SPIDER-MAN 4: It's Been 10 Years Since The Film Was Set To Be Released - Here Are 10 Things You Never Knew!
It's been ten years to the day that Spider-Man 4 was supposed to be released in theaters, and to mark the occasion, we've pulled this breakdown of 10 things you never knew about the film from the archives!
Spider-Man 4 was supposed to be released in theaters on May 6, 2011 (a decade ago!), but the film never happened, and Sony Pictures instead chose to reboot the franchise with 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man.
That spawned a sequel, but the iconic Marvel Comics superhero was rebooted again in 2016 when he finally joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Captain America: Civil War. It's been a crazy ride for the amazing arachnid-powered Peter Parker, but Spider-Man 4...well, that could have been great.
With a Sam Raimi at the helm and anxious to make up for the mistakes he made in Spider-Man 3 with Venom and Sandman, it had all the makings of a truly spectacular few hours at the theater.
Did you know there were plans for Mysterio in the film? Or that the Sinister Six were once being lined up to appear? How about what the sweet deal Tobey Maguire scored? All that and more is covered in this look back at the Spider-Man film that never was...
10. Spider-Man 4...And 5?
Spider-Man 3 was poorly received by critics, but it was a long way from being a disaster, and it made plenty of cash at the box office (a healthy $895 million).
With a fourth film gearing up for production, Tobey Maguire signed on the dotted line to return. Bagging mornings and evenings off to spend with his family, the actor scored a $50 million deal. It was later suspected that might be for two films as reports online suggested Spider-Man 4 would be shot back-to-back with Spider-Man 5.
"It would be a real endurance test," Raimi admitted. "Probably only Peter Jackson knows how hard something like that would be. "If Tobey and me, and all the producers, like the story for two pictures and Amy wanted to do it, then we would do it."
In 2009, Raimi shot the idea down, but it was around that time he found himself struggling to crack this fourth film's story...
9. Uncertainty About Kirsten Dunst's Return
You'd think that Kirsten Dunst's return as Mary Jane Watson would be a done deal, especially after the way things ended for her and Peter in Spider-Man 3. Not quite.
The actress was taking her time signing a contract that would see her return to the franchise.
In fact, Raimi even commented on whether the franchise could survive without MJ in a 2009 interview. "I can’t imagine making a Spider-Man movie without Kirsten," the filmmaker confessed. "Of course it can be done because Spider-Man has existed without the character of Mary Jane, but she’s one of my favorite parts and it would be a shame not to have her in the picture. I’m hoping she’ll be in it and I’m planning on having a story with her in it."
Dunst's involvement was never confirmed, but Sony may have been considering another female lead.
8. Sony Plans For The Future
The idea of shooting Spider-Man 5 at the same time as 4 may have been scrapped, but Sony still had one eye on the future of the money making franchise.
Can you blame them?
James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) was tasked with scripting this next Spider-Man film, but playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) later contributed to rewrites. Cracking the story wasn't an easy task, and the more writers Sony turned to, the more concerned most fans became.
While all this went down, Vanderbilt was asked to plot out stories for Spider-Man 5 and 6, with the prevailing theory being that the latter might feature the Sinister Six.
7. Sam Raimi Considered Using The Sinister Six In Spider-Man 4
Spider-Man 6 = Sinister Six? Not quite.
In an interview which took place around the time of Spider-Man 3's release, Raimi admitted that "[I'd] love to see Electro, Vulture, maybe the Sinister Six as a team" in Spider-Man 4.
These were comments made before a script had been written, but the filmmaker was clearly interested in the team of villains and felt it wasn't too soon to introduce them. Who could have joined the roster is unclear, while Raimi had struggled with just three villains in Spider-Man 3.
A Norman Osborn resurrection was always rumored, so Green Goblin could have easily led them.
6. Lizard Was Never Eyed As The Film's Big Bad
Lizard served as The Amazing Spider-Man's lead villain, with it widely speculated that Sony had been pushing to use the character on screen for years.
Both Lizard and Kraven the Hunter were once rumored for Spider-Man 4, but there were never any concrete plans to use them. Actor Dylan Baker had joked in interviews about being too old to play Dr. Curt Connors as a villain, but admitted, "We’re hoping it’s not too far down the line!"
Raimi, meanwhile, would reveal that, "The Lizard is probably one of my favorite characters. But [Spider-Man 4] will probably have to start with the central journey of the main character to arrive at the proper villain."
Despite this, and comments from producer Grant Curtis saying">http://www.ifmagazine.com/feature.asp?article=2127">saying "it’s hard to beat the Lizard," there were never plans to use Lizard as an antagonist in Spider-Man 4.
5. Spider-Man 4 Casts Its Villains
Billions actor John Malkovich was later cast as Adrian Toomes, a villain better known as The Vulture. Concept art depicted him as a serious threat to the web-slinger in Spider-Man 4.
He wasn't going to be alone in menacing Spider-Man, however, as Anne Hathaway - who would later play Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises - was set as Felica Hardy/Black Cat.
"I loved what she was doing with the auditions for Spider-Man 4," Raimi said in a 2013 interview, confirming that he did indeed plan on using Black Cat. The character still hasn't made her live-action debut, though Rogue One star Felicity Jones played "Felicia" in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
This feature isn't about that sequel, but we've since heard she was supposed to be undercover in Oscorp.
4. Concept Art Shows A Scrapped Mysterio Cameo
Bruce Campbell's cameos had grown increasingly more elaborate as time passed in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man franchise. While social media was in its infancy at this time, you didn't have to look far online to find theories that the actor was going to be revealed as Chameleon or Mysterio.
Believe it or not, the latter villain was indeed slated to cameo in Spider-Man 4.
As the concept art above reveals, Spidey was going to take Mysterio into police custody, with his helmet falling off to reveal Campbell's face beneath it.
This Mysterio was to be a punchline, not the serious threat Spider-Man: Far From Home presented.
3. Romance For Peter Parker And Felicia Hardy
It's likely Sony would have convinced Dunst to return as Mary Jane, but there was a backup plan.
Bryce Dallas Howard's return as Gwen Stacy was similarly unconfirmed, but storyboards have shown Peter Parker smooching a mysterious, dark-haired woman. It doesn't take much to come to the conclusion that was Felicia Hardy, a frequent love interest of Spider-Man's in the comics.
However, Spider-Man 4 wasn't necessarily planning to take Felicia down the Black Cat route.
Well, at least not for long...
2. The Vulturess
There were enough mentions of Black Cat early in Spider-Man 4's production to safely assume that persona would have made it into the film. However, it seems a big twist was being planned.
With Sony seemingly wary of Catwoman comparisons (don't forget that it hadn't been that long since the Catwoman film had bombed), the plan was for this Felicia Hardy to become Vulturess.
Movieline claimed this Felicia would be Adrian Toomes's daughter, a huge departure from the comics.
After the negative response the changes Spider-Man 3 made to Sandman and Venom, it's a surprise more of the same was coming in this film, but there's a chance Raimi might have made it work.
1. Why The Film Never Happened
Shortly before Spider-Man 4 was scheduled to start filming, Maguire took part in an interview expressing his excitement about returning as Peter Parker for the film.
Days later, the plug was pulled on the project, with Raimi later describing it as "the most amicable and undramatic of breakups. He's add that, "It was simply that we had a deadline and I couldn’t get the story to work on a level that I wanted it to work."
"I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all," Raimi would explain. "But I couldn’t get the script together in time, due to my own failings, and I said to Sony, 'I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture."
"Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway.'" Yes, Sony had been planning a reboot the whole time (it's likely those are what Vanderbilt was working on) Raimi was working on his Spider-Man 4, and that would be released in 2012 as The Amazing Spider-Man.