Clues to Sam Raimi’s abandoned Spider-Man 4 have popped up in videogame footage.
As you probably know, Sam Raimi was quite far into developing the film Spider-Man 4 before the franchise machine was turned off and then on again, resulting in a not-so-amazing The Amazing Spider-Man reboot. At the same time, work was well underway on a videogame tie-in to the movie, and a work-in-progress version of the Nintendo Wii game has now shown up. You can see footage from that game in the video below.
What it reveals about the film is limited, even vague, but it’s something. The level played is called Vulture at Large and is headed up with a Daily Bugle excerpt which reads:
Bird of Prey or Common Rat? Half-bird, half-man predator strikes again. Bestman and Toomes was decimated last night with Gregory Bestman found dead at the scene. Is the Vulture responsible? Is this an act of industrial sabotage or just and insurance scam?
This is all quite consistent with the comics continuity, in which Gregory Bestman embezzled money from Bestman and Toomes Electronics, and Toomes took revenge – though in the comics, Bestman certainly survived, at least for a while.
Raimi had cast John Malkovich as Toomes in his ultimately unmade film, aka the Vulture.
Looking at some graphical title cards in the game, it seems like maybe the Rhino was also going to appear – there is certainly a mech suit akin to that Marc Webb used for the character. Other unnamed characters who appear on screen (look around the three minute mark) are not so easily identifiable, though your comics knowledge may cut deeper than ours and you’ll be able to definitively ID Shouty Mouth McGrizzlyman in the comments.
Also notable is the text “Who am I? Do you really want to know?” which appears on screen in a pseudo-handwritten script. Raimi had tapped Anne Hathaway as his choice for Felicia Hardy, aka The Black Cat, so maybe these words belong to her? Or maybe they’re Peter’s?
We understand that Kirsten Dunst was not locked in for the movie during early development so there were two different plans as to how Felicia Hardy would factor into the plot – one as a rival love interest, one as a sole love interest, but in both cases, a love interest.
There’s no sign of the Black Cat in the part-game, just the grizzly man, the mech men and references to the Vulture plot. Clearly there was still a lot of work to be done.
This might be the last we ever find out about this film. It’s certainly a shame it fell apart – by our book, Sony owed Sam Raimi after its interference in Spider-Man 3 so letting him loose to do whatever he wanted with another instalment would have been a very fitting and probably fruitful payback. But it wasn’t to be.
A full breakdown of the game can be found here.
Here’s that video…
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