Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (2023)

Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (1)

It has been 20 years since Sam Raimi introduced the world to Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker in the 2002 smash hit Spider-Man. Two successful sequels — Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 — followed in the years following, and things were looking up for the friendly web-slinger with the planned Spider-Man 4. But, sometimes, plans fall through and we are left asking what happened.

So, what happened to Spider-Man 4 and why did the highly-anticipated movie stop before it really got started? Well, just like how The Amazing Spider-Man 3 fell apart years later, the fourth installment in Sam Raimi’s series was doomed to never see the light of day. Here’s what happened…

Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (2)

Columbia Pictures Was Already Planning A Sequel To Spider-Man 3 Before The Film’s May 2007 Release

In May 2007, Spider-Man 3 swung into theaters and ended up making just shy of $895 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo, despite receiving mixed reviews from critics. The powers that be at Columbia Pictures were, apparently, so high on the third entry in Sam Raimi’s franchise that executives began early talks with screenwriter David Koepp about a fourth installment before the third movie even opened in theaters.

(Video) The Untold Story of Sam Raimi's Cancelled Spider-Man 4 | Cutshort

Back in January 2007, Variety reported that Columbia was already in early negotiations with the Spider-Man scribe to return to the franchise after not writing the second and third installments. This officially kicked off the story of Spider-Man 4.

Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (3)

Tobey Maguire And Sam Raimi Signed On For Spider-Man 4 In September 2008

Spider-Man 4 began to build momentum in September 2008 when Deadline reported that Sony Pictures not only ordered a new script by Zodiac screenwriter Jamie Vanderbilt, but that Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire were locked in for the franchise’s fourth installment, as well. At the time, there was no word on whether or not Kirsten Dunst would be coming back as Mary Jane Watson, though it is hard to imagine the movie without her.

It is stated throughout the report, however, that Spider-Man 4 would have stayed true to previous installments and would not be influenced by The Dark Knight, which came in and changed the superhero game just a few months earlier.

Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (4)

In 2009, Sony Pictures Officially Gave Spider-Man 4 A Release Date Of May 6, 2011

In March 2009, Marvel fans around the world were in for some good news when the Sony Pictures Twitter account announced that not only was Spider-Man 4 happening, but it would be opening in theaters on May 6, 2011, nearly four years to the date after the Spider-Man 3 release.

But, as we all know now, this date ended up not sticking and Spider-Man 4 was never produced, leaving fans wondering what happened and what could have been. Before we dive into the death of Sam Raimi's franchise, let’s first touch on what was supposed to go down in Sam Raimi’s fourth Spidey movie.

Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (5)

(Video) Spider-Man 4 - Why it could NEVER work

The Spider-Man 4 Plot Would Have Reportedly Featured Multiple Villains, Including Vulture, The Lizard, And Mysterio

If you thought Spider-Man 4 would have taken a cue from its predecessor and avoided having multiple villains, I don’t know what to tell you, because several members of the Sinister Six were reportedly going to show up to take on Peter Parker in the franchise’s fourth installment. In 2016, Jeffrey Henderson, who worked extensively on the unreleased movie, shared a collection of storyboards he had drawn up for it, which showed Vulture and Mysterio getting in Spider-Man's way.

According to a subsequent report by Gizmodo, Mysterio, played by Bruce Campbell, would have been part of a group of “C and D-list villains that also included the Shocker, the Prowler, and Rhino who gave Spider-Man trouble in the beginning of the movie. The movie’s big bad, Vulture, would have been played by John Malkovich (if Sam Raimi had his way). Even though we never got to see any of these villains in action (at least not in Raimi’s franchise), a Spider-Man 4 animatic showing Vulture and Spider-Man in battle has since leaked.

It was also rumored way back in January 2007 that Dylan Baker would be back as Dr. Curt Connors, this time as the Lizard, per IGN.

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Production Was Scheduled To Start In Early 2010, But Issues With The Spider-Man 4 Script Kept Causing Delays

Production on Spider-Man 4 was originally slated to get underway in early 2010, but the goalposts kept getting moved back due ongoing issues with the film’s script. In January of that year, Deadline reported that the movie officially didn’t have a start date because of those problems, citing an email that had been sent to the special effects crew one month earlier. At the time, it appeared that the production was still on and Sony Pictures executives were still high on the project, it’s just that no one knew when the lingering issues would be resolved.

According to the same article, Jamie Vanderbilt, David Lindsay-Abaire, and Gary Ross had also worked on the script at various points, and Raimi and Sony were waiting for yet another version by Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 writer Alvin Sargent. At this point, it appeared that the May 2011 release wouldn’t stick, though Sony executives were still intending on a summer release.

Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (7)

Sony Made The Decision To Cancel Spider-Man 4 And Instead Reboot The Franchise In January 2010

Less than a week after news broke that production on Spider-Man 4 was being delayed by issues with the script, Sony Pictures pulled the plug on the movie, officially ending the Sam Raimi franchise. According to Deadline, Raimi told Sony he couldn’t move forward creatively with the project and the powers that be decided to just scrap the project instead of finding a replacement.

(Video) What Would of Happened in Tobey's Spider-Man 4 I Spider Man Movies We NEVER Saw Part One

At the same time, Sony Pictures decided the best course of action would be to just start fresh with a new, rebooted franchise. This new franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, would end up suffering a similar fate a few years later.

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Sam Raimi Wanted Spider-Man 4 To Be The ‘Best Spider-Man Of Them All’

Several years after the whole situation was over and done with, Sam Raimi opened up about Spider-Man 4 and its failings in a 2013 interview with Vulture, where he described the cancellation as “amicable” and “undramatic" before getting into the details:

It was simply that we had a deadline and I couldn’t get the story to work on a level that I wanted it to work. I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all.

But, Sam Raimi just couldn’t get it to work, and so he told Sony Pictures he didn’t want to make a “less than great” movie and that they should move on with the reboot that he knew they were planning.

All in all, everything has a way of coming back full-circle, especially in the realm of comic book movies. Tobey Maguire returned in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Sam Raimi is in the director's chair for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one of the most anticipated upcoming Marvel movies.


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(Video) Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4 - The Tobey Maguire Sequel That Almost Fixed Spider Man 3

Spider-Man 4: Why The Tobey Maguire Sequel Never Happened (9)

Philip Sledge

(Video) Why We Need Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man 4 | FandomWire Video Essay

Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.


Why didn t Tobey Maguire make Spider-Man 4? ›

Speaking about the decision to quit, Raimi told Vulture in 2013, “It really was the most amicable and undramatic of breakups: It was simply that we had a deadline and I couldn't get the story to work on a level that I wanted it to work.

Will there ever be a Tobey Maguire Spider-Man 4? ›

Sony Pictures cancels plans for Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man 4. When people saw Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans just cheered. What was thought impossible for such a long time has been done. Gathering three generations of Spider-Man into one film.

Why didn t Tobey Maguire make more Spider-Man? ›

Cramming in so many iconic villains into one story arc did not bode well. The run time of the film seemed inadequate for a movie of such grandeur. As a result, Spider-Man 3, which was supposed to be Tobey Maguire's magnum opus, and make him the RDJ of the 2000's, turned him into a studio pariah.

What was supposed to happen in Spider-Man 4? ›

The biggest plot point fans can expect Spider-Man 4 to tackle has to be Peter's lost identity seen at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which Peter erased himself from the minds of everyone including his loved ones.

Why didn t Sam Raimi make a Spider-Man 4? ›

During the interview, Raimi revealed “Spider-Man 4” was aborted due to issues with the script, which wasn't up to the standard he had for the film. “It was a very painful experience for me,” Raimi told Rolling Stone writer Brian Hiatt. “I wanted to make a Spider-Man movie to redeem myself for that.

Why did Spider-Man 4 get cancelled? ›

According to HITC, Spider-Man 4 was cancelled because Sam Raimi wasn't satisfied with the way the project was shaping up. He even went on the record explaining that he couldn't quite land on a script he was happy with, so he and Sony agreed it was best to abandon the film.

Does Tobey Maguire want to be Spider-Man again? ›

In an interview with Marvel, Maguire admitted that he would like to return to play his version of Spider-Man again. "I love these films, and I love all of the different series.

Is Spider-Man 4 confirmed? ›

Tom Holland is set to return as Peter Parker in Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man 4. The news was confirmed by Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who told Entertainment Weekly that they “have the story” for the upcoming installment.

Will there be Spider-Man 4 Tom Holland? ›

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has confirmed in a new interview that Tom Holland's fourth 'Spider-Man' movie is being written. Marvel had one of its biggest hits ever with Holland's third-outing, 'Spider-Man: No Way Home,' which became the first pandemic release to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

Will Sam Raimi make Spider-Man 4? ›

Raimi was planning a fourth movie despite Spider-Man 3's poor critical and commercial feedback, but Sony ultimately abandoned the idea.

How much did they pay Tobey Maguire? ›

Tobey Maguire

Tobey reportedly earned $15 million for his base salary for the third movie, but he got a bigger percentage for the back-end gross and earned 7.5 percent. According to The Richest.com, Garfield made $75 million.

Why is Tobey the only Spider-Man with webs? ›

Reportedly, director Sam Raimi gave Tobey's Spidey organic web shooters to make him seem more realistic as a character. He feared that having Peter invent his own gadgets would make him too smart and unrelatable to audiences. This interpretation is a far cry from Spider-Man's abilities in the source material.

Is MJ going to remember Peter? ›

Whether it's in a potential Spider-Man 4 or later, MJ will remember who Peter is and they'll live happily ever after. This was little more than fan fiction for a while, but now the official script has been released as part of the movie's awards campaign (via Deadline).

Who was meant to be the villain in Spider-Man 4? ›

Adrian Toomes, also known as The Vulture, was intended to be the main antagonist of Sam Rami's cancelled film Spider-Man 4. Sam Rami wanted to make a proper conclusion for the Spider-Man franchise, with one the villains he intended to use being the Vulture.

How will MJ and Ned remember Peter? ›

On top of being implied by a “lingering sense of recognition” when Peter leaves the donut shop, the fact that MJ is still wearing Peter's broken Black Dahlia necklace at the end of the film seems to confirm she (subconsciously) remembers him.

Did Sam Raimi not like Tobey Maguire? ›

I love Tobey [Maguire]. I love Kirsten Dunst. I think all things are possible,” he said.

Why did Sam Raimi not like Venom? ›

Speaking with Uproxx, Sam Raimi said his Venom wasn't given justice on screen because he just didn't warm to the character: "It was really more just that I didn't understand the character that well. It wasn't close to my heart.

Why did Sam Raimi dislike Spider-Man 3? ›

In conversation with the Nerdist podcast, Raimi explained, “It's a movie that just didn't work very well. I tried to make it work, but I didn't really believe in all the characters, so that couldn't be hidden from people who loved Spider-Man”.

Will MJ and Ned be back in Spider-Man 4? ›

However, in Spider-Man: No Way Home, as we have seen at the end that after the mind-wipe, MJ or even Ned can remember who Peter Parker is aka Spiderman. It was quite a heartbreaking scene. However, now, as the makers are gearing up for Spider-Man 4, we found out that Zendaya will also be returning as MJ.

Why did Spider-Man get replaced? ›

One of the primary reasons was the underwhelming performance of 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' at the box office. But sources also cite that the studio was not too happy with Garfield's behaviour- particularly on one occasion and hence decided to not reboot the franchise with the actor.

Is Tom Holland done with Spider-Man? ›

However, the end of No Way Home has left fans wondering as to whether Tom Holland will play Spider-Man again. The answer is yes.

Will there be a Spider-Man 4 venom? ›

According to a new report, Venom's future in the MCU may be on the back-burner as the plan for Tom Holland's Spider-Man gets shaken up.

Will Peter and MJ get back together? ›

MJ and Peter have since gotten back together -- satisfying fans of their relationship -- but haven't gotten married (even though Peter has a ring, just pop the question Parker).

Will Tom Holland be in the next Spider-Man trilogy? ›

"We are getting ready to make the next Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland and Marvel. We're thinking of this as three films, and now we're going to go onto the next three. This is not the last of our MCU movies," the producer said. What is this?

Who was going to play Vulture in Spider-Man 4? ›

John Malkovich (inset, top) was originally cast to play an iconic "Spider-Man" villain Vulture in the canceled fourth film of the Tobey Maguire (inset, bottom) series during the mid-2000s.

How much was Tom Holland paid for Spider-Man? ›

Holland's first appearance in a Marvel film (Captain America: Civil War) earned him $250,000 before raking in half a million for "Spiderman: Homecoming," adding up to $1.5 million with bonuses.

Who is Tobey Maguire best friend? ›

2. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. DiCaprio and Maguire have one of the longest-lasting friendships in Hollywood. The two met for the first time as kid actors auditioning back in the 80s and reportedly bonded after learning they were both raised by single mothers in Los Angeles.

How much did Tom Holland get paid for Spider-Man: No Way Home? ›

Moreover, Holland was reportedly paid $10 million to play Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

What is the strongest Spider-Man? ›

Multiple Spider-Men characters have called themselves powerful through the timeline of the multiverse. They are a mix of heroes and villains who have laid claim to being web slingers like Spider-Man. But Peter Parker is the strongest Spider-Man in the Marvel Universe.

Which Spider-Man is the best? ›

All Spider-Man Movies Ranked (Including Venom and Morbius)
  • #5. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) 90% ...
  • #6. Spider-Man (2002) 90% ...
  • #7. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) 71% ...
  • #8. Spider-Man 3 (2007) 63% ...
  • #9. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021) 57% ...
  • #10. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) 51% ...
  • #11. Venom (2018) 30% #11. ...
  • #12. Morbius (2022) 16% #12.

Why did Tobey Maguire only do 3 Spidermans? ›

Maguire always intended to return for a fourth Spider-Man movie after 2007's divisive “Spider-Man 3,” but creative differences between director Sam Raimi and Sony Pictures prevented him from doing so.

Who still remembers Peter Parker? ›

Which Avenger still remember Spider-Man? No Way Home Theory Reveals Thor & Captain Marvel Remember Peter Parker. A technicality in the final spell in Spider-Man: No Way Home could mean that Thor, Captain Marvel, and the Guardians still remember Peter Parker.

Will Ned become a villain? ›

No Way Home was also the first film to address Ned's full name, confirming he is the same character as in the comics and not a revitalized iteration of him as the studio had done with Zendaya's Michelle Jones-Watson. In the comics, the character of Ned Leeds eventually turns into a villain, the menacing Hobgoblin.

Will Doctor Strange remember Peter? ›

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness indicates that Doctor Strange remembers Peter Parker in a specific way after the ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Who is the sixth villain of No Way Home? ›

Venom was the sixth member of the Sinister Six in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home' During IGN Fan Fest, Spider-Man: No Way Home writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna discussed the future of Venom in the MCU. Eddie Brock, played by Tom Hardy, appeared in a post-credits scene.

Who is the 6th villain in Spider-Man? ›

While Doctor Octopus has generally remained its leader, the Sinister Six has had multiple variations of composition. The original Sinister Six–Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Sandman, and Electro–battling Spider-Man. Art by Alex Ross.

Who is the fifth villain in Spider-Man: No Way Home? ›

Hello Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, Electro, Sandman and The Lizard!

Why did Ned forget Peter Parker? ›

Strange cast was for everyone on earth to forget Peter Parker. That's why MJ, Ned, and Happy all don't know who Peter is. However, Peter and Spider-Man are two separate identities. While MJ, Ned, and Happy have memories with both Peter and Spider-Man, any memory involving Peter was removed via the spell.

Is Tom Holland quitting MCU? ›

As far as Tom Holland is concerned, there is no news of his departure.

What do we know about Spider-Man 4? ›

Spider-Man 4 doesn't have a confirmed release date – but it's believed the movie will release on July 12, 2024. This release date comes courtesy of The Cosmic Circus, a reputable leaker. However, if it's not July, Sony has an unconfirmed Marvel project set for release on June 7, 2024.

How come there was no Spider-Man 4? ›

On 11 January 2010, Deadline reported that “Sony Pictures decided today to reboot the Spider-Man franchise after franchise director Sam Raimi pulled out of Spider-Man 4 because he felt he couldn't make its summer release date and keep the film's creative integrity.

What was Peter Parker doing when he was bitten by the radioactive spider? ›

The Earth-616 origin story of Spider-Man is one of the most famous in all of the Marvel Universe. Enrolled at Midtown High School, Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider at a science exhibit, and then acquired the proportionate strength and speed of an arachnid, along with the ability to stick to walls.

What happens at the end of Spider-Man 4? ›

At the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker makes a powerful sacrifice. He lets Doctor Strange's spell wipe out all of his loved one's memories of him, resulting in losing MJ, Ned, and Happy Hogan.

Is Spider-Man 4 a venom? ›

The upcoming Spider-Man 4 must fulfill No Way Home's promise of Venom in the MCU but may feature a different host than Eddie Brock. The as-yet-untitled Spider-Man 4 must follow through on No Way Home's mid-credits scene Venom tease - but not necessarily with Eddie Brock as the symbiote's human host.

Does everyone remember Peter Spider-Man 4? ›

Spider-Man: No Way Home had huge ramifications for Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it all stemmed from mishaps with the multiverse. The result was that any memory of Peter was completely erased from public knowledge, with even Spider-Man's closest friends no longer remembering him.

Why was Tobey Spider-Man cancelled? ›

Following the disappointing reception to Spider-Man 3, Sony ultimately decided to cancel Tobey Maguire's fourth film after Raimi insisted that he couldn't move forward with the project.

What does 42 mean in Marvel? ›

The number 42 appears in key scenes throughout "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," and it's also present in the original comic book. Some fans believed it was a nod to Douglas Adams' book "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," but it's not. It's a reference to baseball legend Jackie Robinson's jersey number.

What spider was Miles Morales bitten by? ›

While there, Miles got bitten by a genetically modified Alchemax spider labeled "42", which he quickly killed.

Did Peter Parker get his body back? ›

The series ended with issue 31, which determined the fate of Parker's mind, and was followed up by a relaunch of The Amazing Spider-Man series, with the new volume depicting Parker regaining his body and the Spider-Man mantle.

Will MJ and Ned return in Spider-Man 4? ›

He shared on the Twitter handle that the Euphoria star will reprise her role as MJ and will be by Spidey's side just like she did in the rest of the movies of the franchise. If the reports are to be believed then Tom and Zendaya fans can relax a bit as the duo will be returning together in Spider-Man 4.

Will Dr Strange remember Peter? ›

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness indicates that Doctor Strange remembers Peter Parker in a specific way after the ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home.


1. Tobey Maguire REVEALED He Wants The Spider Man 4 Role..
(Sporting Echo)
2. Spider-Man 4 Reportedly Not Happening With Tobey Maguire
(News To Astonish)
3. Tobey Maguire Wants to do Spider-Man 4?
(Robert Storms)
4. Why Sam Raimi's 'Spider Man 4' Was CANCELLED..
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5. What If Spider-Man 4 Happened?
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6. The Tragic Story Behind Spider-Man 4's Cancellation
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