What Xena's doing in the comic book adaptation, all about sequels, and more

”Spider-Man” won’t be swinging into theaters until May of 2002, but fans are already watching his every move. Sony’s official site (Spider-Man) recently posted early footage of both Spidey and the Green Goblin (played by Willem Dafoe), addressing nagging concerns about the costumes of our hero and his arch foe. But web crawlers continue to flood the net in search of answers to rampant rumors. EW.com gets to the bottom of a few.

What’s this we hear about Lucy Lawless appearing in the movie?
TV’s former Xena does have a ”Spider-Man” walk-on, but you may not recognize her; she’s definitely more punk than warrior princess, smoking cigarettes in a spikey orange wig, nose ring, ripped stockings, and combat boots. Lawless shot the cameo out of love: Her husband, Rob Tapert (exec producer of ”Xena”), is director Sam Raimi’s partner at Renaissance Pictures. Fellow partner and ”Evil Dead” star Bruce Campbell also makes a cameo as a wrestling announcer.

Is there a plan for a ”Spider-Man” sequel?
Raimi is already plotting the second Spidey movie, for which stars Tobey Maguire (Spiderman/Peter Parker) and Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane) have already signed on (their ”Spider-Man” contracts have an option for two more films). Raimi has said he’d like to move the duo into college in the new film, further exploring the personal relationships between Parker, Mary Jane, and Spidey’s buddy Harry Osborne (James Franco).

What’s with the old yellow car we’ve been seeing in shots from the movie?
The junker is a souvenir from director Sam Raimi’s ”Evil Dead” trilogy. The director makes it a point to work this old heap into as many of his pictures as he can and fans have taken to playing spot-the-rattletrap. Raimi also pulls a Hitchcock, making a blink-or-you’ll-miss-it cameo; close watchers will spot him chatting on a cell phone and sipping coffee as Spider-Man whizzes by.

Raimi initially said Spider-Man would have organic webshooters. But mechanical webshooters were shown at the E3 convention. What’s up with that?
Raimi hoped to make Spidey’s webshooters an organic mutation instead of the comic book’s mechanical strap-ons, but the ensuing outcry from fans seemingly changed his mind — though not completely. Parker still spins webs directly from his wrist, a creepy side effect of being bitten by a genetically altered spider; but he can’t control their direction and so is forced to create webshooters. Hey, it’s not easy being a superhero.

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