If Hollywood had a superhero throne, Spider-Man would be perched upon it. As the most popular superhero in the world, the web-slinger plays a pivotal role in three of the six highest-grossing film franchises in history: the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the Avengers quadrilogy; and the Spider-Man movies themselves.
Spidey has come a long way since Marvel guru Stan Lee first concocted him in 1962, but until now his cinematic journey has not been fully documented. The wall-crawler’s history in Hollywood is a saga filled with failed attempts, behind-the-scenes squabbles, franchise reboots, corporate intrigue, and a host of A-list names—including, of course, stars Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland. With Great Power is a lively and memorable account of the character’s rise to box-office supremacy, revealing how his movies continue to influence the comic-book adaptations being made today. Drawing on exclusive access to and extensive interviews with directors, actors, producers, and screenwriters, veteran film reporter and author Sean O'Connell here gives the inside scoop on how Spider-Man clambered his way to the top of Hollywood’s superhero heap.
Sean O'Connell is the managing director of CinemaBlend, a globally recognized and industry-respected entertainment news website. He has been covering the film industry since 1999, and his byline has appeared in USA Today, The Washington Post, and Fandango.
Sean grew up on Marvel Comics and is a Spider-Man aficionado who covered all eight Spider-Man films during every phase of production. Since 2016, Sean has been able to file reports from the international film sets of both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home.
"A hugely entertaining and informative chronicle of the big screen history of everyone's favorite web crawler from Queens. This is a Spider-Man book by a fan for fans!"—Josh Horowitz, MTV/Comedy Central
“Sean O’Connell does Spider-Man, superhero films, and movie fans a major service by leaving no stone unturned in this incredibly detailed, thoroughly researched, and well-written book on the history of the Web-Slinger that focuses on how Spidey tangled Hollywood and generations of movie audiences everywhere in his web. The stories encompassing the Spider-Man flicks in the book told by cast members, including the icons who portrayed Peter Parker, as well as crew members, from directors to costume designers who took the creation of the legendary attire to heart, are remarkably candid and insightful. From the Spider-Man projects that didn’t swing to arguably the greatest film achievement in history, Sean helps the reader understand how it all unfolded. There will never be another Spider-Man book like With Great Power.”—Scott King, Forbes.com
"Stan Lee once claimed Spider-Man was more than a superhero, but a state of mind. Read Sean O’Connell’s With Great Power and you’ll understand how this lovable teen conquered comic books and Hollywood! O’Connell spins a web that readers will find hard to put down. Excelsior!"—Bob Batchelor, author, Stan Lee: A Life and Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel, Young Reader Edition
"The love for the Spider-Man character, in all of his various media, is apparent from the very first page. Sean O'Connell has certainly put forth an immense effort in exploring and revealing every nook and cranny of the web that was woven to bring this unassuming geek from Queens into the hearts and minds of everyone in the world. Shockingly, I've learned things about Spider-Man and how he came to be that I never knew, and that has only deepened my love for the character and this genre of entertainment. This book has certainly made me want to dig into anything and everything Spider-Man, and I'm a Thor fanboy!"—Jeff Randle, co-host: Marvel Cinematic Universe Podcast, co-creator: Stranded Panda Podcast Network
"Clones? Alternate timelines? Parallel realities? The behind-the-scenes history of the Spider-Man movies has them all beat for head-spinning complexity, and Sean O'Connell arrives just in time to untangle that web."—Douglas Wolk, author, All of the Marvels