Sam Raimi never made a fourth Spider-Man movie, but development went far enough for illustrator Jeffrey Henderson to make concept art for some of what was planned. Now Henderson is talking about what could have been and sharing that art. You can view all of Henderson’s Spider-Man 4 concept art here. Here’s Henderson talking about how Spider-Man 4 almost happened to redeem the franchise after Spider-Man 3.
Ahhh, Spider-Man 4. Of all the projects I’ve worked on, I get asked about this more often than anything else. I hope that one day I can, (or somebody can), finally tell the whole story of Sam Raimi’s ‘abandoned’ fourth Spidey movie. Until then, out of respect for Sam, (and fear that he’d send Bruce Campbell to come after me with a chainsaw…), and everyone that worked on, or contributed to, this project, let me just say this: It would’ve been one absolutely kick ass movie. Seriously. We were working on some crazy- cool stuff, because everyone, from top to bottom, felt that Spidey 3 was a bit of a ‘missed opportunity’, and we all really wanted to help Sam take SM4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.
As the concept art shows, Vulture and Mysterio were the planned villains of Spider-Man 4. We only see Mysterio being handed over to the police by Spidey, while Vulture is depicted with a few cool scenes. Vulture’s inclusion is no surprise; Raimi wanted to use Vulture in Spider-Man 3 until the studio famously interfered.
Henderson also reveals to io9 who would have played Mysterio. It would have been Bruce Campbell in a cameo role.
The idea was floated of Mysterio being Bruce Campbell’s cameo. It would’ve been part of a beginning of the film montage featuring “a montage of C and D- list villains that we knew would never be used as main antagonists: Mysterio, the Shocker, the Prowler, the old school-onesie-wearing version of the Rhino, maybe even the Stilt Man, etc.”
As for Vulture, he would’ve been the main villain and apparently Raimi had some really new and exciting ideas for the character. “The thing we kept coming back to was that, as a character, everyone was going to dismiss the Vulture as just an old guy in a silly green suit,” Henderson said. “So we wanted to go the opposite way and really make him the most fearsome and formidable adversary that Spider-Man had faced in the series.”
Now Michael Keaton has been cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming and is rumored to be playing The Vulture, so it seems we’ll finally get to see Vulture on screen, being just a fearsome and formidable as Raimi knew he could be.
As for Henderson, he seems to have landed on his feet, working on OZ, The Great And Powerful after Spider-Man 4 was cancelled. Most recently, he co-directed “The Sable Corsair”, one of the finalists in the Star Wars Fan Films contest.