Let’s think back to a hectic period during the Spider-Man film franchise: November 2014. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 had been pushed back to 2018, Sinister Six had been rescheduled for November 2016 and Sony didn’t know what to do with their now-defunct Spider-Man cinematic universe. Then things got really crazy. A rumor surfaced stating that Sony was working on a movie about Peter Parker’s Aunt May. Fans immediately called this plan ridiculous, and as it turns out, the actor who recently portrayed the character agrees wholeheartedly.
At SXSW this weekend, The Huffington Post asked actress Sally Field, who played Aunt May in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, what she thought about this proposed spinoff, and like the fans, she appropriately scoffed at the idea. Said the Academy Award-winning actress,
Aunt May spinoff? And make her the lead? What would you do with her? She has no special powers whatsoever. She was a housewife waiting for the kids to come home. I think they did that: It was called 'The Donna Reed Show.
It’s hard to argue with Field’s logic… scratch that, no one should argue with her logic. The rumored spinoff reportedly would have been a prequel following the young May in an "espionage story," taking inspiration from Mad Men. The original article compared Sony’s idea to Marvel’s then-upcoming limited series Agent Carter, meaning that we might have seen May as some sort of a spy. Aunt May is obviously an important figure in Peter Parker’s life who offers him love and moral support, but fabricating a secret agent past for her that never existed in the comics is an absurd notion. She’s not an action star; she’s not a character shrouded in mystery; she’s simply Peter’s parental figure who cares more for him than anything else, and that can be effectively demonstrated in his movies.
Sony later stated the rumor had "no validity whatsoever," but regardless of if that is true or not, it’s a moot point. Now that Marvel and Sony are working together on a new series of Spider-Man films, this ridiculous-sounding project will simply be a footnote in the history of Spider-Man on film.
The Aunt May movie was one of several Spider-Man spinoffs that were announced or rumored from late 2013 to late 2014, including Sinister Six, a Venom solo film and a female superhero-led film. And while Sinister Six is still in play, it looks like the rest of it all may be in the bin. Truthfully, we’re not quite sure at this point what the future holds for the larger world of Spider-Man in the MCU, but we’ll hopefully start to hear some details soon enough.