be able to film the second Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie due to the physicality involved. The studio went so far as to begin negotiations with Jake Gyllenhaal to replace Maguire. Ultimately, of course, Maguire recovered enough to reprise his role in two more films.


James Franco

3. James Franco

Before this Freaks And Geeks alum was chosen to play Harry Osborn in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, he was originally vying for the role of Peter Parker, only cast as Osborn after Maguire was chosen to play the lead role. Just imagine their final roles flipped.


Leonardo DiCaprio

2. Leonardo DiCaprio

The so-called “King of the world” thanks to the little ship that couldn’t, DiCaprio was Hollywood’s chosen one in the mid 90s. He was also the frontrunner to play Pete when Titanic director James Cameron stood poised to helm a Spider-Man movie in 1995. Although that production fell apart, DiCaprio remained on the short list years later when Sam Raimi began piecing together 2002’s Spider-Man.


Tom Cruise

1. Tom Cruise

Risky Business indeed. Back in the mid-80s Tom Cruise was just coming into his role as one of Hollywood’s leading men, and that’s just when Cannon Films was looking for their Spider-Man upon buying the rights from Marvel. Cannon went so far as to scout locations, commission storyboards and hire a director — Tobe Hooper of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. Imagine Cruise and Hooper doing a Spider-Man. Now try to get that out of your head.


  1. Donald Glover. I know he was never “Almost Spider-man”, but damn he would’ve been perfect.

  2. James Cameron wanted then unknown Jim Carrey for the part in the 80s or so Wizard Magazine told me

  3. James Franco looks almost exactly the way I picture Peter Parker in my head based on the artwork I have seen over the years.

    • Franco’s probably the closest visually and personality wise to Peter out of all the actors that have been considered and even played him.

  4. I would have loved to have seen the train wreck that would have been Hooper and Cruise Spider-Man Movie.

  5. Jake Gyllenhaal would have been a great Spider-Man IMHO, I remember when his name was being thrown around he was dating Kirsten Dunst which I found to be funny.

  6. you shut your mouth! everything nick cage does is gold and you should be thanking all that is holy that you have eyes and ears to bear witness to it.

    • I read that in Nick Cage’s voice and chuckled. Or maybe it was Andy Samberg doing Nick Cage. Either way, it was a mix of whispering and shouting, and I wept manly tears.

  7. Aw Man! where’s Charlie Sheen?!? He was on top of Cannon’s list for a while too