I'm not a bad person. Just had bad luck.
~ Sandman.
Spider-Man: Remember Ben Parker? The old man you shot down in cold blood?
Sandman: What does it matter to you, anyway?!
Spider-Man: EVERYTHING!!
~ Sandman and Spider-Man during their battle in the subway.

Flint Marko, also known as the Sandman, is the secondary antagonist of the 2007 film Spider-Man 3. He is a professional criminal who inadvertently causes the death of Peter Parker's uncle, Benjamin "Ben" Parker. Sandman is seen as a tragic villain because he is portrayed as a decent man who only breaks the law in order to afford the care his cancer-stricken daughter desperately needs.

Flint Marko's main weapon of choice was his own body, which he distorted to fit whatever purpose he wanted, although his main firearm was a Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver, which he used in his robberies prior to getting his powers.

He was portrayed by Thomas Haden Church, who also played Lyle Van de Groot in George of the JungleDwayne LaFontant in Over the Hedge, Roach in Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight, Quillgin in Regular Show, Killer Moth in Teen Titans, and Tal Hajus in John Carter.

Biography

Marko is introduced as a down-on-his-luck blue-collar worker whose young daughter, Penny, has cancer. In an effort to support her, the unemployed Marko turns to armed robbery to pay for her cancer treatments, at the same time becoming estranged from his wife. During one such robbery, Marko and his accomplice Dennis Carradine hold up a wrestling arena and flee the scene; while trying to escape, Marko accidentally kills Ben Parker, the uncle of Peter Parker, who will later become Spider-Man. Stricken with remorse, Marko surrenders to the police, and spends several years in prison.

After he is released, Marko is unable to find work, and reluctantly goes back to armed robbery in order to support his family. After a holdup goes wrong, Marko runs into a gigantic chamber filled with sand at a remote testing facility. Unbeknownst to Marko, the chamber is part of an experiment to test whether sand is an effective shield against radiation. Marko hides from the police in the pit, but is soon buried in the radioactive sand, causing Marko to be genetically blended together with the sediment. This transformation gives him the power to shapeshift at will, turn his hands into weapons, and grow hundreds of feet in size. Marko uses his new-found powers to rob numerous banks, but he is thwarted by Spider-Man, who is growing increasingly unstable as a result of the alien symbiote fused with his suit. When Spider-Man discovers that Marko killed his uncle, the enraged superhero chases him into a subway tunnel and opens a pipe, causing a massive flood of water that disintegrates Marko and washes him away. Unbeknownst to Spider-Man, however, Marko survives and regroups.

Venom later comes to Marko and forms an alliance with him in order to kill Spider-Man. After Spider-Man kills Venom with one of the New Goblin's pumpkin bombs, Marko finally learns Spider-Man's identity, apologizes to him and tells him the whole story of Ben's death. Marko states that he is not asking for forgiveness, but that he only wants Peter to understand what he has been going through. Peter forgives Marko and allows him to escape peacefully into the wind, having finally come to terms with what he has done.

Gallery

Trivia

  • He is the only villain in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy who doesn't die. He is also the third villain in the films to be redeemed.
  • Just like Eddie Brock/Venom, his alias "Sandman" was never mentioned in the film, however in the film when the news was broadcasted to the citizens of New York the news reporter called Flint "The Sandman". He was always known as Marko. Furthermore, Flint Marko is his actual name in the film, whereas in the comics it is an alias, and his real name is William Baker.
  • In the video game adaptation of Spider-Man 3, Sandman's fate is very different to his fate in the movie. At the end of the game, a cop appears with Sandman's daughter, and he is reunited with his daughter, and after that, he apologizes to Spider-Man by what happened. It was unknown if he was arrested by the cop after this. Also in the game he helped Eddie Brock to kill Spider-Man because Brock kidnapped his daughter, unlike the film where he was willing to help him.
  • On May 4, 2007, while promoting the film on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Thomas Haden Church revealed that he broke three knuckles during the subway scene where he swings to punch Spider-Man and ends up punching a chunk of the wall away. Church said that the effects crew had told him that the brick in the middle was fake while the upper and lower ones were real. Unfortunately, the foam brick had not actually been put in place yet, and when Sam Raimi yelled 'action', Church spun around and punched the real brick on the first take.
  • It took three years to create the visual effects required to portray the Sandman's powers. To understand the dynamics of sand, various experiments were conducted with sand (launching sand at stunt men, splashing the stuff around and pouring it over ledges). Sand sculptors were also consulted for advice.
  • Real sand was used for Sandman, except when characters were being buried or covered in sand. Since real sand would have been a possible hazard for such scenes, ground up corncobs were used instead.
  • The first shot of the Sandman forming took roughly 6 months to create.
  • Church was offered the role of Sandman on the strength of his performance in the film Sideways (2004). He accepted the part despite the fact that there was no script.
  • To prepare for his role as the Sandman, Thomas Haden Church worked out for 16 months, losing ten pounds of fat and gaining 28 pounds of muscle. He based his performance on misunderstood monsters, like the title character from The Golem (1920), Frankenstein's Monster (1931), and King Kong (1933).
  • According to composer Christopher Young, the Sandman's theme was composed with two contrabass saxophones, two contrabass clarinets, two contabrass bassoons and eight (very low) French horns to describe Sandman as "heavy and aggressive." Venom's theme was meant to make him sound "vicious and demonic" and used eight French horns.
  • A scene of Spider-Man battling a giant Sandman at a construction site was previously done in the cartoon Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends: Spider-Man: Unmasked! (1983).
  • The union between Venom and Sandman originally had Venom just offering the cash Sandman needs to save his daughter in exchange for helping him kill Spider-Man, but during the battle, Sandman's daughter would come and tell her father that she could not be cured and was going to die, and wanted to die with her father being a good man, not a criminal.
  • Thomas Haden Church was offered the role of Sandman on the strength of his performance in Sideways (2004). He accepted the part despite the fact that there was no script.
  • In other earlier scripts of the film, Lizard and Electro were planned to be the antagonists, rather than Venom and the Sandman. However, the Lizard appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) while Electro appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).

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Comics
Absorbing Man | Agony | A.I.M. | Alistair Smythe | Annihilus | Answer | Arcade | Awesome Android | Basilisk | Beetle | Beyonder | Black Cat | Blackie Drago | Blastaar | Blob | Bombshell | Boomerang | Brothers Grimm | Burglar | Bullseye | Bushwacker | Calypso | Carlton Drake | Carnage | Carrion | Chameleon | Chance | Constrictor | Crime Master | Crossbones | Daemos | Dark Avengers | Deadpool | Demogoblin | Diablo | Doctor Doom | Doctor Faustus | Doctor Octopus | Doppelganger | Dormammu | Electro | Enforcers | Fancy Dan | Equinox | Firelord | Frightful Four | Ghost | Gog | Goliath | Grant Ward | Graviton | Green Goblin (Norman Osborn, Harry Osborn & Bart Hamilton) | Grey Goblin | Grizzly | Hammerhead | Hand | Hazmat | High Evolutionary | Hitman | Hobgoblin | Human Fly | Hybrid | HYDRA | Hydro-Man | Inheritors | Iguana | Jackal | Jack O' Lantern | Jigsaw | J. Jonah Jameson | Johnny Ohm | Jonas Harrow | Juggernaut | Justin Hammer | Kaine | Karn | Killer Shrike | Kingpin | Knull | Kraven the Hunter | Lasher | Lady Deathstrike | Lightmaster | Living Brain | Lizard | Loki Laufeyson | Madame Viper | Magneto | Mandarin | Man-Spider | Man-Wolf | Menace | Mephisto | Mesmero | Mister Fear | Mister Hyde | Mister Negative | Mojo | Molten Man | Montana | Morbius | Morlun | Moses Magnum | Mysterio | Nekra | Nightmare | Niles Van Roekel | Nitro | Onslaught | Overdrive | Owl | Ox | Phage | Phil Urich | The Prowler | Psycho-Man | Puma | Punisher | Ramrod | Raze | Red Ghost | Red Skull | Rhino | Rhino II | Richard Fisk | Ringer | Riot | The Rose | Roxxon | Sandman | Sauron | Scarecrow | Scorcher | Scorpion | Scorn | Scream | Sebastian Shaw | Secret Empire | Sentinels | Seth Youngblood | Shocker | Shriek | Silver Sable | Sinister Six | Skip | Skrulls | Solus | Peter Benjamin Parker | Patton Parnel | Peter Parker | Spider-Man | Spider-Man Revenge Squad | Spider-Slayers | Spot | Street | Super-Apes | Swarm | Symbiotes | Tarantula | Taskmaster | Terminus | Thunderball | Thunderbolts | Tinkerer | Titania | Titanium Man | Tombstone | Toxin | Trapster | Tyrannus | Venom (Eddie Brock) | Vermin | Vulture | Walrus | White Rabbit | Will-O'-The-Wisp | Wizard | Worthy | Zodiac

Movies
Spider-Man: Green Goblin | Dennis Carradine | Bank Robbers | Harry Osborn | J. Jonah Jameson
Spider-Man 2: Doctor Octopus | Harry Osborn | J. Jonah Jameson
Spider-Man 3: Venom | Sandman | New Goblin | J. Jonah Jameson
The Amazing Spider-Man: Lizard | Gustav Fiers | Cash Register Thief | Norman Osborn
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Electro | Green Goblin | Donald Menken | Rhino | Alistair Smythe | Ashley Kafka | Felica Hardy | Gustav Fiers | Norman Osborn
Spider-Man: Homecoming: Bestman Salvage (Vulture, Tinkerer, Shocker #1, Shocker #2 & Randy Vale) | Mac Gargan | Aaron Davis
Venom: Eddie Brock/Venom | Carlton Drake/Riot | Roland Treece | Cletus Kasady
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Kingpin | Prowler | Doctor Octopus | Tombstone | Scorpion | Green Goblin | Vanessa Fisk | Richard Fisk
Spider-Man: Far From Home: Mysterio | William Ginter Riva | Victoria Snow | Gutes Guterman | Janice Lincoln | Doug | Elementals (Molten Man, Hydro-Man, Sandman, Cyclone & Elemental Fusion) | Skrulls (Talos) | Obadiah Stane | J. Jonah Jameson

Television
Spider-Man (1967)
Vulture | Green Goblin | Electro | Rhino | Mysterio | Doctor Octopus | Scorpion | Human Fly | Kingpin | Lizard | Spider-Slayer | Sandman | Dr. Matto Magneto | Enforcers (Cowboy & Ox) | Frederick Foswell | J. Jonah Jameson

Spider-Man (1981)
Doctor Doom | Kingpin | Doctor Octopus | Lizard | Black Cat | Sandman | Magneto | Mysterio | Ringmaster | Green Goblin | Sidewinder | Kraven the Hunter | Red Skull | Chameleon | Vulture | Hammerhead | Wizard

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
Green Goblin | Kraven the Hunter | Doctor Doom | Swarm | Chameleon | Electro | Brotherhood of Mutants (Magneto, Blob, Toad & Mastermind) | Mysterio | Loki Laufeyson | Ymir | Mordred | Kingpin | Doctor Faustus | Red Skull | Juggernaut | Shocker | Sandman | Dracula | Scorpion | Beetle | Doctor Octopus | A.I.M.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series
Kingpin | Green Goblin (Norman Osborn & Harry Osborn) | Doctor Octopus | Hobgoblin | Venom | Vanessa Fisk | Richard Fisk | Insidious Six (Scorpion, Rhino, Mysterio, Chameleon, Shocker & Vulture) | Black Cat | Lizard | Morbius | Spider-Carnage | Spider-Slayers (Alistair Smythe) | Carnage | Baron Mordo | Dormammu | Silver Sable | Hydro-Man | Prowler | Doctor Doom | Red Skull | Electro | Hammerhead | Tombstone | Kraven the Hunter | Calypso | Herbert Landon | Jackal | Spot | J. Jonah Jameson

Spider-Man: The New Animated Series
Harry Osborn | Electro | Kraven the Hunter | Turbo Jet | Kingpin | Lizard | Shikata | Silver Sable

The Spectacular Spider-Man
Green Goblin | Tombstone | Doctor Octopus | Hammerhead | Venom | Sinister Six (Rhino, Vulture, Electro, Sandman, Mysterio & Kraven the Hunter) | Chameleon | Tinkerer | Enforcers (Shocker, Ricochet & Ox) | Molten Man | Silver Sable | Harry Osborn | Lizard | J. Jonah Jameson | Black Cat | Miles Warren | Frederick Foswell | Calypso | Roderick Kingsley | Morris Bench | Cletus Kasady

Ultimate Spider-Man
Doctor Octopus | Green Goblin | Harry Osborn | Taskmaster | HYDRA (Arnim Zola, Crossbones, Morbius & Baron Mordo) | Sinister Six (Kraven the Hunter, Rhino, Electro, Scorpion, Vulture & Hydro-Man) | Batroc the Leaper | Beetle | Lizard | Frightful Four (Wizard, Trapster & Klaw) | Juggernaut | Sandman | Venom | Loki Laufeyson | The Collector | Grandmaster | Carnage | Wolf Spider | Shocker | Shriek | Swarm | Dracula | Spider-Slayers (Kaine) | Absorbing Man | Abomination | Annihilus | Arcade | Attuma | Awesome Android | Blastaar | Blizzard | Boomerang | Chitauri | Deadpool | Destroyer | Doctor Doom | Dormammu | Skurge | Enforcers (Montana, Fancy Dan, Ox) | Frost Giants | Grizzly | Hammerhead | Jack O'Lantern | Korvac | The Leader | Living Laser | Man-Wolf | Maximus | Melter | Mesmero | M.O.D.O.K. | Molten Man | Mister Negative | Mysterio | Nightmare | Norma Osborn | Phalanx | Sabretooth | Toad | Ulik | Wendigo | Whirlwind | Wrecker | Piledriver | Thunderball | Ymir | Zodiac | Scorpio | Zzzax | J. Jonah Jameson

Spider-Man (2017)
Symbiotes (Venom, Scream, Scorn & Mania) | Dark Goblin | Hobgoblin | Doctor Octopus | Vulture/Goblin King | Alistair Smythe | Rhino | Jackal | Hammerhead | Electro | A.I.M. (M.O.D.O.K.) | Spider-Slayers | Lizard | Tinkerer | Swarm | Scorpion | Sinister Six | Kraven the Hunter | Man-Wolf | Silver Sable | Beetle | Spot | Prowler | Molten Man | Mister Negative | Chameleon | HYDRA (Crossbones & Arnim Zola) | Ghost | Blizzard | Absorbing Man | Crimson Dynamo | Overdrive | Mysterio | Jack O'Lantern | Paladin | Puma | Shocker | Living Brain | Sandman | Technovore | Baron Mordo | Knull | J. Jonah Jameson

Video Games
Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six: Sinister Six (Doctor Octopus, Electro, Hobgoblin, Mysterio, Sandman & Vulture)
Spider-Man & Venom: Maximum Carnage: Carnage | Shriek | Doppelganger | Demogoblin | Carrion
Spider-Man & Venom: Separation Anxiety: The Jury | Sentry | Ramshot | Screech | Bomblast | Firearm | Wysper | Life Foundation | Symbiotes (Carnage | Riot | Phage | Lasher | Agony | Scream)
Spider-Man (2000): Doctor Octopus | Symbiotes | (Carnage) | Jade Syndicate | Scorpion | Rhino | Mysterio
Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro: Electro | Beetle | Hammerhead | Lizard |Sandman | Shocker
Spider-Man (2002): Green Goblin | Shocker | Vulture | Spider-Slayers | Scorpion | Kraven the Hunter | Dennis Carradine | Harry Osborn | J. Jonah Jameson
Spider-Man 2: Doctor Octopus | Harry Osborn | Rhino | Mysterio | Shocker | Puma | Black Cat | Vulture | Calypso | J. Jonah Jameson
Ultimate Spider-Man: Bolivar Trask | Venom | Vulture | Silver Sable | Shocker | R.H.I.N.O. | Electro | Beetle | Green Goblin | Sandman | Carnage
Spider-Man 3: Venom | Sandman | New Goblin | Lizard | Scorpion | Kraven the Hunter | Calypso | Kingpin | Rhino | Morbius | Shriek | J. Jonah Jameson
Spider-Man: Web of Shadows: Venom | Kingpin | Black Cat | Vulture | Electro | Tinkerer | Rhino
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions: Mysterio | Kraven the Hunter | Hammerhead | Hobgoblin | Electro | Sandman | Vulture | Scorpion | Deadpool | Juggernaut | Silver Sable | Goblin | Serena Patel | Carnage
Spider-Man: Edge of Time: Peter Parker | Atrocity | Alchemax
The Amazing Spider-Man: Spider-Slayers (Alistair Smythe) | Lizard | Rhino | Vermin | Scorpion | Felicia Hardy | Iguana | Nattie
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Carnage | Kingpin | Green Goblin | Shocker | Kraven the Hunter | Black Cat | Electro | Chameleon | Norman Osborn | Cash Register Thief
Marvel's Spider-Man: Sinister Six (Doctor Octopus, Electro, Mister Negative, Rhino, Scorpion & Vulture) | Inner Demons | Norman Osborn | Silver Sable | Hammerhead | Black Cat | Kingpin | Screwball | Shocker | Taskmaster | Tombstone | Walter Hardy | Yuriko Watanabe

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