Seriously. Can you blame the guy?
Sam Raimi created the first modern trilogy in CBM history. It was acclaimed by fans and initially, lauded by critics. Spider-Man 2 is still among the top five in everyone’s comic book movie history, and that was 2004.
Sure, Spider-Man 3 carried a big sack of suck with a less-than-impressive Venom, which is what many nerds really wanted to see. Nonetheless, his vision of the friendly neighborhood guy set the standard for what a modern CBM should be (due respect to the Donner cuts of Superman and Elfman’s quintessential classic Batman).
So, why didn’t he get a fourth? Why dump that vision and give us a reboot and arguably the best director/movie duo — The Amazing Spider-Man and Marc Webb (in name only)?
Answer: Who the hell knows. That includes Sam Raimi who sat down with Ethan Alter of Yahoo! Entertainment (yes, Yahoo is still a thing).
15 Years Later and Still Butthurt
It has been 15 years since Sam Raimi was thanked for his Marvel service; yet, he still bemoans the day they let him go. While out promoting his latest production work, Crawl, the topic of the Webhead came up because nerds:
“I think about it all the time,” Raimi shared with Yahoo! “It’s hard not to, because each summer another Spider-Man film comes out! So when you have an unborn one, you can’t help but think what might have been. But I try to focus on what will be, and not look into the past.”
Spider-Man 4 was supposed to be the culmination of his original vision, but because the aforementioned fart-and-fall-down moment that was Spider-Man 3, the next film in the saga seemed a little cursed.
He was planning on bringing back Tobey to play Peter Parker. And Michael Keaton who? Raimi envisioned a more grizzled version of Peter’s biggest challenge in ‘Vulture’, to be played by the magnificent John Malkovich. Did you know Anne Hathaway was considered for SM4? As ‘Black Cat’ though. Oh yeah, if you know Raimi, you know The Evil Dead. Raimi wanted his cult hero Bruce Campbell to play Mysterio.
As you may know, Raimi wasn’t the biggest fan of the script and ghosted the project. Don’t like The Amazing Spider-Man? It was Raimi who blessed it and the reboot.
Raimi’s friend and fabled storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson recently published some drawings on his website about the “what could have been” project along with some revealing thoughts:
“It would’ve been one absolutely kick ass movie,” he wrote. “We were working on some crazy cool stuff, because everyone…felt that Spidey 3 was a bit of a ‘missed opportunity’, [and[ really wanted to help Sam take SM4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.”
Just look at this!
Kinda like the torture Zack Snyder is causing DC stans, huh? That’s what you could have had, Spidey fans. Ah well, let’s pour some out to what could have been and hope Raimi comes back to Marvel in some fashion. His vision was beyond reproach, something Kevin Feige has mastered.
Sleep well, Marvel stans.