Biggest Unanswered Questions From Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Trilogy

It's no exaggeration to say that Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy saved the superhero genre in the early 2000s. After "Batman & Robin" arrived to an ice-cold reception in 1997, there wasn't a lot of love for comic book characters in Hollywood. Sure, Fox's "X-Men" took a gamble that paid off handsomely, but the first "Spider-Man" film's incredible haul of over $825 million (via Box Office Mojo) made the studio execs as giddy as piggies in the mud. At the time of its release, this phenomenal number made it the sixth highest-grossing film of all time.

Raimi's "Spider-Man" plans weren't only meant to last for three movies, however. Even after the less-than-spectacular reception towards "Spider-Man 3" — considered the worst Spidey film by many – a fourth film was in the works and set to introduce more characters into the mix. Unfortunately, as per Deadline, Raimi couldn't quite agree to a date for the film's release or creative terms, and he walked away from the franchise in 2010. As a result, Sony decided to reboot Spidey instead of continuing in the same direction with a new filmmaker. However, this also left more than a few story threads up in the air. Let's take a look at the biggest unanswered questions from Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy.

Did Aunt May know that Peter Parker was Spider-Man?

It must have been tough for poor Pete. Aunt May was left all alone after the unfortunate passing of Uncle Ben, and he had to keep secrets from one of the people he trusted the most in his life. His behavior had become slightly erratic and he wasn't quite the reliable nephew who had been their pride and joy for so many years. Still, Aunt May was no fool. She was as sharp as a razorblade and could spot any holes in Peter's stories, calling him out on his nonsense when she sniffed out a little white lie.

In the classic comics, the creators toyed with us, making us wonder if Aunt May ever knew about her nephew's double life. In some continuities, it was revealed that she knew all along and had kept it to herself, but what about in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy? There must have been some element of her that suspected something, hence the double entendres. When she told Peter, "You're not Superman, you know," it could have easily also meant "because you're the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man." Plus, he used to keep his costume hidden inside a cupboard when he stayed at home — not exactly the most secure place in the world.

Did any part of the symbiote survive?

Venom's greatest weakness is a Motörhead concert. Unfortunately, the rock band wasn't in town for "Spider-Man 3," so Peter had to get smart and create his own high decibels to split the symbiote from Eddie Brock. He also wasn't about to let the symbiote bond to anyone else, so he chucked a pumpkin bomb at it, hoping that it would turn the alien creature into Marmite spread. Believing in 'til death do us part, Eddie threw himself into the blast, getting sent to Knull's symbiote grave in the cosmos.

However, there was one giant omission from the storyline here: Carnage. As seen in the comics and the recent film "Venom: Let There Be Carnage," Venom can leave a little trail of himself behind, creating a bunch of other symbiotes like the violent Carnage. Could any part of Venom have survived in Sam Raimi's Spider-Verse? Possibly. Of course, it was well documented that Raimi wanted Venom to stay out of the movies in the first place, but he received pressure from the execs to include the character. In an interview with Uproxx, Raimi explained what was his biggest challenge with the symbiote. "It was really more just that I didn't understand the character that well," he said. "It wasn't close to my heart." All things considered, chances are high that Raimi never wanted to touch the symbiote saga again after "Spider-Man 3."

Whatever happened to Flash Thompson?

In 2002's "Spider-Man," Flash had a small role as Peter's bully. Undoubtedly, his biggest moment was the whooping he received as soon as Peter gained his Spidey powers and decided to teach Flash a lesson in front of his school friends. After that, Flash was relatively absent from Raimi's Spidey films, only showing up in a cameo appearance for Harry Osborn's funeral in "Spider-Man 3."

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe kicking the Multiverse into full effect, many fans have wondered if Joe Manganiello would entertain the possibility of reprising his role as Flash in a film. Chatting to Justice Con (via, he explained why he wasn't quite sold on that idea. "So, a little cameo as Flash Thompson, I'd rather do something more substantive — [play] someone who can stick around for a while," he said.

However, there were many roads that could have been taken with Flash moving forward in the Raimi's Spider-Man Universe. He could have followed in his comic book counterpart's footsteps and become Peter's friend in adulthood. Alternatively, there was the possibility of him becoming Agent Venom after he came back from his stint in the military. Any of those angles would offer a much more sizable role for someone of Manganiello's stature.

Was Flint Marko ever arrested for Uncle Ben's murder?

Flint Marko's tragic story was an important part of Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy. Not only was it about redemption for the character that would go on to become the Sandman, but it also allowed Peter to forgive the man who had killed Uncle Ben. "Spider-Man 3" peeled back the curtain on Marko's reasons for doing what he did and how he deeply regretted his actions. It also proved to be a pivotal moment for Peter as he let go of his lust for vengeance and didn't turn Marko over to the authorities.

While Peter forgiving Marko was a noble act, the authorities would likely have something to say about it. He did the crime and he needed to serve the time. Sure, Peter's forgiveness might have worked in his favor in the court of law, but he still had the cops out looking for him. The fact that he was running wouldn't have gone down well, and he would have been slapped with extra time in the slammer for it. The only question is, did the police ever catch him again?

Did Gwen Stacy ever forgive Peter Parker?

Peter's transformation into Emo Parker was one of the highlights of "Spider-Man 3." His entertaining dance on the sidewalks of New York was the kind of cinema that Martin Scorsese would glow about (or maybe not). One of his biggest "evil" acts is showing up at the jazz club where Mary Jane Watson works with his new flame, Gwen Stacy, in tow. The two proceed to put on a dance show (because of course this symbiote has happy feet) that dazzles onlookers, until Gwen realizes she's being used to make MJ jealous, and apologizes for her part in it.

Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy flipped canon on its head by turning MJ into Peter's first love instead of Gwen. While she was introduced later on in the film series, she was used more as a foil for Peter and MJ's story rather than as a serious love interest for him. Judging by Gwen's reaction to seeing how Peter used her, though, she seemed genuinely upset about it, indicating she harbored real feelings for him. Such a betrayal would take a long time to be forgotten and Gwen probably did get over it, but it remains unclear if the two ever managed to repair their friendship after that.

How would the Sinister Six happen?

You know how Film Twitter gets touchy when anyone mentions Batman's kill count in the DC Extended Universe? Well, Batsy has nothing on Sam Raimi's Spider-Man. While he never straight-up hacks someone to pieces or suffocates them under a layer of his webbing, he doesn't exactly do too much to save the lives of villains in trouble. Instead, he generally shrugs his shoulders and lets his villains meet their demise without too much concern for their safety. One could argue that it's the most effective way to avoid dealing with them in the future, but it also created another problem for the studio in the long run: The lack of characters to create the Sinister Six.

Think about it this way: By the end of "Spider-Man 3," Doctor Octopus, Green Goblin, and Venom are all gone. Those characters' fates are as permanent as they come, and no one could have predicted the Multiverse revivals for Doc Ock and Norman Osborn in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" back then. So what was the plan for the Sinister Six going to be, since surely it must have been a consideration for this universe at some point? Was the group still going to be formed, but with other villains? In that case, it might have been better to name them the Not-So-Sinister Six.

How would Bruce Campbell have been revealed as Mysterio?

Bruce Campbell had quite the time in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy. As a longtime collaborator and friend of Raimi's, it was a nice surprise to see the "Evil Dead" actor appear in several comedic cameos. There was one rumor, though, that Campbell would have been revealed to be Quentin Beck/Mysterio at some point in the franchise. Raimi confirmed this to be true to Rolling Stone, saying, "I miss the really great cameo we had designed for Bruce Campbell. [Mysterio] was one of the possibilities. We had other things in mind, too, but that was one of them."

Considering that Mysterio hadn't been introduced in live action at that point, there were numerous possibilities for how Campbell's cameos could have been collated into a cohesive story. Whether these cameos were all just disguises for the villainous character or part of some other larger charade or scheme, the reveal could have been as big as in "Spider-Man: Far From Home" when Jake Gyllenhaal's version of the character eventually divulged his master plan after stringing Spidey along.

Did any of the people who saw Spider-Man unmasked spill the beans?

"Spider-Man 2" is often remembered as the best of the trilogy, in part because it features one of the saga's more heart-warming moments. After Spidey collapses from using all his might to stop a train from being derailed, he's carried inside by the very people he has saved. There's only one problem here: He's been unmasked and everyone sees his face. But the people hand his mask back to him and promise to keep his secret safe. That's sweet, right?

Well, let's be real here. Many of those folks must have gotten home that evening and told their partners, "Yo! You'll never believe what happened today. Spider-Man saved us and we saw him unmasked. He's just that scrawny kid who delivered our pizza a few weeks ago." They might have had every intention of keeping quiet about it, but the reality is that people love to talk and gossip. There was bound to be at least one person who approached the Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson, saying they knew the true identity of Spider-Man. So the chances of everyone zipping their lips after the incident? Next to nothing, unfortunately.

Would John Jameson have become Man-Wolf?

John Jameson was treated like a real chump in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 2." The astronaut was engaged to Mary Jane and had a happy life ahead of him. Instead, he's left at the altar by MJ and doesn't show up in "Spider-Man 3" at all. After his runaway bride sequence in front of his family and friends, can anyone blame him for going into hiding?

In the comics, J. Jonah Jameson's son also has another important identity. Having discovered the fabled Godstone, he transforms into Man-Wolf, who possesses exactly the sort of powers that the name implies and wouldn't look out of place as one of the Lycans in "Underworld." Also, at some point in his character's journey, he ends up marrying Jennifer Walters, better known as She-Hulk.

So while John's arc looked all but over after MJ left him in "Spider-Man 2," there were still many avenues to take his story if Raimi chose to. Surely, he would have wanted some revenge on MJ and Peter for embarrassing him.

Would Spider-Man ever have crossed over with other superheroes?

Who would have ever thought that "Spider-Man 3" would debut a year before the birth of the MCU? At that time in history, it wasn't common to see superhero crossovers or team-ups, as solo films were still the order of the day.

However, Raimi and his collaborators always had bigger plans. In fact, they had plans for crossovers as early as 2002, as revealed by Hugh Jackman in an interview with HuffPost. "In the first 'Spider-Man' — Kevin Feige reminded me of this — we really tried to get me to come on and do something, whether it was a gag or just to walk through the shot or something," Jackman said. "The problem was, we couldn't find the suit. The suit was stuck in some thing. And so when they were in New York when I was there, we couldn't get it together."

While the Marvel movie rights were still scattered at that point, with different studios owning various components of the universe, it's highly likely that had "Spider-Man 4" occurred there would have been talks about how to make Tobey Maguire's Web-Head work with the other Avengers. At the same time, that would probably mean that Tom Holland or Andrew Garfield's Spideys would never have existed.

Would John Malkovich as the Vulture have worked?

In a Reddit AMA, Sam Raimi confirmed why he planned to cast John Malkovich as Adrian Toomes/Vulture in "Spider-Man 4." "Because he's such a powerful actor," Raimi wrote. "I could fear him and worry for Peter Parker. And it's just the craft of casting. Basically it boils down to this: I believe that he could be that guy." Unfortunately, no one was able to see if Malkovich would have pulled it off, since the film was cancelled in favor of a total reboot for the Web-Head.

In the years after, the film's animatic producer David E. Duncan released a now-deleted concept video showing what Malkovich's Vulture would have looked like and mentioned how creative issues, studio problems, and the Internet's stifled reaction to Malkovich's casting all but halted the project in its tracks. Hindsight is 20/20, though, and most of the problems stemmed from the lackluster reaction to "Spider-Man 3," so it's understandable that everyone might have been antsy and apprehensive about the next film. Considering Malkovich's pedigree as an actor, he would have turned in a fantastic performance as Vulture. Nowadays, it's almost unnatural if comic book movie casting decisions aren't hated by some vocal section of the internet.

Could Spider-Man 4 still happen?

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" changed all the rules. It made sure that all the Spidey films are now canon and opened the door to further entries in the respective series. While there has been a huge cry for "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" to happen, there's also the chance that Tobey Maguire's wallcrawler could swing back into town at any moment. In an interview with Moviepilot (translated by GameSpot), Sam Raimi admitted that it's possible for "Spider-Man 4" to happen. "I didn't think it was possible but after jumping back in with the Multiverse, I realized that anything is possible now," he said. "So, I'm completely open to it."

While it's unlikely that Raimi would make the fourth film he originally planned to make since all the characters would be older now, there is the opportunity for him to close off this chapter on his own terms. Who knows, it could be like a "Logan"-esque finale for Maguire's Web-Head — one last ride into the Spider-Verse.