Fan Theories About The Original Spider-Man Trilogy That Totally Make Sense

List Rules
Vote up the most interesting (and believable) fan theories.

Spider-Man is easily one of the most popular characters in comics. He's been around since the early '60s and has since gone on to star in live-action television shows, films, animated series, comic books, video games, and pretty much everything else. Of course, he really stood out, not from his cartoons but from his first foray into live-action on the silver screen. The Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy stands as one of the most successful of the early 2000s, and it helped solidify superhero storytelling as a legitimate (and profitable) venture.

The three films that comprise Raimi's trilogy have been around since Spider-Man 3 was released in 2007, and fans have been dissecting them ever since. Whatever they happen to see while watching the movies can lead to some rather interesting theories about what's really going on in the film. Every so often, fans will take their theory to the FanTheories subreddit to share their thoughts and ideas about the Spider-Man trilogy. Some Spider-Man fan theories are lighthearted, while others can be dark, but a lot of them actually make sense, and the best of them have been compiled here.


  • 1
    115 VOTES

    Mysterio Operates Behind The Scenes Throughout Raimi's Trilogy

    From Redditor u/mynameis4826:

    Sony recently revealed that in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4, Bruce Campbell would have played the villain Mysterio. When I had originally heard this, I thought it was a bit of a sloppy idea from Raimi, since Campbell had already had cameos in not just one, nor two, but all three of the previous Spider-Man movies. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed his cameos as much as the next guy, but I had thought that making Campbell the main villain would ruin the whole point of his cameos.

    Then I began thinking about Mysterio as a villain: Here is a guy who prides himself on being a master of illusion and disguise. Here is a guy who comes up with needlessly complex plans and illusions in order to provide an ultimate, theatrical pay-off. Wouldn't it be just perfect if it turned out that Spider-Man's enemy had been under his nose the whole time?

    Think back to Campbell's cameos: Each of them was distinct, over-the-top characters, from the wrestling announcer in 1 to the anal usher in 2, to the snooty French waiter in 3. My theory is that Mysterio, having studied Spider-Man from afar since his wrestling days, would have tormented Peter Parker with illusions from his civilian life. As he conveniently shows up before significant events in Parker's life, he could have been collecting this knowledge for years, finally making use of it with one grand illusion, a la The Prestige.

    TL;DR: Bruce Campbell's cameos were actually Mysterio collecting data on Spider-Man, to be used in the shelved plot for Spider-Man 4.

    115 votes
  • 2
    83 VOTES

    Doc Ock Doesn't Care If He Kills Peter In 'Spider-Man 2'

    From Redditor u/BattleReadyPenguin:

    You all must've seen the movie and remembered [the scene where Doc Ock throws a car into the building to have Peter send a message to Spider-Man].

    People sometimes have a problem with this scene saying "If Doc threw the car at Peter why would he tell him to send a message to Spider-Man?"

    The answer is pretty simple: Doc Ock did not care if Peter lived or died because regardless of the outcome he was thinking that Spider-Man would've gotten the message.

    83 votes
  • 3
    89 VOTES

    Spidey Subconsciously Swings Toward Danger Via His Spidey-Sense

    From Redditor u/JeffRyan1:

    Spider-Man subconsciously uses his spider-sense to always swing TOWARD danger when on patrol, hence why he's like four times busier than all other heroes.

    89 votes
  • 4
    87 VOTES

    Doc Ock Could Have Gotten His Fusion Reaction To Stabalize

    From Redditor u/acerthorn:

    The main plot of Spider-Man 2 was that Dr. Octavius was a well-meaning scientist who falls victim to his own hubris and can't fathom that he made an error in his calculations. The movie pretends like his error that nearly killed everyone was something that only those in the scientific community could understand. But careful prising of the movie's footage reveals that this isn't actually the case.

    In fact, it's quite the opposite. Not only can I pin down the exact error that Dr. Octavious made, but in fact, that error was totally correctable on a second go-round!

    The error was that he set it up in the middle of New York City.

    See, he knew the mini star was magnetic; that's why, when he developed his octopus arms, he very clearly told the news media that they are "impervious to heat and magnetism." I understand the "heat" part; this is a mini-star after all. But why would he need to make them impervious to magnetism if he didn't expect the mini-star to be magnetic?

    So during the first creation of his star, if you watch the footage carefully, you realize that it's only the metal items that get sucked into the star! That's it! Just the metal items!

    Sure, the shards of glass kill Octavius's wife, but those were thrown at her by the metal window frame! They weren't sucked into the star directly! After that, they fell to the ground and didn't move again!

    So all Octavius had to do was to build the mini-star out in the middle of nowhere, and forbid the press from bringing anything metal - including cameras or even the little metal cylinders on their pencils that hold the erasers in place - to the demonstration. Just do that and BOOM! The mini-star would have been an unbridled success!

    Just because your financial backer is headquartered in New York City doesn't mean that's where you need to set your experiment up!

    87 votes
  • 5
    61 VOTES

    9/11 Had An Impact On The Events Of 'Spider-Man'

    From Redditor u/LogicDog:

    They even throw things at the Green Goblin, and say stuff like, "You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us!"

    The citizens of NYC save Peter multiple times during the trilogy, also picking up his body as he passed out so that he wouldn't fall off the train, and surrounding/protecting him when Doctor Octavius showed up.

    The average person in NYC simply had a heightened appreciation for local heroes such as firefighters, police, and Spidey too.

    They had just been shown the extreme value of having local, neighborhood, heroes.

    The recent 9/11 attacks were also why media outlets like The Daily Bugle were so ready to spin Spider-Man as a villain.

    61 votes
  • 6
    65 VOTES

    J. Jonah Jameson Sells Peter's Photos Of Spider-Man To Other Papers

    From Redditor u/yearsagotheytriedt:

    Every once in a while you'll see on r/movies or r/MovieDetails that J Jonah Jameson’s true colours are shown when the Green Goblin raids the Daily Bugle and asks JJ who takes the photos of Spider-Man.

    He replies that he doesn’t know - the photos come in the mail. People cite this as evidence of JJ’s journalistic and moral integrity, though I don’t think his motives are as pure.

    Its clear from Spider-Man that Peter is the only one that would be able to take the cinematic, high-quality photos he supplies to the Daily Bugle. However, let’s look here at the many publications showcasing these sorts of photos in Spider-Man 3.

    Where did these publications get the right to publish these photos? As far as we know, Peter doesn’t sell his photos to anyone except The Daily Bugle - part of the reason he’s so poor all of the time, with JJ consistently low-balling him. Therefore it makes sense that these other publications could not have got the photos from anyone except The Daily Bugle i.e J Jonah Jameson.

    We can also assume that Peter regularly brings in batches of photos, for which JJ will pay a lump sum, as is evidenced by his first encounter with JJ in Spider-Man 1. Now JJ could save them for another day and use them then. Or he could sell them to the highest bidder, all of whom would have zero access to high-quality photos of Spider-Man. And given how little money he manages to goad Peter into accepting, it would not be surprising to see Peter coming in very regularly through sheer necessity. JJ probably has a whole stash of unused Spider-Man photos after years of Peter's freelancing.

    When the Green Goblin asks JJ who takes the picture and JJ responds with ignorance, it’s not from any kind of integrity - it’s because he realizes that if Peter is exposed he loses his cash cow in the form of Spider-Man photos. He holds a monopoly in the market and I imagine he’d do a lot to keep it that way.

    TL;DR - J Jonah Jameson was selling Peter’s photos for money evidenced by other publications having Spider-Man photos. He didn’t give up Peter because of Peter’s monetary value to him, not because he is a refined valley dude.

    65 votes