Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi and written by Alvin Sargent from a story by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Michael Chabon. Based on the fictional Marvel Comics character of the same name, it is the second installment in the Spider-Man trilogy and the sequel to Spider-Man (2002), starring Tobey Maguire alongside Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, Rosemary Harris, and Donna Murphy.
Set two years after the events of Spider-Man, the film finds Peter Parker struggling to manage both his personal life and his duties as Spider-Man, which affects his civilian life dramatically. Meanwhile, Dr. Otto Octavius becomes a diabolical villain after a failed experiment kills his wife and leaves him neurologically fused to mechanical tentacles. Spider-Man must stop him from successfully recreating the dangerous experiment while dealing with a subconscious desire to stop being Spider-Man that is stripping him of his powers. Raimi's inspiration for the film came from the comic book debut of Doctor Octopus in 1964, the 1966 story arc If This Be My Destiny...!, and the 1967 story arc Spider-Man No More! Principal photography began in April 2003 in New York City and also took place in Los Angeles. Reshoots took place later that year and concluded in December.
Spider-Man 2 was released in both conventional and IMAX theaters on June 30, 2004. It received widespread critical acclaim and grossed $789 million worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of the year. The film won Best Visual Effects at the 77th Academy Awards, and was also nominated for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing; furthermore, it received five awards at the Saturn Awards, including Best Fantasy Film and Best Director for Raimi. Considered one of the best and most influential superhero films of all time, its success led to Spider-Man 3 (2007).
Peter Parker is estranged from both his love interest Mary Jane Watson and his best friend Harry Osborn and discovers that his Aunt May is facing eviction. He finds himself suffering temporary but recurring losses of his powers, often in life-threatening situations.
Harry, who is now head of Oscorp's genetic and scientific research division, is sponsoring a fusion power project by nuclear scientist Otto Octavius, who befriends and mentors Peter. While handling hazardous materials, Octavius wears a harness of powerful robotic tentacle arms with artificial intelligence. During a public demonstration that Peter and Harry attend, a power spike causes the fusion reactor to destabilize. Octavius refuses to shut down the reactor, which goes critical, killing his wife Rosalie, and burning the inhibitor chip blocking the arms from his nervous system. Peter, as Spider-Man, shuts the experiment down, destroying it in the process. At a hospital, Doctors prepare to surgically remove Octavius' harness. Without the inhibitor chip, the now sentient arms defend themselves by killing the doctors. Upon regaining consciousness and seeing the carnage, Octavius escapes and takes refuge at a harbor. Becoming increasingly influenced by the arms' AI, he decides to re-try his experiment. He robs a bank to fund a second experiment. Peter and May coincidentally are there, and Octavius takes May hostage. Peter rescues her, but Octavius flees with the stolen money. The Daily Bugle subsequently dubs the scientist Doctor Octopus.
Mary Jane becomes engaged to astronaut John Jameson, the son of Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. Peter suffers an emotional breakdown over his inability to balance his life and loses his powers. He quits being Spider-Man, returns to his normal life, and unsuccessfully attempts to reconcile with Mary Jane. A garbageman brings Peter's costume to Jameson, who takes credit for driving Spider-Man into hiding. Peter tells May the truth behind his Uncle Ben's death and how he is responsible. May forgives him, but the rise in New York City's crime rates worries Peter.