The current Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home, pits ol’ web-head against the menacing Mysterio, aka Quentin Beck. He’s played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the Jon Watts-directed sequel. But a persistent rumor has circulated around the World Wide Web that Bruce Campbell almost played Mysterio in a big-screen Spider-Man sequel for Sam Raimi.
Raimi had major plans for Spider-Man 4 – he directed the first three Spider-Man movies with Tobey Maguire in the lead role – and storyboards have shown that the director wanted Mysterio and The Vulture to be his villains. That much has been confirmed over the years, though when we had the chance to ask Campbell if he actually was set to play Mysterio for his old friend Raimi, he cut that off at the pass, explaining to CinemaBlend:
Well, there goes that idea.
Obviously, Bruce Campbell has been a major component to the three existing Spider-Man movies, playing: the ring announcer who gives Peter Parker (Maguire) his name; the usher who prevents Peter from getting into Mary Jane Watson’s play, because he arrives too late, and; a French matire’d who gives Peter proposal advice.
The chatter had been that Sam Raimi wanted to give Bruce Campbell a meatier role in Spider-Man 4, though the part was never revealed. In talking to Campbell, he made it crystal clear that the part was never Mysterio, and he didn’t seem to know who he would have played if Raimi’s fourth Spider-Man came to pass.
It didn’t. Fans were frustrated by Spider-Man 3, and the way that Raimi botched Venom and Sandman. And Sony decided that they needed to go in a new direction. That led to Marc Webb crafting two Amazing Spider-Man movies. And those led to Sony lending a new Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he fought against Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It looked like this:
Bruce Campbell isn’t Mysterio, but he IS the host of the Travel Channel’s renovation of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, which is giving a larger platform to unique and magnificent individuals. Here he is promoting that new show, as well as talking the Mysterio that never was.
If you want to see a real Mysterio, head to theaters and check out Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.