Along with the X-Men franchise, Sam Raimi’s work on the Spider-Man series helped usher in the age of comic book movies as we know them. Even though Spider-Man 3 was a tonal mess that squandered one of the source material’s most iconic villains – thanks to studio involvement that forces Raimi to shoehorn Venom into the film, despite his protests – there was still an opportunity to right the ship and go out on a high note with a fourth installment.
Raimi had always been pretty vocal about his preference toward the more “classic” villains from the Spider-Man universe, and the proposed Spider-Man 4 would have seen him plucking two more time-honored foes directly from the pages of the comics books: Mysterio and The Vulture. And while Spider-Man 4 never made it past the development stages, illustrator Jeffrey Henderson has posted some early concept and storyboard art from the film that showcase what big-screen versions of those characters might have looked like.
CinemaBlend has the scoop, along with a quote from Henderson himself about what the creative team hoped to accomplish with one more film:
“It would’ve been one absolutely kick ass movie. Seriously. We were working on some crazy- cool stuff, because everyone, from top to bottom, felt that Spidey 3 was a bit of a ‘missed opportunity’, and we all really wanted to help Sam take SM4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.”
Of course, hope is not yet lost: the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming is heavily rumored to feature The Vulture as Spidey’s primary nemesis, and Michael Keaton is circling the role. Marvel and Sony might not use Henderson’s exact designs, but it’s always possible they could look to them as a source of inspiration.
Be sure to check out Henderson’s website for more Spider-Man 4 concept art, including what appears to be a chase sequence with a helicopter in hot pursuit of The Vulture, along with ideas for changes to Spidey’s costume.
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