Family Focus

Charlotte’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man

Film producer Oliver J. Crooms IV is slated to release his latest film, the first installment of a Spider-Man short fan film trilogy.

Spider-Man Legacy is set to premier by March 2022 on YouTube and other free social media platforms.

Spider-Man fan films are being produced across the country.

A fan film is a film or video inspired by a film, television program, comic book, book or video game created by fans rather than by the source’s copyright holders or creators.

“I’m a big lover of the character. I grew up with Spider-Man,” Crooms said.

Fan filmmakers have traditionally been amateurs, but some of the more notable films have actually been produced by professional filmmakers as film school class projects or as demonstration reels.

The founder of the Carolina Film Festival, Crooms produced and co-wrote Spider-Man Legacy. The fan film is directed and co-written by Seneca Robinson.

In Croom’s iteration, Spider-Man has been given a humanized rework, residing in a universe where the usually jovial happy-go-lucky character is engrossed in a ruthless battle against a callous organized crime syndicate.

The Carolina Film Festival’s mission is to enhance the love of filmmaking through education and provide a platform where cinematic works from diverse filmmakers are celebrated.

“This brings a whole new fan base with the film festival. You can love film. You can love Spider-Man, superheroes, and you can love all different genres of movies,” Crooms said.

Crooms also suits up as Spider-Man to bring joy and happiness to kids at different events, as well as working with different nonprofits where he serves underprivileged children and children with special needs.

“A friend invited me to be a Spider-Man for her son’s birthday party. I thought it would be something fun to do. People said I should stick with that character, and asked me to do their kids events, kids birthdays so it took off from there.”

Most recently Crooms made a Spider-Man appearance at the 2021 Brownies & Burpless event where dozens of kids with special needs got a chance to meet, take photos and workout with their favorite superhero.

“To see kids who are disabled or struggling and then rolling their wheelchair towards me wanting to give me a hug, it’s really fulfilling and makes me feel lucky and blessed to be able to give,” he said.

The Spider-Verse has opened a whole new realm of Spider-Man. Different characters from parallel universes band together to battle evil.

“You don’t have to be a certain skin color and anybody can relate to Spider-Man. He stands for truth and justice and he stands for the little man,” Crooms said. “People love that aspect of Spider-Man. They relate to somebody who’s fun and energetic but also goes through real world challenges.”

Currently filming, Spider-Man Legacy has Crooms showcasing his acting in the lead role complemented by James Arthur Sims, Granite Austin and Bryan Kennedy.

“The film will be free for people to watch. It takes Spiderman to a different edge. Peter Parker isn’t able to be Spiderman, and I’m taking up the mantle and fighting the criminal lords underground.”

The fan film dually reimagines Spider-Man while showcasing the resilience and dedication to craft of Black filmmakers in North Carolina.

“Spider-Man could be anybody, and he is everybody,” Crooms said. “That’s one perfect thing about him.”

The troupe of actors are all North Carolina natives and have stood steadfast in filming despite the raging pandemic.

If you have an inspiring story, please contact Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at