In what can be named as Cinema history’s greatest dried-up mushroom lays first the untold Spider-Man 4 story. Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 was a story untold but it wasn’t unsaid. Maybe Spider Man 4 Tobey Maguire would have been the de-facto finest Spider-Man ever portrayed, as even today the debate continues. Yet a judgment from a film never made is as grainy as desert sand.
Recently, CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor Sean O’Connell took an interview with Spider-Man 4’s Storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson. Jeffrey gives meaningful insights into what Sam Raimi’s next most ambitious film could have looked like, which would include Vulture in his most brutal mercenary form.
Sam Raimi had ambitious plans for Spider-Man 4 featuring Tobey Maguire
Sam Raimi had great plans for Spider-Man 4. After a seeming failure with Spider-Man 3 and the position of Venom playing a hardy (not Tom Hardy) role in that, Raimi was convicted more than ever.
The conviction was that of ensuring that Spider-Man 4 could reach the levels that the initial two installments of his franchise transpired.
Jefferey was the Storyboarding artist in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 team
After we further deplored Jefferey’s comments on the interview, we are more sure than ever that a Spider-Man 4 would have been phenomenal. Sean O’Connell took the interview as he was writing his book Great Power: How Spider-Man Conquered Hollywood During The Golden Age of Blockbusters.
In Spider-Man 4 Tobey Maguire would have fought Vulture
Spider-Man 4 was already in production. Sam Raimi’s team had already begun with sets for principal photography.
- Sam Raimi had already almost finished storyboarding for the initial half of the film. Jefferey confirms that the main villain of the Spider-Man 4 would have been Vulture.
- Unlike the Vulture that we see in Spiderman Homecoming, this one would have been more feathery and traditional. Although Jefferey foretold of certain cybernetics (and hence robotics) as part of the villain being inevitable.
Spider-Man 4’s Vulture would have been a killer mercenary. Because he always leaves his targets bloodied to bones, he is named what he is.
- Vulture would have been a governmental agent. One that the state wishes to hide desperately. Sam Raimi more or less confirmed John Malkovich for the fourth installment.
He was essentially a guy that did a lot of ugly stuff for the government, did a lot of ugly stuff as a private contractor. I thought a clever thing to do would be to say that part of the reason they called him The Vulture was because when he was done, he didn’t leave anything but bones behind.
- In the series of storyboarding that Jefferey did, he recounted scenes where Vulture would have fought other mercenaries.
- Jefferey told how he worked in the action set of the same and prepared the required action figures for the set.
Spiderman vs Vulture would have been brutal
Sam Raimi also initiated a mockup of what Vulture vs Spiderman may have looked like. Helped by Jefferey and team, Sam Raimi imagined Spiderman facing off against Vulture starting from the subway tunnels.
They were going to have a big brawl–for–it–all, where Vulture almost kills Spider-Man. And then Spider-Man at the last minute—he’s really wounded, he’s bleeding really badly, he’s in real trouble—Peter finally, almost as a reaction, forces The Vulture off. When he does, it snaps some of the stuff from the wings, so he ends up just tumbling into the ether, off the top of the Citicorp building. That’s what does him in.
Such imagination helps put many fans to sleep. Especially considering that we have seen Spiderman on the verge of being defeated multiple times, and it never gets boring.
— Cade Onder (@Cade_Onder) November 4, 2022
- Every time Spiderman (Tobey) has been put to his life’s end we have seen something amazing inspire in the films.
- In Spider-Man 2 Peter’s revelation as Spiderman in the subway remains one of the most iconic scenes.
- Although one may also attest it to be a fanservice given that nobody ever out to the media who Spider-man truly is.
- But given the premise, although it feels unrealistic, it surely doesn’t feel illogical.
Spider-Man 4 would have paid a cinematic homage to major comic villains in the opening montage
We were going to open the movie with this montage of all the villains we knew that Sam would never be able to use in Spider-Man movies. Because Peter, now that MJ has gone, he has finally made peace, and he loves being Spider-Man. He’s actually enjoying it. So we were going to try to do The Shocker, Mysterio, The Stilt Man, and that kind of stuff.
In all of the endeavors that could have been possible, the most savage still remains Jefferey’s statement above. Sam Raimi would have had a hard time bringing in the majority of the trademark villains of the comics. An intricate set of corporate and copyright laws make things difficult.
But a montage showcasing different villains (including Mysterio) fighting Spider-Man hits right on the spot. It is also quite easy to guess that Evil Dead’s Bruce Campbell would have played Mysterio in the montage definitely.
Jeffery also mentioned the potential second-half of the movie which would have featured Angelina Jolie as Vulture’s wife, completely twisting the linear pacing of Vulture as the villain in the film.
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