In an age where cinema is dominated by the MCU, rebooting iconic characters such as Iron Man and Captain America would be unthinkable.
Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans are, after all, so synonymous with the superheroes they’ve helped bring to life on the big screen that replacing either for new iterations would be jarring, to say the least. Strange then, that Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s most consistently popular creations, has been rebooted three times in less than a decade. Is that proof that Sony just simply doesn’t know how to handle the license? That’s a topic for another time and place but at the very least, it’s a fascinating life cycle for the Web Slinger’s cinematic career that’s worthy of documenting.
Unlike the majority of reboots, which are usually separated by entire generations, any thirty-something Spider-Man fan will have fond memories of Toby Maguire, Andrew Garfield and, of course, Tom Holland’s interpretations of Peter Parker, but that eventual outcome was once very different.
Had Sony opted against rebooting the franchise and gone with Sam Raimi’s pitch for a Spider-Man 4, Maguire would have had at least one more round in the iconic costume. What’s more, fans would have been treated to a fourth video game tie-in, too. Video game preservationist institute Gaming Alexandria recently acquired a copy of the unfinished title in question, a playable version of which was recently provided to YouTube channel Hard4Games. Unsurprisingly, the canned project is a little rough around the edges, but you can check it out for yourselves above.
Gaming Alexandria notes that the unfinished code was discovered on a Wii development kit and that work on the project was abandoned when Spider-Man 4 was canned. Interestingly, the work-in-progress title screen makes mention of Sinister Six villain Vulture, perhaps hinting that the character had intended to be the film’s primary villain.
Alas, we’ll never know, but a fascinating slice of history, nonetheless. Does Toby Maguire remain the one, true Spider-Man in your eyes though, or do you have another favourite? Sound off below!
Source: Gaming Alexandria