While Spider-Man: No Way Home is rightfully getting the plaudits it deserves, its popularity means Sony now owes it to Sam Rami to make Spider-Man 4.
Warning: Contains SPOILERS for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The rampant success of Spider-Man: No Way Home means Sony owes it to Sam Raimi to make Spider-Man 4. With $1.39 billion at the worldwide box office to date, global audiences have flocked to see Spider-Man: No Way Home bring together three generations of Peter Parker and his respective nemeses to battle it out in the latest MCU installment. Yet the appearance of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, one of the most beloved iterations of the character to date, has reignited calls for Raimi to complete his Spider-Man 4 movie that was canceled back in 2010.
Despite the lukewarm critical reception to many elements of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, the film’s impressive box office haul convinced Sony to make a fourth film. Development for Spider-Man 4 first began in 2008, with Raimi attached to direct and the core cast of the previous films to return. Just one year later, however, Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 was quagmired in development hell, with Raimi attempting four revisions of the script, each with a different writer. These narrative issues and lack of forward progress convinced Sony to cancel Spider-Man 4 in January 2010 in favor of The Amazing Spider-Man reboot, ensuring Raimi’s fourth Spider-Man project never saw the light of day.
Yet renewed audience appetite for all things Spider-Man means Sony would be wise to allow Sam Raimi to make Spider-Man 4. In particular, No Way Home‘s blockbuster reception has firmly thrust Raimi’s Peter Parker back into the contemporary consciousness, with Tobey Maguire’s return to the franchise met with a raucous reception. Here’s why Sam Raimi should be allowed to attempt making Spider-Man 4, as well as what his original movie would have looked like.
Why Fans Want Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 To Happen Again
Spider-Man being enveloped into the ever-burgeoning MCU has led to a sharp uptick in audience interest for the webslinger, with Tom Holland’s iteration of Peter Parker making prominent appearances in the record-breaking Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, as well as featuring in his own blockbusters Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Spider-Man: No Way Home represents the current zenith of the character’s popularity in contemporary culture, with Jon Watts’ epic bringing back not one but three Spidey incarnations via the Multiverse. The reappearance of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man has led to renewed clamor to see the actor reprise his iconic role as Peter Parker, particularly given No Way Home‘s ending, which leaves the door wide open for a revision of Sam Raimi’s classic Spiderverse (more on this later). The tantalizing prospect of seeing Raimi’s Spider-Man film series finally completed has prompted many to take to social media and campaign for Spider-Man 4 to be made by using the hashtag #MakeRaimiSpiderMan4.
What Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 Would Have Looked Like
While Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 went through four rewrites, the film’s core narrative was still put in place during its stalled development in 2008 and 2009. Raimi’s fourth movie would have seen Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter try to reconcile their relationship following the tumultuous events of Spider-Man 3, while also portraying Peter attempting to deal with the death of his best friend-turned-Green Goblin Harry Osborn (James Franco). Another narrative reportedly set to unfold across Spider-Man 4 was Dr. Curt Connors’ transformation into the Lizard, after Dylan Baker’s Dr. Connors acted as a mentor to Peter in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. The small quantity of Spider-Man 4 concept art that exists in the public domain appears scintillating, with one series of sketches displaying an action montage where Spider-Man battles classic foes such as Shocker, Rhino, and Mysterio. Along with Mysterio, the Spider-Man 4 art also reveals the appearance of The Vulture as he battles Black Cat above the New York skyline, although details of how these two characters would be integrated into the film’s story remains a mystery to this day.
Sony’s Spider-Man 3 Meddling Means They Owe Him
Sam Raimi’s initial Spider-Man 3 plot was a far simpler affair, with Peter Parker set to battle Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and the Vulture (who was cut from the script) while resolving his differences with an increasingly conflicted Harry Osborn. Yet Spider-Man 3‘s producer Avi Arad felt Raimi’s project needed more villains, particularly Venom, with Arad eventually convincing Raimi to add Venom as part of Eddie Brock’s (Topher Grace) storyline. Other Sony executives also chimed in with several ideas to introduce a competing love interest against Mary Jane, with Bryce Dallas Howard’s Gwen Stacy eventually added to fill the role of “the other girl” Sony executives wished to see.
Raimi’s addition of Venom to Spider-Man 3 was done to appease Arad and the Sony executives, who felt Raimi had relied too much on his favorite Spider-Man antagonists from the comics as opposed to using popular newer villains audiences wished to see. Shoehorning Eddie Brock’s Venom transition, Peter Parker’s symbiote relationship, and a Gwen Stacy love story tease into an already packed script ultimately acted as a massive disservice to Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, with the final cut feeling bloated yet hollow in comparison with the electric narratives of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, respectively. Sony’s powers that be meddled with Spider-Man 3 to such an extent that it shed the magic of Raimi’s previous two franchise entries – meaning Sony owe Raimi another bite at the cherry with Spider-Man 4 to right the wrongs his third installment created.
Could Spider-Man 4 Still Happen After No Way Home?
The good news for audiences hoping to return to Raimi’s Spider-Man world is that No Way Home leaves the door wide open for Spider-Man 4 to be made. No Way Home‘s ending confirms the existence (via the Multiverse) of three differing Spider-Man timelines that feature Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland, respectively. The Multiverse, therefore, allows Raimi’s fourth Spider-Man movie to be made without altering the canon or timelines of the MCU and Sonyverse’s Spider-Men, meaning Maguire and his co-stars are free to return to Raimi’s Spider-verse some 15 years after they last united for Spider-Man 3′s story. Leaving the Raimiverse as a standalone entity means Spider-Man 4 has a prime opportunity to be considered for revival, which is the very least Sony owes Sam Raimi after their treatment of his franchise installments in the late 2000s.
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