SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home. If you have not yet seen the film, proceed at your own risk!
After a seven-year absence, Andrew Garfield surprised everyone when he showed up as Peter Parker (Peter-Three) in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and was able to add some closure to a story that was never completed with a trilogy of his own. Even though The Amazing Spider-Man 3 never came to fruition, there was one point in time where the movie not only had writers, a director and star, but even had a release date and plans for an expanded Spider-Man cinematic universe.
But what happened to the threequel that never got off the ground and swung into theaters? Well, it’s not really one single incident that brought the budding franchise to its knees, but instead a series of events and actions that transpired after the project was officially announced before the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and in the immediate aftermath. Let’s explore…
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 Was Announced In 2013 With A June 2016 Release Date
In the summer of 2013, the future looked bright for Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man franchise. The first installment in Sony’s reboot series brought in $757.9 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, a highly-anticipated sequel was less than a year away, and there was great promise for the future.
In June 2013, The Hollywood Reporter published a report announcing that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and a fourth movie in the franchise would open in theaters on June 10, 2016 and May 4, 2018, respectively. Sony Pictures vice chairman Jeff Blake was quoted in the article saying the Spider-Man franchise was the studio’s “most important, most successful, and most beloved franchise” while also expressing his optimism for the future. Eleven months later, however, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released and met with a lukewarm response critically and financially, underperforming with a worldwide gross of $708.9 million, according to Box Office Mojo, and putting that once bright future in doubt.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 Would Have Seen Peter Parker Deal With The Sinister Six And The Fallout Of Gwen Stacy’s Death
Although a script for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 has never surfaced, we do have some insight into what the movie was going to be about thanks to interviews director Marc Webb and others connected to the franchise have given over the years. In August 2017, years after the movie was announced and cancelled, Webb told Den of Geek that the third movie in his franchise would have seen the Web-Slinger face off with the Sinister Six (the team of big baddies being assembled at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2) led by none other than the reanimated frozen head of Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) in an epic battle that would have probably looked like the much-lauded Spider-Man: No Way Home ending or at least the Act 2 ending in the Marvel’s Spider-Man video game.
Another plot point that was reportedly to play a major part in The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was the idea that Peter Parker would be working on a formula that could bring the dead back to life. This information was revealed by Denis Leary (who played Captain Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man) in an interview with IGN at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015 a little more than half-a-year after there were rumors the movie would bring back Gwen Stacy in some capacity.
Sony Had Plans To Build Its Own Spider-Man Universe With Multiple Spin-Offs, Including Sinister Six And Venom Movies
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and a fourth installment in the franchise weren’t the only plans Sony had for its expanded cinematic universe before it all came crashing down. At one point, there were plans for a movie centered on The Sinister Six (which would have come out before TSAM3), a Venom movie, a female-led movie that would have followed Felicia Hardy/Black Cat (Felicity Jones) and even an entry based on Spider-Man 2099 (who wouldn’t show up until Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in 2018). There was even talk of an Aunt May movie at one point.
And even though The Sinister Six had a release date of November 11, 2016 (which pushed back The Amazing Spider-Man 3 until 2018), nothing ever amounted for any of the live-action spinoff projects except for Venom, which opened in theaters in October 2018 and obviously isn't the same version that was envisioned for the Amazing Spider-Man franchise.
The 2014 Sony Email Hack Revealed Plans For Spider-Man In The MCU, But Without Andrew Garfield
What momentum The Amazing Spider-Man 3 had in 2014 all but evaporated at the end of that year when a whole slew of confidential information and internal communications at Sony Pictures was leaked as part of the infamous hack in the wake of the controversial comedy The Interview. And while there is enough information leaked in the attack to write hundreds of articles, we’ll just be talking about how the Spider-Man franchise was impacted, specifically regarding Sony’s partnership with Marvel Studios to bring the superhero to the MCU and Andrew Garfield’s future involvement.
In a lengthy breakdown of the leaked emails in December 2014, Mashable reported that there had been discussions between Sony and Marvel Studios to bring Spider-Man into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War (which was still called Captain America 3 at the time). Another piece of information coming from this article was the reveal that Andrew Garfield wouldn’t be going with the character due to critical remarks he had made about the studio and the way he supposedly stood up Sony CEO Kaz Hirai at a July 2014 corporate dinner. Garfield has since challenged this narrative.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 Was Officially Cancelled In February 2015
In February 2015, Variety reported that one of the biggest deals in modern movie history had been finalized: Spider-Man would join Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But even though moviegoers around the world, the MCU and Tom Holland all benefited from this landmark deal, there was some bad news for Andrew Garfield, Marc Webb and their version of Spider-Man.
This massive deal meant that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was cancelled and Andrew Garfield’s version of the iconic comic book character would never get to finish his story or find a way to come to terms with the death of Gwen Stacy. Or would he?
Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker would eventually find redemption and closure when he not only helped cure five of the Web-Slinger’s biggest movie villains in Spider-Man: No Way Home, but also saved MJ (Zendaya) from suffering the same fate as Gwen Stacy. But this might not be the end of Garfield’s stint as Spider-Man, especially if the fans get their way. Shortly after the box office behemoth was released in December 2021, ComicBook.com reported on The Amazing Spider-Man 3 trending on Twitter.
Who knows what the future holds for Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, but there are plenty of upcoming Marvel movies to look forward to as we wait.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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