Those familiar with the ins and outs of Sony’s Spider-Man movie franchise will know that once upon a time a fourth Spider-Man movie was on the cards from director Sam Raimi. The film would have reunited Raimi with lead star Tobey Maguire and would have continued Peter Parker’s ongoing story which first began with the 2002 movie, Spider-Man.
But Spider-Man 4 never happened.
What happened to Spider-Man 4?
As the story goes, Sony had a specific release date in mind for Spider-Man 4, director Sam Raimi needed more time to prep the movie and with neither side able to see eye-to-eye, Raimi quit Spider-Man 4 and Sony scrapped the movie. The franchise then underwent its first reboot, with Marc Webb taking over director duties and Andrew Garfield assuming the role of Spidey for the 2012 film, The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).
And we all know how well that went.
Anyway, ever since Spider-Man 4 was erased from the history books many have wondered what could have been. Well, here is the answer thanks to a few snippets of concept art from the abandoned movie.
What villains would have featured in Spider-Man 4?
The drawings featured throughout this post are the handy work of illustrator, Jeffrey Henderson, an award-winning artist who has worked on numerous movies, games and comics. Henderson was employed as a concept artist on Spider-Man 3 and before the project was cancelled, he was also employed as the concept artist on Spider-Man 4.
The concept artist responsible for these images.
As you can see from these drawings, had Spider-Man 4 made it beyond the initial stages of production, the film’s main villain would have been the Vulture, a character who has plagued Spider-Man since his very first comic book appearance way back in 1963. Ultimately the character made his live-action debut in the Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) instead, where he was played by Michael Keaton.
But if Spider-Man 4 had gone ahead he wouldn’t have been alone.
Yep, the Vulture wasn’t the only super villain eyeing up some screen time in Spider-Man 4. Additional drawings show that another classic villain was also set to appear – Mysterio the master of illusion!
As with the Vulture, Mysterio was first introduced into Spider-Man comics during the 1960s (1964 to be precise) and has battled Spidey numerous times ever since. His first live-action appearance will be in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, with Jake Gyllenhaal taking on the role.
What is perhaps most interesting is the fact that one of the concept drawings for Spider-Man 4 shows the man behind the Mysterio disguise. That man looks suspiciously like Bruce Campbell, the acting friend of director Sam Raimi who appeared in all three films in the original Spider-Man trilogy.
I’m not saying it is Campbell, but well, it kind of makes sense if you think about Campbell’s role in the original Spider-Man movies. Either way, I’ll let you make up your own mind on that one.
Anyway, the concept art offers up a small snapshot into what could have been a rather interesting Spider-Man movie. A Spider-Man movie that Henderson really believed in.
Speaking via his blog, he said:
“It would’ve been one absolutely kick ass movie. Seriously. We were working on some crazy- cool stuff, because everyone, from top to bottom, felt that Spidey 3 was a bit of a ‘missed opportunity’, and we all really wanted to help Sam take SM4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.”
Ah well, if only. Of course this is now a moot point as Spider-Man 4 was cancelled years ago and it is unlikely that Sony/Marvel will ever revive the project. Tom Holland has since taken on the mantle of Spider-Man and Sony has pushed forward with other projects such as Venom (2018) and Into the Spider-Verse (2018).
This post originally appeared on the Honcho-SFX blog.