Marvel Comics’ mysterious Spider-Man 4 teaser was a trending topic on Twitter Sunday, leading some fans to believe Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire would be reteaming for the abandoned sequel to their Spider-Man trilogy.
The teaser, showing a spider crawling atop a “4” made from webs, was posted Sunday morning with the hashtag “#MarvelComics.” No other information has been made available.
“No one is going to see this one coming,” editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski teased in a retweet.
Damn I thought it was… Spider-Man 4. Sniff. “Am I not suppose to have what I want? What I need?” pic.twitter.com/vbOFWvepDl
— Michael Ramos and I’m a Raimi shill (@Michaelramos227) June 16, 2019
Speculation suggests a crossover with the Fantastic Four or Marvel Comics transforming Raimi’s planned Spider-Man 4 into a comic book, but the trending topic inspired a growing number of tweets and memes by fans who were disappointed to realize the teaser was not tied to a third sequel.
Storyboards from the cancelled Spider-Man 4 surfaced online in 2016, showing Maguire’s Spidey in battle with main villain the Vulture — to be portrayed by John Malkovich — and Mysterio, who would have made a cameo appearance played by frequent Raimi collaborator Bruce Campbell.
Anne Hathaway was eyed for the role of Felicia Hardy, who would appear as the “Vultress” instead of prowling thief-slash-anti-hero Black Cat.
The project would have been penned by James Vanderbilt, who ultimately produced a script for Sony’s 2012 reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, when Raimi felt he couldn’t reach Spider-Man 4’s planned May 2011 release date without significantly sacrificing its quality.
“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. 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,” Raimi told Vulture in 2013.
“But I couldn’t get the script together in time, due to my own failings, and I said to Sony, ‘I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway.’ And [then Sony co-chairman] Amy Pascal said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio’s money, and I appreciate your candor.’ So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios.”
Sony would reboot the character a second time after the Andrew Garfield-starring Amazing Spider-Man 2, teaming with Disney-owned Marvel Studios to incorporate a rookie Spider-Man — this time played by Tom Holland — into the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he has since been knighted a member of the Avengers.