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The Amazing Spider-Man 3 - Will It Ever Happen?

Marvel's flagship superhero, Spider-Man has been one of the biggest box office draws since his feature film debut in 2001, where he was played by Tobey Maguire. After three massive blockbuster successes, however, complications behind the scenes led to Sony rebooting the franchise rather than producing another Maguire sequel. Sony then started from scratch with a new actor, Andrew Garfield, playing Peter Parker in 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man."

Inspired by the trend of grounded, realistic superhero movies, "The Amazing Spider-Man" was a more serious take on the story of Marvel's friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. It put Peter Parker in the middle of a mystery surrounding the death of his parents and introduced a new villain, the Lizard. Met with some solid reviews and garnering a healthy — if not overwhelming — box office take, the film saw a sequel in 2014 "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." 

But after that film failed to improve upon its predecessor and received a poor critical response, the series was put on hold. Nevertheless, there's been repeated rumblings over the years that a threequel isn't entirely dead, and we're left to wonder ... will "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" ever happen?

Why isn't The Amazing Spider-Man 3 happening yet?

When Sony made the decision to cancel Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 4" and move forward with a reboot, they must have had a grand plan to keep the franchise going for a long time. About a year after the release of the Andrew Garfield-starring "Amazing Spider-Man" in 2012, the studio announced an ambitious slate of follow-ups. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" had already been greenlit and was well underway, but now, they planted flags for a third and fourth film, to be released in 2016 and 2018.

The release of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" in 2014, however, didn't meet expectations. It was savaged by critics, and it earned significantly less than its predecessor, which itself had already been a steep decline from Raimi's "Spider-Man 3" in 2007. Unsure of how to right the ship, Sony's Amy Pascal made the unprecedented decision to not only scrap plans for the sequels but to team up with Marvel Studios on a new reboot that would firmly establish Spider-Man as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Unfortunately, this resulted in a complete erasure of the "Amazing Spider-Man" series, halting a third installment and replacing Andrew Garfield with Tom Holland as Spider-Man. Though the actor may have already been on the outs — with rumors of his firing even before the reboot — the series was left off on something of a cliffhanger for audiences, who now had to wonder if they'd ever get closure. And prior to Garfield's return in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," there didn't seem to be a way forward for a threequel.

How The Amazing Spider-Man 3 could still happen

In 2016, the MCU introduced a new, younger, more effervescent Peter Parker played by Tom Holland in "Captain America: Civil War," ahead of his own solo film. An instant fan favorite, it seemed that audiences had no problem saying goodbye to Andrew Garfield and "The Amazing Spider-Man" universe. This was further cemented by the enormous success of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Spider-Man: Far From Home," the latter of which was the first film for Spider-Man to pass a billion dollars at the box office.

But if Garfield thought he wasn't beloved in the role, he'd be in for a shock when he was asked to make a surprise return in the multiverse adventure "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Joining forces with both Tom Holland and Tobey Maguire's versions of the webslinger, Garfield made his triumphant return, and the fan response was overwhelming. In fact, multiple fan petitions popped up on Change.Org to encourage "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" — including one that totaled more than 30,000 signatures — while rumors suddenly began swirling that a threequel could finally happen.

In 2022, former Marvel lawyer Paulash Sarker spoke to Animated Times and said that — legally speaking — there was nothing standing in the way of Sony jumping back into the "Amazing Spider-Man" franchise. But while Sony hasn't commented officially on the prospect of returning to that series of films, it now seems like a third "Amazing Spider-Man" could be a real possibility after years of hopelessness.

What the cast has said about The Amazing Spider-Man 3

Over the years, just about everyone involved in "The Amazing Spider-Man" film series has been asked about a third film. Even after Marvel Studios rebooted the character into the MCU, seemingly everyone involved in the Garfield franchise has been questioned about a possible follow-up, whether they'd be interested in returning, and what they might want to see the project become. 

With "No Way Home" opening the door, it's worth taking a look at what they've had to say, starting with Sally Field's apparent lack of interest in reprising her role as Aunt May. She told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016 that it was "hard to find a three-dimensional character in it," making an appearance in a third film unlikely, though perhaps a new story and a better script could convince her to return.

What we do know is that co-star Dane DeHaan, who played Harry Osborn — the villainous Green Goblin — seems like he'd be happy to make a comeback. "I would certainly love to make some kind of movie like that again," the actor told Radio Times in 2021 when asked about rumors that he might appear in Marvel's "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

As for star Andrew Garfield, he's said he'd readily don the spandex again but only under the right circumstances. "I am definitely open to that," he told the Happy Sad Confused podcast in 2022, adding, "It would have to be something very unique, very special, and of service to the audience, of service to the character."

What could be explored in The Amazing Spider-Man 3

Whether "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" happens or not, the question most fans are likely to have is where does the story go after what we saw in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2?" Gwen Stacy had died and Peter Parker was left to deal with his grief and guilt, while a tantalizing scene teased a host of new villains. With Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin now knowing Spider-Man's true identity and a mysterious figure apparently assembling a team to defeat the wallcrawler, it seemed they were setting up some major new storylines.

"We were talking about the Sinister Six," director Marc Webb told Den of Geek in 2017, regarding a possible third movie that had been in the planning stages after the second film. "Chris Cooper was going to come back and play the [Norman Osborn] Goblin. We were going to freeze his head, and then he was going to be brought back to life." Could all of that still happen, though? Anything is possible, but with more than 10 years since the film's release, it's just as likely something new will be dreamed up. And if it's up to Andrew Garfield, it will be something very different than Webb's initial plans.

While speaking with the Happy Sad Confused Podcast, Garfield seemed more excited about the notion of facing off with Tom Hardy's anti-hero Venom, describing it as "a cool idea." Considering the multiverse shenanigans in "No Way Home," the story possibilities for a third film are practically endless.

Who would star in The Amazing Spider-Man 3?

It might be easy to assume that a third "Amazing Spider-Man" film would simply bring back the cast of the two previous entries, but it's not quite as simple as it might sound. For starters, Gwen Stacy died at the climax of the previous movie and filmmakers were already considering introducing Shailene Woodley into the sequel as Mary Jane Watson at one point, so it might be tough to bring Emma Stone back to the series. And with more than 10 years having already passed since "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," not everyone may be keen to reprise their roles.

Plus, with several new entries in Sony's own corner of the Spider-Man cinematic universe — including "Venom," "Morbius," "Kraven the Hunter", and "Madame Web" — new opportunities could present themselves. We've already seen villains Electro (Jamie Foxx) and the Lizard (Rhys Ifhans) make a return in "No Way Home," and while de-powered, they could make comebacks as allies to the ol' webhead against a dangerous emerging threat. And there are plenty more to choose from, be it Tom Hardy's Venom, Michael Keaton's Vulture, B.J. Novak's Alistair Smythe — seen in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" — or even the Rhino, played briefly by Paul Giamatti.

Another route, however, might be for a sequel to feature an all-new supporting cast, while he faces off against an entirely new enemy that we've yet to see on screen. This might also be the smartest way to go, in order to help the series separate itself from the previous lackluster installments.

The Amazing Spider-Man 3 could fix past mistakes

To say that the first two "Amazing Spider-Man" films were divisive among fans and critics would be something of an understatement. While Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and the rest of the films' casts were largely praised for their performances, both movies were met with criticism from reviewers for half-baked, overly complicated plots. Some even felt that they didn't even understand the character of Spider-Man, with their grim, dark takes on the source material not gelling with many long-time fans of the comics.

The overwhelming fan response to Garfield's return in "No Way Home," however, proves there's a clear appetite for more stories set in that universe, and a third film would be an opportunity for Sony to finally do it right. It would also be their chance to prove that they can make a great live-action "Spider-Man" film on their own — without Sam Raimi or Marvel Studios — the way they did in animation with "Into the Spider-Verse." Additionally, a new story could also fix mistakes of the past, such as the death of Gwen Stacy or the awkward new interpretation of the Green Goblin.

With the introduction of the multiverse, for example, we could meet a Gwen Stacy from another reality (perhaps even a live-action Spider-Gwen). Not only would this allow Emma Stone to reappear, but it would also provide a tangible way for Garfield's version of Peter Parker to come fact-to-face with the grief and pain caused by her death. 

What would Peter Parker be like in The Amazing Spider-Man 3?

During "Spider-Man: No Way Home," we learn that the past several years have been pretty hard on Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker. After losing Gwen Stacy, Peter was unable to forgive himself, and while he tried being the friendly neighborhood hero, he actually turned into a much darker, angrier character. "At some point," Peter reveals, "I stopped pulling my punches."

However, the events of "No Way Home" help Garfield's traumatized hero to heal, and the actor believes his character will be very different the next time we see him. In the official art book for "No Way Home" (via The Direct), Garfield elaborates a bit on this, saying the events of the MCU team-up movie have changed Peter's life. "He's going back knowing that he has brothers," Garfield says. "He's going back in re-inspired to follow his destiny, his calling — the purpose of his life. By catching MJ, he got to make up for a terrible tragedy that he tried to avoid in his world."

Garfield also believes that Peter had his eyes opened to the mysteries of the multiverse, explaining, "I think he's going back with a mind blown about the cosmos and the universe and string theory and multiple dimensionality. He's going back incredibly reinvigorated." So if we ever get to see this version of Peter back in his own world, he won't be hitting the bad guys quite as hard, and he might be trying to dig deeper into the multiverse — for better or worse.

How does Marvel feel about The Amazing Spider-Man 3?

Considering that Marvel Studios is moving head full steam on more films in their own "Spider-Man" series starring Tom Holland, one might wonder how they'd react to Sony embarking on a separate journey with a wallcrawler from the past. So it's worth mentioning that Marvel's Kevin Feige — back when the deal to bring Spider-Man into the MCU was first being struck — had no interest in continuing the series, according to the book "The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe."

In fact, Sony head honcho Amy Pascal had apparently always intended for "Amazing Spider-Man 3" to follow the deal with Marvel Studios, just with more direct input from them to ensure a success. It was Feige, though, who forced Sony's hand to reboot the franchise rather than bring Andrew Garfield into the fold. Today, given Marvel's success with the multiverse — where variants of the same character can co-exist and audiences clearly appreciate multiple stories living side by side — Feige and Marvel may not be as opposed as you might think. At least, not if you ask actor Tom Holland, who clearly has no room for jealousy.

"I would love to see 'The Amazing Spider-Man 3,'" Holland said in an interview with ComicBook.com. "I think what was so wonderful was how Andrew [Garfield] was able to kind of make amends with the character and the studio, you know, to kind of win the general public back. ... So should Sony decide to do that, they would have my full support, and obviously, so would Andrew."