Netflix subscribers are in for a treat, as a fan-favorite Spider-Man animated series is now available on the streaming service. The Spectacular Spider-Man made its debut in 2008 on The CW and ran for two seasons. While there were future seasons planned, The Spectacular Spider-Man came to an abrupt halt when Disney purchased Marvel. The belief is that since the animated series was a production of Sony Pictures Television, Disney wanted its own Spider-Man show under its umbrella. This led to the creation of Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD. For those Spidey fans out there who may have missed The Spectacular Spider-Mannow’s your time to catch up on it while it’s streaming on Netflix.
“This animated series picks up the famed web-slingers’ mythology at the start of his journey as Peter Parker – a not-so-typical 16-year-old with new powers – grapples with the pressures of teen life while battling supervillains in the real world, “a description of The Spectacular Spider-Man reads on Netflix. Seasons 1 and 2 can both be found, which fan for 13 episodes individually. The series was developed by Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Young Justice) and Victor Cook (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated), and boasts an all-star cast including Josh Keaton as Peter Parker / Spider-Man, Lacey Chabert as Gwen Stacy, and more.
In 2012, ahead of the Ultimate Spider-Man reboot, Weisman explained that no “single company” canceled Spectacular Spider-Man. Instead, the fan-favorite show ended up in “a situation where no single company could proceed with it.” Weisman spoke about Spectacular Spider-Man during a 2012 Q&A:
- Sony had originally produced SpecSpidey as part of their overall entertainment license of the Spidey property (which of course included the extremely lucrative live action films).
- But in order to win some concession on those live action feature films, Sony returned the animation rights to the character back to Marvel.
- So now only Marvel could produce a Spider-Man cartoon. Sony no longer could, which meant SpecSpidey could not continue at Sony.
- I have no idea whether Marvel was interested in continuing Spectacular Spider-Man or not. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that they would have liked to.
- They could not.
- Why? Because Sony owned all the specific elements (designs, storyline, etc.) to the SpecSpidey VERSION of Spider-Man. So Marvel would have had to license all that BACK from Sony.
- You can imagine how unlikely THAT scenario was. Marvel finally gets the rights back to do an animated version of their marquee character, and then they have to pay Sony to do it instead of just starting from scratch. That was never going to happen.
- Of course, all this was complicated by the fact that Disney purchased Marvel, and Disney and Sony are direct competitors.
- And I’m sure Marvel was excited to put their own stamp on an animated Spider-Man. Who could blame them?
- So that was it. We were toast through no fault of our own. The folks at Marvel, Sony and even Disney all seemed to like our show, but the corporate mess made it impossible for us to continue.
Will you be giving The Spectacular Spider-Man a spin on Netflix? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!