Spider-Man 4 Art Reveals Villains Maguire Almost Faced

All gripes against Spider-Man 3 aside, we still love Sam Raimi's trilogy for its heartfelt take on the amazing wall-crawler. The studio basically made him shoehorn Venom into the third movie, overruling his wishes to make Sandman its only villain and poisoning the well for a Raimi-directed Spider-Man 4. Now, thanks to some unused concept art, we get to see which bad guys Peter Parker would have taken on had Raimi managed to hang around.

In the first Spider-Man, Peter Parker took on the Green Goblin, and Doc Ock played a spectacular bad guy in the sequel. So who was Spidey lined up to face in Raimi's fourth web-flick? The Vulture and Mysterio. Storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson's official website showcases a lot of his work. Lo and behold, scenes for a potential Spider-Man 4 can be found here, showcasing Spidey's encounters with the two villains.

Busting Mysterio

The storyboard concept art for Mysterio doesn't really show a fight between him and Spidey, but we can imagine how great it might have been. Since Mysterio mainly uses special effects, illusions, hypnotism, and theatrics as his shtick, he's not too serious of a threat compared to the rest of Peter Parker's foes. That unmasked Mysterio at the police station looks a lot like Bruce Campbell, right? Given Raimi's longtime friendship with Campbell, it would've been the perfect casting. The Evil Dead series star appeared in all three of Raimi's Spider-flicks. He was the announcer who gave Peter Parker the Spider-Man moniker in the original, the snooty theater usher in the sequel, and the French restaurant maître d' in the third movie.

You can almost write Mysterio's backstory yourself just based on Campbell's appearances in the previous Spider-Man films. He wanted to get into show business, had to settle as a lowly wrestling announcer, tried to work in theater, and never made it. As a result, he became an usher, ultimately resorting to a restaurant gig where he used his acting skills to farce a French accent. In a bind for cash, he stole a bunch of special effects equipment for a robbery, becoming Mysterio—only to be busted by Spider-Man. We would've loved to see Maguire and Campbell on opposing sides one last time.

The Vulture takes flight

These storyboard scenes of the Vulture are a lot more serious in tone than Mysterio's, suggesting that he may have been the movie's main villain. You can see him reaching for a helicopter (presumably military or police-grade) and taking on Spider-Man in the skies above New York. We have to admit that The Vulture's suit is very much in sync with the character's comic look. This is quite different from the other villains of the Spidey trilogy, who mostly had modernized looks in comparison to the source material (Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, for example). You can see even more storyboard art from the would-be Spider-Man 4, including what appears to be Mary Jane Watson talking to the press, at Jeffrey Henderson's official website.