Sam Raimi’s run on the Spider-Man series that included Tobey Maguire in the title role largely is deemed a success – even though everyone considers Spider-Man 3 a disappointment. The mistakes of that final movie don’t erase the goodwill that Raimi established with his first two Spider-Man films, and the director ALMOST got a chance to redeem himself with a Spider-Man 4 that, alas, was not meant to be. Want to know who Spidey would have fought in that movie? Get ready for Vulture and Mysterio.
Sam Raimi made it known over the course of his time on Sony’s three Spider-Man movies that he preferred Web Head’s classic rogue’s gallery, which is why he leaned on villains such as The Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. For Spider-Man 3, the studio reportedly pushed Raimi to include Venom, even though he didn’t care for the villain and didn’t really want him included. Now, illustrator and writer Jeffrey Henderson is posting concept art for the planned Spider-Man 4, and showing off what Vulture and Mysterio might have looked like as villains in the piece. You can see Vulture here:
And Mysterio here:
Henderson defers to his friend and collaborator Sam Raimi, who he says hates to share storyboards from pictures. The two worked on Spider-Man 3, the unused 4, and Oz, the Great and Powerful. But of Spider-Man 4, Henderson states:
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.
But Spider-Man 3 killed off any momentum. And it wasn’t just the inclusion of Venom (though casting Topher Grace as Eddie Brock was… a bad decision). Sandman wasn’t handled well in Spider-Man 3. Making him Uncle Ben’s killer rewrites Spider-Man’s legacy, so the mishandling of key characters like Gwen, Eddie, Harry Osborn and more was just icing on a terrible-tasting cake.
We don’t get to see much of Mysterio in action in the concept art. We see Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) bringing the master illusionist to justice, turning him over to the police as people cheer. The Vulture is prominent in more action set pieces, including one with a helicopter that might have been very cool.
There still might be hope for some of these designs to contribute to a great Spider-Man movie. Rumors now state that Vulture will be the main villain of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first movie made by Marvel and Sony together. Could you see Michael Keaton in that role?