Sam Raimi’s canceled Spider-Man 4 left a lasting impact on the franchise, as many of his ideas were incorporated into subsequent Spider-Man movies.
The Vulture, originally planned as the main villain in Spider-Man 4, ended up appearing in the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, portrayed by Michael Keaton.
Various characters and storylines from Raimi’s Spider-Man 4, such as the Lizard and Mysterio, were reimagined and featured in later Spider-Man films.

Sam Raimi’s canceled Spider-Man 4 lives on since many of the director’s ideas for the film made their way into The Amazing Spider-Man movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s partnership was not meant to end with the controversial Spider-Man 3, as the director and Peter Parker actor were originally going to return for Spider-Man 4. The movie was canceled after Raimi pulled out of Spider-Man 4 due to the studio’s constant requests, as he did not want to go through a repeat of Spider-Man 3‘s problems. Despite never happening, several Spider-Man 4 ideas live on in all the Spider-Man movies that came after Raimi’s exit.

Following the end of Raimi’s time with the Spider-Man franchise, Sony rebooted the character on the big screen with Andrew Garfield playing Peter Parker in two The Amazing Spider-Man movies. The actor was then recast with Tom Holland taking on the role of the MCU’s version of Spider-Man, with Marvel Studios and Sony co-producing the MCU’s Spider-Man films. Holland will return for his own Spider-Man 4, reaching the milestone that Raimi never did. Several details from Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 have become known over the years, and they reveal that many of the director’s ideas live on in other Spider-Man movies.

Related: Every MCU Spider-Man Movie Ranked

9 The Vulture Is The Star Villain Of Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man 4‘s Vulture would have been terrifying, with the character meant to be the movie’s main villain. Before departing the project, Raimi had cast John Malkovich to play the Vulture. Spider-Man 4 storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson revealed that Malkovich’s Vulture would have been “a private contractor” who “didn’t leave anything but bones behind” after he was done. The Vulture ended up being the villain of the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, with Michael Keaton’s version of the character also being a private contractor who was quite violent. Keaton’s Adrian Toomes was as menacing as Raimi’s ideas for the character describe him, with Keaton’s car scene with Holland’s Peter Parker perfectly showcasing that.

8 Vulture’s Daughter Was Handled In A Very Different Way In Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man 4 almost had Angelina Jolie play the Vulture’s daughter. While Jolie debuted as Thena in the MCU’s Eternals, the actress was Raimi’s choice to play the Vulture’s daughter. Jolie’s character would have become the Vultress — an original supervillain for the movie — after her father’s death. Vulture’s daughter’s role before that was described as “an accomplished executive representing a venture capital firm that was trying to buy the Daily Bugle.” Spider-Man: Homecoming ended up giving Keaton’s Vulture a daughter in the MCU, though it was Spider-Man comics character Liz Allan, a high school student and not an executive like Jolie’s character, repurposed for the role, leading to a shocking reveal.

7 Doctor Connors Finally Becomes The Lizard In The Amazing Spider-Man

Raimi’s Spider-Man movies set up the Lizard to debut in his full glory, which could have happened in Spider-Man 4. After Dylan Baker had appeared as Dr. Curt Connors in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, the character would have transformed into his evil monster form in the canceled Spider-Man 4. While that never came to pass, the Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans, ended up being the villain of The Amazing Spider-Man, going up against Garfield’s Spider-Man after Raimi’s film was canceled and Sony decided to reboot the franchise with a more modern take.

6 Mysterio Makes His Live-Action Debut In Spider-Man: Far From Home

While promoting his first MCU director gig, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Raimi confirmed Bruce Campbell could have played Mysterio in Spider-Man 4. According to the director, he had planned a few possible cameo roles for Campbell to continue their ongoing partnership in Spider-Man 4, with Raimi revealing, “[Mysterio] was one of the possibilities.” Jake Gyllenhaal ended up playing Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, with the villain making his live-action debut. Gyllenhaal delivered a magnetic performance as Mysterio, with the villain dying at the end of the film, but leaving behind a video that revealed Peter Parker was Spider-Man to the world, completely changing the hero’s life.

5 Felicia Hardy, AKA Black Cat, Has A Cameo In The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Speaking with Vulture in 2013, Raimi revealed that Anne Hathaway was set to play Felicia Hardy, known as the anti-hero Black Cat, in Spider-Man 4. Hathaway’s Black Cat could have become as much of a fan-favorite as her Catwoman was in The Dark Knight Rises, with Raimi saying, “I loved what she was doing with the auditions for Spider-Man 4.” Then, 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 saw Felicity Jones play Hardy in a minor role as Norman Osborn’s assistant. Jones never became Black Cat due to The Amazing Spider-Man 3 being canceled, and the planned Silver & Black film getting stuck in development hell ended her chances to suit up.

4 No Way Home Teases What Happened To Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker After Spider-Man 3

Maguire’s return as his version of Peter Parker in the MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home teased what happened to his character after Spider-Man 3. Maguire’s Peter revealed that he managed to make his relationship with Kirsten Dunst’s MJ work despite it being hard. Details from Raimi’s idea for Spider-Man 4’s Peter and Mary Jane relationship have since emerged, and the two would have broken up for at least part of the film before likely finding their way back together like had happened during Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Maguire’s line in Spider-Man: No Way Home backs that up, with Raimi’s versions of Peter and MJ still together years after Spider-Man 3‘s events.

3 The Prowler Debuts In Spider-Man: Homecoming And Plays A Major Role In The Animated Spider-Verse

There are many reasons Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 could have been great, and one of them is the movie’s opening montage. It has been revealed that Spider-Man 4 would have begun with Maguire’s Spider-Man defeating smaller villains before going up against the Vulture and the Lizard, and one of them was the Prowler. Donald Glover played Aaron Davis in Spider-Man: Homecoming, then reprised his role in the animated Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, this time appearing as a fully realized Prowler variant. The Spider-Verse franchise uses the Prowler in a much bigger role than Spider-Man 4 would have, as the villain is the uncle of the franchise’s main hero, Miles Morales.

2 Two Versions Of The Shocker Appear In Spider-Man: Homecoming

Another villain that Maguire’s wall-crawler would have stopped in the opening montage of Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 would have been the Shocker. Two versions of the character made their way into the MCU’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Logan Marshall-Green played the film’s first Shocker, Jackson Brice, who was accidentally killed by Keaton’s Vulture after threatening to expose his crimes to Vulture’s family and the police. Bokeem Woodbine’s Herman Schultz, the main version of Shocker from Marvel Comics, then assumed Brice’s role, being dubbed the new Shocker by Adrian Toomes.

1 Rhino Has Been Attached To Three Different Live-Action Movies

Spider-Man 4‘s opening montage would also have included the Rhino. The character ended up debuting in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with Paul Giamatti’s character using a mechanical Rhino suit that was a major departure from the Rhino’s physical transformation from the comics. The Rhino’s silhouette was then seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home when all the characters that knew Peter Parker was Spider-Man across the multiverse were getting pulled into the MCU. Now, the Rhino is set to debut in his full glory in 2024’s Kraven the Hunter, with Alessandro Nivola playing a comic book-accurate version of the Rhino, which brings another of Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 ideas fully to life.

Key Release Dates

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Venom 3

Kraven the Hunter

 Sam Raimi ended up pulling out of Spider-Man 4.  Read More