Tobey Maguire Spider-Man giving that look

James Cameron Wrote the Cringiest Spider-Man Sex Scene Imaginable

Courtship among the spiders is highly ritualized.

With the release of the new Avatar movie, James Cameron has reentered the media cycle. That means besides his questionable film, we get to bask in his ego. This includes his hot takes on how he thinks he empowers female characters better than anyone else and his snide remarks about popular superhero movies. But his saltiness over Marvel and DC movies may be due in part to the fact that he never got to make his own comic book-inspired movie.

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Back in the early 1990s, Cameron wanted to make a Spider-Man movie. The script for the failed project is still circling the internet if you have any interest in checking it out. Honestly, I don’t care what was supposed to happen in the rest of the movie because I’m stuck on one particular terrible rooftop sex scene between Mary Jane and “Spider Man.”

It’s like a bad fanfiction.

Yes, throughout the entire script, Spider-Man (written the correct hyphenated way) is written as “Spider Man,” without a hyphen. Maybe this is an entirely different character, possibly a man-sized spider in a costume, and not Peter Parker? It’s like a bad fanfiction where the writer just spells everyone’s names without regard to canon or grammar.

Keeping up with the fanfiction vibe, this scene unfolds like a fanfic found on the back alleys of LiveJournal. It opens with the Spider-Man (not Peter Parker for reasons not divulged) and Mary Jane on a rooftop. Already MJ is feeling swoony. She has to stand against a girder to “feel something solid” as she takes in Spider-Man, “a perfectly formed male silhouette with a soothing low voice.” I think I wrote something similar when I was 15—before I started writing good fanfiction.

Then Spider-Man starts the seduction with the words that would make anyone weak in the knees:

“Courtship among the spiders is highly ritualized. It varies from species to species. The male spider may circle the female, or wave his front legs…to signal that he is not prey.”

Yeah, super hot, right? Then he “moves in a hypnotic arc around her” as he “raises his hands in a dance-like movement.” He’s showing Mary Jane that he isn’t prey so they can start their own courtship. (I guess because they are really spiders and not humans?) We all saw Spider-Man 3, so we know that Peter parker has some very seductive dance moves. How is Mary Jane to resist such an onslaught?

Creepily, Spider-Man tells her he can see her interest by showing “an uncharacteristic passivity.” MJ is feeling all kinds of things so Spidey keeps going by detailing how some male crab spiders symbolically tie up the legs of the female before mating. He shoots his webs over her wrists like a sticky, disgusting version of a bondage rope. Listen, I don’t kink shame and can appreciate some BDSM themes in a mainstream movie, but this is a hard pass.

I think because he is ashamed of himself (or possibly trying to hide his identity), Spider-Man wants MJ to close her eyes while he takes off his mask so their mouths can “slowly and very sensuously devour each other.” Even though she can’t look at him while intimate, Mary Jane feels he is “mesmerizing, gentle, powerful.” End scene, probably with an artistic fade of the city below.

I knew Cameron thought himself a master storyteller who crafts cinema like no one else. After reading this, I can honestly say that this would have been a side of Spider-Man unlike any other. I am equal parts sad and horrified by how this was close to being shown on the big screen.

(featured image: Sony/Marvel)


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Author
D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.