There are a lot of Spider-Men out there, as 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse capitalized on. However, some felt the conspicuous absence of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man in a multiverse where all Spider-Men are real. One of the first modern comic book adaptations to be almost universally beloved, the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies hold a special place in fans’ hearts and many folks think that version of the character was brushed off too quickly. However, a trio of cryptic tweets, including a deleted tweet from artist Alex Ross, suggested the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man might be swinging from the big screen to tiny panels. Does this mean that the first feature-film version of Spidey will get to continue (or at least properly finish) his story?
Unfortunately, no. It appears the tweet that sparked it all was that start of a webbed daily countdown for an announcement to be revealed later in the week. But for one glorious day, Tobey Maguire Spider-Man fans rejoiced at what could have been.
The Love for the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man
When first cast as Peter Parker, Tobey Maguire wasn’t a huge star. Known for mild-manner roles in films like Cider House Rules and Pleasantville, skeptical fans balked at him taking up the Spider-mantle. The actor, along with director Sam Raimi, surprised everyone by delivering two stellar performances in the first two Spidey flicks. Then came Spider-Man 3, a film that failed to deliver on its promise and showed all the telltale signs of studio meddling. Raimi, ready to move on from the franchise, wanted one more shot to go out on a high note but his Spider-Man 4 ended up cancelled over creative differences and Sony’s desire to reboot the franchise.
Obviously, that reboot was not a success, though many Spider-Man fans feel that the uber-Spidey has been found with his MCU iteration, played by Tom Holland. Yet, even with the troubled Spider-Man 3, people maintain a lot of love for the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man. Especially fans of a certain age, who grew up watching those films in the theaters or at home, this was the definitive version of the character. Raimi and Maguire both acknowledge that Spider-Man 3 wasn’t a great film, and they wanted to do one more film to end the series on a high note. Though they didn’t get that chance, we know a bit about what Spider-Man 4 would have looked like.
What Could Have Been: Spider-Man 4
As Raimi has said a number of times since, he’s not angry about the “break-up” between him and Sony where Spidey is concerned. After the unpleasantness of making a sub-par Spidey picture, Raimi decided to leave because he couldn’t deliver a story he was happy with by Sony’s deadline. What we know of the film that would have been so far, sounds both ambitious and a bit strange. The villains in the piece would have been the Vulture and, possibly, the Lizard. Dr. Curt Connors, played by Dylan Baker, appeared in the films but only as an Easter egg. Also making an appearance would have been Mysterio, played by Raimi regular Bruce Campbell. Finally, there was talk that Anne Hathaway would have played Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat in the comics.
This is a fun coincidence, since Hathaway ended up playing a version of Catwoman in the Nolan Batman trilogy. Though, this version of Felicia would have been the protégé of the Vulture, wings and all. Yet, conspicuously absent from this is any talk about the story of Peter Parker. Part of what made Spider-Man 3 fail was that when Peter Parker made his brief heel-turn, it wasn’t an earned moment. Naturally, since the film was so chock-full of villains (including Topher Grace’s Venom, a character Raimi didn’t want in the film), there wasn’t a lot of time for character work. A Spider-Man 4 comic book would have all the space needed for that.
The Fans Want the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man Back
So, whatever Marvel is counting down to, hopefully their decision makers are paying attention to the fans. Speculation on Twitter sent “Spider-Man 4” to the top of the trending list, indicating there is a clear demand for this version of the character. A comic book adaptation of what Spider-Man 4 could have been might be something to do, though if the script really was troubled it could also disappoint this generation of Spidey fans. Yet, thanks to Sony’s ingenious Spider-Verse direction with the character, the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man could come back.
Thanks to the power of the animated multi-verse, the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man could come back in a sequel for that series, voiced by the actor himself! This might be a more satisfying way for fans to revisit the character, absent all the baggage from the first Sony Spidey franchise.
What do you think? Would you want to read a comic book adaptation of Spider-Man 4? Would you like to see the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man in an animated movie? Tell us in the comments below or on social media!
Featured image via Sony Studios
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.