See a news report of Stan Lee announcing a Spidey movie ... in 1977

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Mar 7, 2013, 11:21 AM EST

Ah, the joys and perils of development hell.

Below is a cheerful field report from an Indianapolis news station in 1977. It features Marvel Comics' happy warrior, Stan "The Man" Lee, schmoozing with fans, signing autographs and talking to a reporter about how he created his heroes. The clip is fun enough by itself. It's cool to see the Man hanging out with fans back in the day, and to see a couple of Cap and Spidey cosplayers stop by, and to hear a little kid in a Spider-Man T-shirt call Spidey "neat."

But the clip is noteworthy for another reason. Near the end you hear the reporter announce that a Spider-Man movie is coming soon.

"A full-length feature film of the Webbed Crusader, with Lee as associate producer," she declares.

Oh, if only she'd known ...

Spider-Man's tumultuous film development history is well documented. It features several false starts, a lawsuit or two, and even a guest appearance by James Cameron. In the end, the smiling fans in that comic-book store would have to wait 25 more years for Spidey to swing into theaters. Since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man made a killing at the box office in 2002, we've had four movies documenting Peter Parker's adventures, with a fifth on the way. So if you're a Spidey-flick fan, thank your lucky stars you didn't live through the dark ages when all those promises were broken.

(Via Marvel Comics: The Untold Story)