'Spidey' gang back in game

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Tobey Maguire and other stars from Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man 3" are again lending their voices and likenesses to the Activision video game based on the film, the first in the franchise for all three next-generation consoles.

Joining Maguire (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) in the voice cast are James Franco (Harry Osborn/New Goblin), Topher Grace (Eddie Brock/Venom), Thomas Haden Church (Flint Marco/Sandman) and J.K. Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson). Also serving as the in-game narrator for the third time is Bruce Campbell, who appeared in the first film.

"Spider-Man 3" hits theaters May 4. The Activision game -- for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 2, PC, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance SP -- will be in stores by then.

"Having the actors in the game adds to the authenticity of the experience and really brings it to life," said Rob Kostich, vp global brand management for Activision.

William Schmitt, producer of "Spider-Man 3" at Activision, said the actors provided their voice work shortly after the original filming schedule wrapped, allowing them to be "in character" for the game.

With a growing number of Hollywood actors having grown up playing video games, including Maguire, younger talent from films has become more interested in getting involved in Hollywood-licensed games, Kostich said.

"I think the actors in this game have a huge appreciation for what video games have to offer, and some do play quite a bit," he said.

Kostich said that Activision and game developer Treyarch worked with director Sam Raimi on all three games.

"We have been working closely with Sony Pictures over the last two years, from concept all the way through the development phase, to ensure we provide a game experience that fans will relish," Kostich said. "We have been given great exposure to script development, costume and set design and key action sequences from the movie."

The game expands the story of the film to include side missions and exclusive comic book villains such as Lizard, Scorpion and Carlyle. "The movie story line is only one of 10 story lines we have in the game," Kostich said.

Manhattan has been expanded for this game to include more than 20 miles of subterranean environments including sewers and subways in addition to the skyscrapers above the crowded streets. The new black-suited Spider-Man is introduced, and the PS3 game allows players to ride through the virtual Big Apple as the New Goblin character.

"For us, systems like the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 allow us to provide the most cinematic expression in a game yet through the amazing graphical capabilities of these machines," Kostich said. "Through the use of the Wii remote and Nunchuck on the Wii video game console, we are going to really be able to let consumers feel what it is like to swing through New York City."
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