Like the popular mini-series created by DC and Marvel, I have decided to apply the “What If?” story to some of my articles. Certain subjects such as: what if this movie was successful or this cartoon series expanded to others or if a comic series didn’t get enough credit. For my opening “What If?” article, I have decided to ask the question: what if there was a Spiderman 4?
Most of you have a pretty easy answer to this question, “it would suck just like Spiderman 3”, or “I guess it would be alright, but not as good as other superhero movies today”. And I completely agree, which is why I’m about to do some history altering. Imagine that Spiderman 3 was a success, that the film didn’t have a lot of redundant scenes, that it didn’t focus so much on the Sandman’s personal problems, that it expanded a little more on the Venom story, and most importantly, that we didn’t see Peter Parker’s “unique” dance skills (it was weird, just weird). So, at this point in my alternate reality, Sam Raimi and the crew are working on a successful sequel to Spiderman 3. The cast has returned and their characters are given a chance to become examined further. In terms of villains, there was much speculation in the early production of this film (this is real by the way) that the Vulture would act as the main adversary for old Web-head, along with a side-story involving Ben Reilly and the Scarlet Spider. The idea was great, introduce a simple villain like the Vulture and don’t go too deep into his origins and personal life, but focus on the main plot involving Spidey and his clone. Jake Gyllenhaal was considered to play Ben Reilly due to the fact that he looks a little like Tobey Maguire and that the two just played brothers in the movie Brothers. This would be bringing back the tale from the comics called The Clone Saga, which involved the investigation as to whether Ben Reilly was the clone of Peter, or if Peter was in fact the clone.
If you look back at the first Spiderman film, they got the majority of their material from the first Spiderman comic in Amazing Fantasy as well as the issue called Turning Point (check’em out). In Spiderman 2, they combined the origin of Dr. Octopus with what is considered one of the best Spidey stories ever, “Spiderman, No More”. I think a big part of why Spiderman 3 was a let down was that they used too much original material. Peter in the black suit was nothing like he was in the comics, and the Sandman’s whole side of the story was a little ridiculous and not from previous media, and they didn’t even bother to mention anything about the origin of the symbiote. Plus, we only saw Venom on the screen for a total of about five minutes. I’m just saying that if Spiderman 4 were to utilize the material from the Clone Saga, then it would have been a much bigger success then Spiderman 3.
Another cool concept that was thrown around during the development of the sequel was the introduction of Carnage. The Vulture would still remain a secondary villain, but instead of the Clone Saga, they would focus on Carnage. The problem with connecting to the comics and using Carnage in the films is that Venom was such a huge part of the Carnage storyline and even helps Spidey defeat him, but he’s dies in the third film, so he cant do that. The Carnage idea sounded interesting and it would have related more with Spiderman 3, but I don’t think it would have worked as well as the Clone Saga would have. In terms of Peter Parker’s story in this un-made sequel, both scenarios had him ending his relationship with Mary Jane and ending up with Gwen Stacy (would have been a good choice Spidey).
Just imagine it, a world with Spiderman 4, done correctly. As much as I’m excited for The Amazing Spiderman at the end of June, I feel as though it is too soon to do a reboot of the Spiderman franchise, and that these new films will not be too different. And frankly, I would have rather stuck with the characters I fell in love with, in a new, improved storyline then having to adjust to this new Spiderman universe, full of new origins, back stories, new characters and a new Spiderman. I am thrilled to see a new Spiderman film, and in 3D, but a part of me will always wonder, what if there was a Spiderman 4?