Sony had been in a bit of a pickle around 2010, as the fourth Raimi movie has stalled and the hard 5-year time limit before the Spider-Man movie rights would revert to Marvel. As such, they decided to reboot the Spider-Man movie franchise. (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb had been tasked with directing this new franchise.
Andrew Garfield was the actor tapped up by Sony to be the new web-slinger as they sought to reboot the classic Raimi trilogy. Andrew Garfield had come with some pedigree after his star-making turn as Eduardo Savarin in The Social Network, so there was definitely some hype behind this move. With further news that Peter Parker would be using mechanical web-shooters and that Emma Stone would be playing Gwen Stacy, there was hope this would be more comic accurate iteration than the acclaimed Raimi trilogy.
The Amazing Spider-Man released in 2012 and actually garnered decent reviews (shocking I know!) as critics praised the more witty Spider-Man, Webb's emotionally involving take and especially the better chemistry between its leads. In the box office, The Amazing Spider-Man had grossed $757.9 million against a $230 million budget. As such, a sequel was quickly green lit.
6. Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was soon in production after the release of the first movie. Sony executives and director Marc Webb had expressed hope that the sequel would kick-start a wider cinematic universe in order for Garfield's Peter Parker to explore and grow in. Classic Spider-Man villains such as Green Goblin and Electro were announced for the sequel whilst Paul Giamatti was signed to play the Rhino. For some reason.
Initial plans were also laid in place for various spin-off films starring the Sinister Six (helmed by Drew Goddard), a Venom movie (which became the Tom Hardy piece we eventually got), Morbius (which we eventually saw the trailer for) and various others including Kraven the Hunter. There were also groundwork plans for the 3rd and 4th Amazing Spider-Man films.
Public perception was that Sony seemed to be rushing its hand in establishing a wider shared universe in an attempt to catch up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was further compounded when the reception towards The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was decidedly mixed despite still earning $700 million from the box office after an initial budget of $250 million. This completely threw Sony's planned shared Spidey universe into a loop.
As such Sony in 2014 was left wondering what could be done to salvage their floundering Spider-Man IP, they soon decided to consider ideas outside their company, which led to the collaboration with Marvel Studios to share the Spider-Man IP. It was eventually decided that Spider-Man would be rebooted and thus Andrew Garfield was out and Tom Holland is in.