Chris Columbus Says Spider-Man Changed His Life

Do you ever wonder where filmmakers get their inspiration or what lead them to where they are today? For Pixels director, Chris Columbus, it was Spider-Man.

"I was always obsessed with Spider-Man," Columbus told us over the weekend. "Spider-Man is probably the reason I got into filmmaking because I grew up as a kid obsessed with Marvel comics. Steve Ditko and John Romita were my favorite artists of all time. I spent eight hours a day in my basement during the summer time, I would draw comics all the time. I would draw Spider-Man comics." One particular issue stood out to Columbus, though. So much so, he remembers the issue's number to this day - 39, printed in 1966. "The Spider-Man comic that really changed my life... It might be issue 39, which is iconic, where the Green Goblin is flying through the air and he's got Spider-Man behind him on his little hover craft thing and Peter Parker's face is exposed. I was stunned when I saw that cover. I remember seeing it for the first time. It was just the coolest comic book cover I had ever seen."

Initially, Columbus, like a lot of kids, wanted to move to New York and work for Marvel comics as an artist. That changed when he started making movies, which he says are "an extension of comics." The writer/director switched paths because he wanted to work with more people though. "I thought, 'Well, I don't really want to sit by myself alone in a room all day, I want to work with people.'"

The dream of directing 2017's Spider-Man movie was dashed for Columbus when Jon Watts was announced to be at the helm but Columbus is extremely excited to see Spider-Man join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Columbus has, however, dabbled in comic book movies in the past - kind of. On IMDb and in the film's credits, Columbus is listed as a producer on 2005's Fantastic Four movie and it's Silver Surfer sequel but Columbus didn't have too much input on those films, apparently. "[Michael Barnathan and I] got fired from the first movie before they ever started making it," Columbus revealed, but why? "There was some conceptual art, I may have said something like, 'We can maybe try and make the production design a little more Jack Kirby-eque."'That was probably the comment that got me canned." Within an hour of his suggestion to follow the Fantastic Four's source material from their creator more closely, Columbus found out he had given his last input to the films. Imagine that - following the comics in the movies. What a crazy thought!

Regardless of his original thoughts, Columbus is very much looking forward to seeing the new Fantastic Four film. "I think this one will be very good. I think it'll blow the other two out of the water," he says.

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For more on our chat with Columbus, stay tuned to ComicBook.com!

You can catch Columbus's next film effort when Pixels hits theaters July 24.