Spider-Man: Far From Home may mark the eleventh time that the iconic comic book character has appeared on the big screen, but it was Sam Raimi’s groundbreaking original trilogy that rescued the wall-crawler from decades stuck in development hell back in the early 2000’s. Despite bearing all of the fingerprints of heavy-handed studio interference, Spider-Man 3 isn’t quite the cinematic abomination that some corners of the internet claim, and (for now) it remains the highest-grossing Spider-Man solo movie to date.
Raimi had spent years developing a fourth installment in the franchise, with the script going through multiple drafts by numerous writers before the project was officially canceled by Sony in January 2010 after Raimi dropped out, refusing to compromise the creative process in order to meet the studio-mandated May 2011 release date.
The franchise was then quickly rebooted into the Andrew Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man before the character was repurposed yet again under Sony’s deal with Marvel Studios, as Tom Holland donned the costume to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With Far From Home currently flying high at the box office though and Raimi doing the press rounds as producer of Alexandre Aja’s Crawl, the filmmaker has inevitably been asked about his unrealized Spider-Man 4, saying:
“I think about it all the time. It’s hard not to, because each summer another Spider-Man film comes out! So when you have an unborn one, you can’t help but think what might have been. But I try to focus on what will be, and not look into the past. I was influenced by Stan Lee’s comic books and the great artists like John Romita and Jack Kirby who told stories with visuals that had a real in-your-face, over-the-top presentation. I was trying to bring that kind of imagery to life in those Spider-Man films.”
Sony’s rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series may have failed to launch a cinematic universe to rival the MCU, but even after leasing the rights to Marvel Studios, they’re still forging ahead with their own spinoffs regardless.
Raimi’s Spider-Man 4, meanwhile, was reportedly set to star John Malkovich as The Vulture and Anne Hathaway as Black Cat, with Dylan Baker’s Curt Connors set to continue his slow-burning transformation into The Lizard. What could’ve been, eh?