All the Superhero Couples Who Dated in Real Life

Did you know all three Spider-Man stars dated their leading ladies, even though their producer told them not to? And they're not the only superhero co-stars who became couples IRL.

By Tierney Bricker May 07, 2022 12:00 PMTags

With great chemistyr comes great responsibility.

Twenty years ago, Spider-Man web-slinged into theaters, becoming a pop culture sensation and kicking off a major trend in Hollywood. Oh no, we are not talking about the rise of superhero movies, we are talking about the fact that all three actors who have donned the iconic blue and red tights have dated their respective leading lady off-screen, too. 

First, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, then Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, and now Tom Holland and Zendaya entwined their personal lives after meeting thanks to their friendly neighborhood Spidey, although a movie producer advised two of those couples to not get together.

But Spider-Man isn't the only superhero to enter an on-set romance, with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner falling in love while making Daredevil and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively first meeting when they co-starred in 2012's Green Lantern. Sure, the movies were not very good—just ask Affleck and Reynolds!—but at least they served a purpose for the greater gossip good. 

Stars at Spider-Man: No Way Home Premiere

Check out all of the superhero co-stars who dated IRL: 

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst

The OG Spider-Man and Mary Jane quietly started dated while making the 2002 movie, though their romance didn't stand the test of  time quite like their on-screen counterparts. While they never spoke publicly about their romance, their director Sam Raimi confirmed it in a 2007 interview with the Sydney Herald. 

 "They eventually broke up before the second movie. I was concerned they wouldn't get the same chemistry back, but it was just me worrying," Raimi explained. "They really like each other, I think, very much. And that relationship probably just added to their ability to trust each other."

After the couple called it quits, Dunst went on to date Jake Gyllenhaal, one of the actors in consideration to replace Maguire if his back injury prevented him from starring in the next two films.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone

The second Spider-Man also fell for his love interest—this time, Gwen Stacy—with Garfield and Stone becoming an item during filming of 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man. With their cute interviews during press tours and palpable on-screen chemistry, the pair quickly became one of Hollywood's most beloved couples. And their breakup in 2015 is still one that hurts more than (spoiler alert!) Gwen's shocking death in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Fortunately for fans, the two didn't stop speaking lovingly of each other after their split and Garfield even gave Stone a standing ovation when she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in La La Land

Tom Holland and Zendaya

Three Spider-Mans all dating their leading lady? Now that's a trend—one that the studio tried to stop after Holland and Zendaya were cast in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming as Peter Parker and M.J. 

In an interview with The New York Times last December, producer Amy Pascal revealed that she attempted to advise the stars against any future dating shortly after they were cast, but to no avail.

"I took Tom and Zendaya aside, separately, when we first cast them and gave them a lecture," Pascal said. "Don't go there—just don't. Try not to. I gave the same advice to Andrew [Garfield] and Emma [Stone]. It can just complicate things, you know?" 

Of course, the co-stars didn't listen, arguably becoming young Hollywood's most adored couple, though they never confirmed they were dating despite fans' interest in their relationship. In July 2021, Holland and Zendaya were photographed kissing during a car ride in Los Angeles, causing the Internet to, well, do what the Internet does. 

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds

Meeting his future wife seems to be the only bright spot in Reynold's memories from filming 2011's Green Lantern

"I met Blake on the darkest crease in the anus of the universe called Green Lantern," the Deadpool star joked during a July 2021 episode of the SmartLess podcast. "We were friends and buddies, and about a year and a half later, we went on a double date, but we were dating separate people."

But a train ride to Boston changed everything for the couple, with Reynolds saying it was "one of those silly moments out of a fairy tale" when he realized their friendship could evolve into something more.

Now one of the industry's most popular couples, Reynolds and Lively wed in 2012 and have three daughters: James, 7, Inez, 5, and Betty, 2.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

Sure, Affleck may "regret" making 2002's Daredevil, but he was able to find one thing to appreciate about the maligned flick. 

"That's where I found my wife," he told Playboy magazine in 2014. "We met on Pearl Harbor, which people hate, but we fell in love on Daredevil."

Following the end of Affleck's (first) engagement to Jennifer Lopez and Garner's divorce from first husband Scott Foley, the co-stars began dating in 2004 and were married the following year. 

"By the way, she won most of the fights in the movie," Affleck said of Daredevil. "Which was a pretty good predictor of what would happen down the road—my wife, holding swords and beating the living s--t out of me."

After a decade of marriage, the couple—who have three children together: Violet, 16, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10—announced their separation in 2015, and finalized their divorce three years later.

Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence

After meeting during a screen-test for X-Men: First Class—where Lawrence donned blue body paint as a young Mystique and Hoult played Beast—the co-stars dated on-and-off for five years before splitting for good in 2014.

"He's my favorite person to be around and makes me laugh harder than anybody," Lawrence gushed to Elle in 2013, hailing Hoult as her boyfriend and best friend. "We can eat Cheetos and watch beach volleyball and we turn into two perverted Homer Simpsons, like, 'Oh, she's got a nice ass.' I never thought we'd have such different opinions on asses."

Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfieffer

Pfieffer was Batman producer Jon Peters' top choice to play Bruce Wayne's love interest Vicki Vale in the 1989 film Batman. But actor Robert Wuhl told The Hollywood Reporter that Keaton was against the idea after their brief romance.

"To put a little fly in the ointment, Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer had previously dated and broken up," Wuhl explained in 2019. "At the time, Michael told me he was trying to get back with his ex-wife. Keaton was firmly, and underline firmly, against that casting of Pfeiffer and he and Peters got into it."

Kim Basinger ultimately landed the part, but Pfieffer was brought in to replace a pregnant Annette Bening in the 1992 sequel, Batman Returns, delivering an iconic performance as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. 

Melissa Benoist and Chris Wood

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's two Supergirl co-stars falling in love!

The couple quietly began dating after Wood joined the CW series in its second season as Mon-El, a love interest for Benoist's titular superhero.  After getting married in 2019, the couple welcomed their first child, a son named Huxley, the following year.

Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper

Shortly after their breakup in 2013, it was announced that Saldana and Cooper—who met making 2012's The Words—were getting back together…on screen. The duo teamed up for The Guardians of the Galaxy, in which Saldana plays green-skinned former assassin Gamora and Cooper voices the foul-mouthed Rocket Raccoon.

Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei

Yes, Tony Stark really dated Peter Parker's Aunt May, but it happened decades before they met in 2016's Captain America: Civil War. After co-starring in Chaplin and Only You in the early '90s, Downey and Tomei briefly dated in 1994.