Prior to his big break in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Adrian Toomes (AKA the Vulture) had spent years on the fringes of Hollywood’s superhero scene, quietly waiting for his moment to shine.
We know Sony Pictures planned to incorporate Toomes into its Amazing Spider-Man 3 before things started to unravel, while Sam Raimi has previously detailed his own intentions to build the fabled Spider-Man 4 around a Spidey/Vulture duel.
And though it wasn’t exactly lacking in the villain department, it turns out Vulture was once considered for Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, before Topher Grace’s Venom took precedence over all other antagonists – you can thank series producer Avi Arad for that one.
At least, that’s according to Thomas Haden Church (Sandman), who told JoBlo the following:
It didn’t really turn out that way later on. Because, when they first pitched me the movie, Sandman and, of course, Franco’s transformation to the Goblin, we were who he [Spider-Man] had to deal with in the picture and Venom wasn’t even in it.
They introduced at the very beginning the character of Vulture, but he was only in it briefly and then at the very end of that picture they were gonna bring The Vulture back just to sorta set the stage that he was probably going to be the main villain in Spider-Man 4. But then, obviously all of that stuff sort of derailed. Well, not so much derailed, but took a different railway.
By alluding to Vulture in Spider-Man 3, Sam Raimi hoped to explore Adrian Toomes in a potential sequel. Alas, those plans were scrapped in favor of Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot, along with those tentative plans for a Sinister Six spinoff – a spinoff in which Vulture would’ve shared the screen with Spidey’s rogues’ gallery.
Next up for Tom Holland’s wall-crawler is a little-known Marvel film called Avengers: Infinity War, which looks set to upend the MCU on May 4th. And that’s before we even consider the fourth Avengers movie…