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Happy Anniversary, Spider-Man 4

Tobey Maguire crying as Peter Parker in Spider-Man

It’s been 9 years now since we first laid our eyes on Spider-Man 4, and to celebrate, I want to talk about some of my favorite moments from the Sam Raimi classic! With a zombie-Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben’s Force Ghost, and more, it was a movie that took the idea that Spider-Man 3 was terrible and said, “You thought, bitch!”

Spider-Man 4 was jammed back with heroes, villains, stars, and—okay, this hurts too much. I can’t keep pretending like we actually got Spider-Man 4. The movie that always could be, its untimely demise came down to Sam Raimi and Sony deciding that maybe they should have stopped with the ever-perfect Spider-Man 2.

The truth of the situation is that Spider-Man 3 hit us all so hard that Sam Raimi was even unhappy with it and decided to cancel its sequel when he didn’t feel it was coming together as the return to form he wanted. He’d also been in Spider-Man land for over six years and three movies at that point, so it’s easy to see why he might be okay with just moving on to something else if the next installment wasn’t shaping up the way he’d hoped. Granted, Spider-Man 4 would have been a four-year break from Spider-Man 3, but still, that’s a lot of Spidey content, and that’s coming from me, one of the biggest fans of Peter Parker.

Still though, seeing the Sony Pictures tweet from over a decade ago, announcing the release of Spider-Man 4 hurts because … we could have had so much more …

The movie was set to star Tobey Maguire still as Peter Parker, with Anne Hathaway to join the cast as Felicia Hardy and Bruce Campbell as Mysterio—not to mention both Vulture and Rhino were rumored to join, as well, so … basically all the villains of Peter’s we’d come to know and love in future live-action movies. This movie would have added ten years onto my life, but alas, it was not to be.

Twitter, though, likes to remember the movie that could have been (and one that many still hope to see).

What could have really been with Spider-Man 4? A lot. Sam Raimi clearly had some wonderful ideas, but it will always be the movie that could have been, and hopefully, with Raimi now set to do Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, we can see some of these ideas come in with the new world that movie might be bringing into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (I’d take Bruce Campbell and Jake Gyllenhaal having a Mysterio-off.)

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.