As the drama continues to heat up betweenSony and Disney as they battle over Spider-Man, it’s time to head back into the archives of the friendly neighborhood hero and the Sam Raimi years.
Helping buck the trend of comic-book movies in the early 2000 s, Raimi swung to glory with hisSpider-Mantrilogy and Tobey Maguire in the titular role.
Things were going well, but despite the box office success ofSpider-Man 3and franchise high of $ 890. 8 million worldwide, Sony plucked the legs off the franchise and decided to reboot withMarc Webb’s own take on Peter Parker.
With this in mind, here’s the wicked web Sam Raimi nearly wove withSpider- Man 4.
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Spider-Man 4was supposed to kick-start a new trilogy, with Raimi and Maguire touted for a fifth and sixth movie.
Alongside this, there were rumors thatSpider-Man 5would film back-to-back with the fourth movie. Raimi later denied this and confirmed toMTVthat he was focusing onSpider-Man 4before tackling anything else.
The movie was set for a May 2011 release but Raimi was worried he wouldn’t hit the tight schedule.Spider-Man 4‘s script also went through numerous revisions and Raimi was never quite happy with the finished product.
In 2013, he told(Vulture): “I was very unhappy withSpider-Man 3, and I wanted to makeSpider-Man 4to end on a very high note, the bestSpider-Manof them all. script together in time, due to my own failings. “
Although there are some interesting ideas buried in the depths of the various scripts, it sounds likeSpider-Man 4would’ve followed in the footsteps ofSpider-Man 3and had another case of villain overkill.
There was going to be a Who’s Who of rogues including Vulture, Mysterio, Lizard and Black Cat. Raimi had originally planned to cast Sir Ben Kingsley as Vulture inSpider-Man 3but ultimately passed on the idea.
Elsewhere, Anne Hathaway was tipped to play the imaginatively named “Vultress”, who was the daughter of Malkovich’s Adrian Toomes. Raimi later denied this and confirmed he’d wanted to Hathaway to play Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat.
Finally, Sony pushed for Lizard, meaning Dylan Baker was going to reprise his role as Dr Curt Connors and finally embrace his anti-hero alter ego .
It would have been an interesting dynamic to see Felicia and Mary Jane Watson lock horns.
Well, that’s if MJ was even going to be part ofSpider-Man 4. One of the movie’s biggest stumbling blocks was uncertainty surrounding Kirsten Dunst’s ongoing involvement. Maguire was locked in but by the timeSpider-Man 4was eventually scrapped, Dunst had never signed on the dotted line.
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It’s easy to see how the legacy of some of Raimi’s ideas transitioned into laterSpider-Manmovies.
As well as Lizard being the big bad of 2012 ‘sThe Amazing Spider-Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe would then use the once laughable Vulture and Mysterio inSpider-Man: HomecomingandSpider-Man: Far From Home.
WhereasJake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck was the big bad ofFar From Home, Raimi favorite Bruce Campbell was going to play Mysterio but only appear in a small capacity. Mysterio would have been in an action-packed opening before being captured.
Concept art shows Spidey escorting a slightly portly Mysterio into a police station. Storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson has also released more artwork on hisofficial siteand showcased a thrilling aerial battle with Vulture.
It was never to be, though, as in 2010 (even before the planned 2011 release), Sony announcedSpider-Man 4was done.
Just hours later, the studio added thatSpider-Man 4writer James Vanderbilt had already drafted a treatment for a reboot and this was the new route being taken. Things moved forward with Andrew Garfield replacing Maguire, and the rest, they say, is history.
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There are no further details on what would have come afterSpider-Man 4but the plethora of villains was leaning toward a Sinister Six team-up.
While there’s also no news on whether Raimi planned to bring back Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, it’s easy to imagine how his futureSpider-Manmovies could have retooled the acclaimed ‘Night That Gwen Stacy Died’ comics arc with someone other than the Green Goblin in the frame.
To this day,Spider-Man 4remains one of the biggest ‘What If?’ superhero movies of all time.
Frustratingly,Raimi admits he still thinks aboutSpider-Man 4 “all the time “. But as it turned out,Spider-Man 4ended up being a situation that’s stickier than the hero’s web-shooters .
Spider-Man: Far From Homeis out now in cinemas. Spider-Man: Homecomingis out now onDigital Download, 4K Ultra HD,Blu-rayand(DVD ******************************************).