James Cameron's Creepy Spider-Man Sex Scene: A Closer Look
We've told you before that James Cameron wrote a Spider-Man script in the '90s. And we've told you a weird highlight: Spider-Man and Mary Jane having sex after he ties her down with webs. But hearing that scene summarized, out of context, undersells just how creepy it really is.
Most obviously strange is Spider-Man's monologue, which compares his technique to the mating practices of actual spiders:
Spider-Man: "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. The female usually signals her willingness by an uncharacteristic passivity. In certain crab spiders, such as Xysticus, the male will attach strands of silk to the female ... tying her limbs ... " (he ties her limbs) "Since the female can break free at any time, the bonds have only symbolic significance."
Mary Jane: "The male must be very bold ... to take such liberties with the predatory female."
Spider-Man: "Yes. He is very bold. But he must also trust her. Close your eyes."
To see how weirder this is than, say, the two of them kissing in a web in Spider-Man 3, you have to realize Mary-Jane does not know Spider-Man is Peter Parker in this scene. She has met Spider-Man just once before, when he saved her from a gang (Spider-Man has also been peeping at her in her underwear through her window, but she doesn't know that). Now, for their second meeting, he arrived unannounced at "her private spot" and whisked her to the Brooklyn Bridge for sex.
But here's what's really so creepy about this scene. This exchange makes up almost a majority of all the dialogue James Cameron wrote.
See, Cameron didn't write a complete script but instead what's called a scriptment. Its 47 pages contain more than enough for a full movie—everything from Peter getting his powers to Ben's death to two villains' origin stories to Spider-Man accidentally killing a kid—but it's nearly all told in summary. He wrote only a handful of scenes in full.
One is the final fight (on the World Trade Center against a villain who's "Donald Trump meets Milken, mixed with homicidal psychosis"). Another, the second-longest, is this sex scene. Clearly, James Cameron was really into it.
He wrote out just a few other full scenes besides these, including a speech from Uncle Ben of course, and also including one more sex scene. It features the villain, who has electric powers. Electro's girlfriend takes off her robe to reveal she's wearing full rubber to protect herself. He electrocutes her anyway. Then he unzips her rubber suit and shocks her back to life.
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Top image: Angela George, Sony Pictures