Alvin Sargent dies Thursday of natural causes.
Two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who penned four Spider-Man movies for Sony Pictures, died Thursday of natural causes, THR reports. He was 92.
Sargent co-wrote the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 2 and its 2007 sequel, Spider-Man 3, and served as writer on Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man. Sargent provided a dialogue polish on the David Koepp-penned 2002 franchise-launching blockbuster that starred Tobey Maguire as the wall-crawling superhero but did not receive a screenplay credit.
Friend and producer Pam Williams confirmed Sargent’s death. Williams was partners with Sargent’s late wife, Laura Ziskin, who produced Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and the first Amazing Spider-Man.
Until it was unseated by Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 2004’s Spider-Man 2 was the best-received Spider-Man movie on Rotten Tomatoes at 93%. Prolific movie critic Roger Ebert praised Raimi’s sophomore Spidey outing for being “what a superhero movie should be.”
“Spider-Man 2 believes in its story in the same way serious comic readers believe, when the adventures on the page express their own dreams and wishes,” Ebert wrote of the screenplay written by Sargent, Michael Chabon, and Alfred Gough & Miles Millar.
“It’s not camp and it’s not nostalgia, it’s not wall-to-wall special effects, and it’s not pickled in angst. It’s simply and poignantly a realization that being Spider-Man is a burden that Peter Parker is not entirely willing to bear.”
Sargent was first nominated for an Academy Award for scripting director Peter Bogdanovich’s 1973 comedy drama Paper Moon. He won his first Oscar for writing 1977 Jane Fonda-led drama Julia and was awarded his second Oscar for 1980 drama Ordinary People, which starred Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland as parents navigating the death of a son.
Across his near 60-year career, Sargent earned 43 writing credits, The Amazing Spider-Man being his last.