Spotlight on...Spider-Man

The newest Spotlight On takes a look back at the Spider-Man films.

Based on the ever-popular Marvel superhero, the first Spider-Man film was pivotal in the superhero film craze.  Composers for the character include Danny Elfman, Christopher Young, with James Horner and Hans Zimmer taking reigns of the reboot.

Here's a look back on the Spider-Man films score by score. 

Spider-Man (2002)
Music by Danny Elfman
Elfman returned to the superhero world, this time with a swirling motif, with Spider-Man's main theme always changing throughout the score, notably as a noble horn solo in the finale.  Also included are themes for the Green Goblin, tender moments for Peter and Mary Jane and great uses of choir.  (Just listen to: Main Title, Costume Montage, Specter of the Goblin, Farewell

Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Music by Danny Elfman
Following the well-matched first score, parts of Elfman's score was often tracked into this sequel.  There are some improvements in the heroic moments, and a stronger villain motif, for Doc Ock.  Also brought onto the film for additional music was Christopher Young and John Debney, although their portions didn't make the album.  (Just listen to: M.J.'s New Life/Spidus Interruptus, He's Back!, Armageddon/A Really Big Web!, Spidey Suite)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Music by Christopher Young
After a fallout with director Raimi and Elfman, Christopher Young took over the third film.  The main theme appears throughout the film, lending a little continuity.  His action cues are some of the best in his career, while many parts of the score feature his black suit motif and menacing/melancholic Sandman theme.  As of now, there still is no album release of the score.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Music by James Horner
With the reboot, Horner was tapped to compose a new theme for Spider-Man's heroics.  Many parts of the score are led by piano solos (played by the composer) and vocal solos.  Following his blockbuster action techniques, we get a villain theme, mystery motif, but all overshadowed by the heroic theme. (Just listen to: Main Title – Young Peter, The Ganali Device, Saving New York, Promises – End Titles)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Music by Hans Zimmer & the Magnificent Six
Zimmer & Friends created a electronic rock score, with a notable (but laughable) Copland-esque Spidey theme, a goofy clarinet motif and vocals (Pharrell) for villain Max/Electro.  A solo piano leads some of the quiet relationship moments, but other dubstep parts will leave you with a headache.  (Just listen to: I'm Spider-Man, My Enemy)

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