‘Spider-Man 4’ Concept Art Reveals the Villains and Humor of Sam Raimi’s Abandoned Sequel
After delivering two great Spider-Man films back-to-back (and almost singlehandedly launching a new era of superhero franchises), Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 left fans feeling a bit disappointed. With one too many villains, that famous emo Peter Parker dance sequence (which I actually like!) and reports of studio interference, Raimi’s third film in the series ultimately proved to be his last when he abandoned plans for Spider-Man 4 back in 2010 — leaving us wondering what that fourth film might have looked like. Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder (much) anymore.
Concept and storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson released a bunch of his work for the sequel to his official site (via Cinema Blend), giving us our best and only look at the Spider-Man movie that could have been. Henderson also collaborated with Raimi on Spider-Man 3 and Oz, the Great and Powerful, and his concepts for Spider-Man 4 include scenes featuring classic Spidey villains Vulture and Mysterio:
The thing we kept coming back to was that, as a character, everyone was going to dismiss the Vulture as just an old guy in a silly green suit. So we wanted to go the opposite way and really make him the most fearsome and formidable adversary that Spider-Man had faced in the series.
Below, you can see Spider-Man bringing Mysterio into the police station:
That face probably looks familiar to you. Raimi’s longtime friend and Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell was going to continue his Spider-Man cameo tradition by playing Mysterio in the fourth film. Henderson describes the villain’s small but hilarious part:
…a montage of C and D-list villains that we knew would never be used as main antagonists: Mysterio, the Shocker, the Prowler, the old school-onesie-wearing version of the Rhino, maybe even the Stilt Man, etc.
There had also been talk of The Lizard appearing in the sequel, a possibility set up by Dylan Baker’s role as Dr. Kurt Conners in the previous films. Sadly, that also never came to pass. As for Vulture, Michael Keaton is heavily rumored to be playing that particular villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming.