Fifteen years ago today, director Sam Raimi brought the greatest Marvel superhero to the big screen with Spider-Man. It had taken years for special effects to catch up with writer Stan Lee's vision of the wall-crawler. Spidey needed to be able to jump from buildings and kiss girls upside-down believably. Thankfully, CGI changed the game. We were about to enter the age of the comic book movie.
Spectacle reigns supreme at the box office, which is why comic book movies have become so popular. Even if the story is awful, people know these films will at least give them a thrill. But, what if I told you one of the best superhero stunts was actually real? It's not a high-flying maneuver and no lives were on the line, but it's damned impressive nonetheless.
Early in Spider-man, there's a scene in the high school cafeteria where Mary-Jane Watson (played by Kirsten Dunst) slips on some cola and her lunch tray goes flying. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), thanks to his new spidey-sense, reacts instantly, catching the girl and then her lunch in a split-second. There was no CGI used for the scene, Maguire actually caught those food items on the tray himself.
Here's a video from the Spider-Man DVD explaining the scene. Have a look.
As Dunst explains on the DVD commentary, the art department used some stickum to help Maguire catch everything, but that's still some serious skill, even after 156 takes. Happy anniversary, Tobey! That stunt is legendary.