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What Could Have Been / Spider-Man

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Concept suit for The Amazing Spider-Man.

The number of canceled and scrapped projects and/or elements related to the comics, the Spider-Man Trilogy, and The Amazing Spider-Man Series are staggering.

Scrapped elements involving Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can be found here.

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  • The Green Goblin was originally imagined by Stan Lee as a supernatural villain, a demon trapped inside a Egyptian-like sarcophagus and accidentally freed by a movie crew. Steve Ditko, however, decided to make him a human villain instead. Rumors after Ditko's departure claimed that he reportedly wanted the Green Goblin to be a Stranger Behind the Mask, but this has been debunked by Ditko and by other researchers who note the Foreshadowing in the comics about Norman Osborn being a villainous figure, and that the Marvel Method as per Lee's own comments, indicated that Ditko entirely handled the plotting and setup by that time. Ditko points out that he had planted Norman Osborn in Jameson's business club, planted his son (who had the same hairstyle) in Peter's college crowd, and points that out there was never real ambiguity about who Green Goblin was intended to be.
  • Stan Lee originally wanted the Vulture to be a fat, physically imposing villain, using actor Sydney Greenstreet for inspiration. Ditko didn't like the idea, arguing that a character like the Vulture should rely on speed and maneuverability to be a threat. Lee's original idea for the Vulture would later be recycled for The Kingpin.
  • Jack Kirby's design for Spider-Man resembled a more traditional superhero.
  • Steve Ditko being a Reclusive Artist that makes Thomas Pynchon look accessible abruptly quit working on Spider-Man on Issue 38. Since Ditko in his long life never gave interviews to fanzines and others, and pointedly refused to discuss his past work in detail, it's a source of wonder among fans what direction Spider-Man could have taken had he stayed around. He and Lee fell out and weren't even speaking to each other by the time of the final ten issues which Ditko entirely plotted out and drew on his own with little feedback from Lee. Some of the rumors for his departurenote  have been debunked by Ditko himself. Others argue that Ditko who later took to Objectivism wanted to make Spider-Man into a more objectivist and right-leaning direction. Ditko himself mentioned as did others, that it stemmed from personal dissatisfaction for not getting proper remuneration and respect for his contribution to Spider-Man (namely the fact that Ditko was paid for his work as an artist when as per the Marvel Method he was actually the co-writer of the entire thing with Lee contributing mainly as dialogue writer), that he wasn't given remuneration for redrawing pages whenever Lee asked him to, burdened by the fact that Spider-Man's runaway success left him little means to profit from it.
  • Tom DeFalco had intended to reunite Peter and Mary Jane with their daughter at the end of his run on Amazing Spider-Man, but his successors, Howard Mackie and John Byrne, wanted to bring Spidey back to his classic everyman roots and requested his long dead Aunt May be brought back to life instead. As luck would have it, Mackie and Byrne's stint on ASM was a critical and commercial disaster, and Tom was given the opportunity to produce a one-shot "What If?" based on the premise of the daughter being alive and well inheriting her father's legacy. The "What If?" was a success and led to a twelve year run for Tom on the Spider-Girl book, which fast became the longest running female-led superhero book in the history of Marvel Comics.
  • Rob Kirkman pitched two separate mini-series focusing on the Spider-Man villain Cardiac.
  • Spider-Man: Chapter One was going to be followed by a Spider-Man: Chapter Two miniseries. The rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man was already using elements from Chapter One like Captain Power, and newer stories would have continued treating Chapter One as the official version. The backlash towards the reboot and initiative however nixed this quickly.
  • Spider-Man vs. Wolverine was originally supposed to end with Wolverine actually defeating Spider-Man, but the outcome was changed to a stalemate after some Marvel staffers complained about the result.
  • Venom:
    • Instead of Eddie Brock, the Venom symbiote was originally supposed to go from Parker to a woman who had a grudge of her own against Spider-Man. The story was to be that a cabbie watching Spider-Man as he was driving hit and kills her husband trying to flag him down, she was also pregnant at the time, but lost the child. Marvel at the time, also felt that readers would not view a woman as a physical threat to Spidey (nevermind the fact that a woman with the Venom symbiote would by definition be physically stronger than Spidey, just like scrawny Cletus Kasady is with the Carnage symbiote), and in turn became something of a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy in that Spidey doesn't have many memorable female villains For kicks, here's the article.
    • Similarly, Venom was intended to be killed off in issue 400 (he first appeared in issue 300), so the symbiote could move on to other characters, like J. Jonah Jameson. It was swiftly killed when Venom gained popularity.
    • Had the Flash Thompson Venom series not been cancelled, Cullen Bunn would have brought back Anti-Venom, with the new host being the unnamed soldier (a character that had previously been mentioned, but never actually shown) who had bonded with the Venom symbiote before Flash. There were also plans for a "War of the Symbiote" arc where every still-living former Venom host (Peter Parker, Eddie Brock, Mac Gargan, ect.) would have battled for control of the suit, with Flash finally learning Peter was Spider-Man in the process.
  • When J. Michael Straczynski thought up his ridiculously controversial Sins Past storyline which revealed that Gwen Stacy had a child with Norman Osborn, he planned for Peter Parker to be the childrens' father, but Joe Quesada, the EIC of Marvel, felt that this would age the character too much and suggested Norman Osborn instead.
  • J. Michael Straczynski, then still the writer of The Amazing Spider-Man, originally planned a very different version of One More Day, in which many events in Peter's life were changed by his helping Harry Osborn through his drug addiction. This would result in Norman Osborn never returning to being the Green Goblin, Gwen Stacy never dying, Harry and MJ never breaking up, and, in effect, Peter never marrying MJ. This was vetoed by other writers even if Quesada was actually open and on board with the idea. They disliked bringing Gwen Stacy back because it was part of a classic storyline and Quesada didn't want to make all the stories of the past 35 years moot, being okay with making the 21 years of the Spider-Marriage moot. In either case, Harry Osborn was brought Back from the Dead.
  • Gwen Stacy:
    • Stan Lee has said several times that he originally intended Gwen to be Peter's one-and-only, and that MJ was created as competition for Gwen. On account of the fact that Mary Jane Watson was a Breakout Character and immediate success, and regarded by fans (and later Lee himself) as the more interesting character, this ultimately didn't take. Lee and Romita did many things to make Gwen interesting, including changing her character several times, making her resemble MJ (including doing a blonde Palette Swap of MJ's hair-style while giving MJ a bad hair-do and having her go out of state for many issues), having her work as a bikini model (to show she's not all prim to compete with the sexy MJ), and even giving her a dramatic arc (the death of her father George Stacy who she wrongfully blamed Spider-Man for), and having her talk smack to Aunt May as a way to make her cool. Most readers saw all of this as Character Shilling and rejected it. Had things been different, i.e. had Lee come up with a decent way to make Gwen cool and interesting or if readers really cared for the Peter/Gwen romance, she would probably have remained alive and become the Official Couple with Peter. By the time Lee wrote the Newspaper strip several years after stepping down as writer at Marvel, he settled on Mary Jane as Peter's true love, with the newspaper strip never even having a Gwen Stacy, and never looked back. According to Conway, Lee's reaction on hearing the proposal to kill Gwen was merely a shrug as he walked away to a business trip.
    • Gerry Conway, who wrote the now iconic comic The Night Gwen Stacy Died after Lee had stepped down decided to kill Gwen Stacy, because he, like most readers (he was 19 years old at the time and had the unique distinction and claim to actually belong to Peter Parker's generation in chronological terms and was definitely far in tune with the readers' opinions than Lee and Romita were) felt MJ was the more interesting character, and that she and Peter had better chemistry and potential (being both as Conway put it, "damaged people").
    • The story was almost The Night Aunt May Died or The Night Mary Jane Watson Died. Shortly after Gerry Conway joined the comic, John Romita convinced him that one of their storylines should involve killing off a main character. Aunt May was the original choice, but the two would later shoot this idea down because of how predictable it would be. After more considerations, they narrowed the victim down to either Mary Jane Watson or Gwen Stacy. The latter was ultimately chosen because she was the Love Interest, and therefore considered more "bullet proof" and unexpected by the readers and so far more shocking, and Conway in any case was against killing his favorite character, whose untapped potential he wanted to explore. The final page of #122 was also different. Gil Kane's original page would have Mary Jane returning to Peter's side and holding him as he mourned. Gerry thought it didn't work right and allowed John Romita Sr. to redraw it.
    • The initial response to Gwen Stacy's death was considerable, especially among younger readers and audiences as opposed to long-time ones. Stan Lee, ever the crowd-pleaser, then suggested that Marvel undo Gwen's death and bring her back. Neither Conway nor Romita were okay with this (since at the time, Marvel had certainly not done the Back from the Dead thing very much) but they settled on a compromise which led to the notorious first Clone Saga which teased the idea that Gwen Stacy had returned at a time when Peter and MJ were developing strong feelings and the former was moving on from Gwen. If readers disliked the Peter MJ hook-up then Gwen would have been back then and there, without any of the cloning baggage of later stories. As it happened, readers did like MJ more than Gwen so it stuck.
  • Superior Spider-Man nearly happened a year or two earlier. Many at the staff wanted it to happen after Spider-Island, but Dan Slott thought it was too early to pull it off (he wanted to do the switch over at 700) and, thus, created Ends of the Earth.
    • Superior Spider-Man was also supposed to have lasted longer, according to Dan Slott. However, between Spider-Verse and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it was decided to stop and put Peter back in control.
  • Prior to writing The Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows for the Secret Wars (2015) event, Dan Slott had repeatedly pitched for the return of the Spider-Marriage to editorial, and was shot down at every turn.
  • The Clone Saga was going to be revealed as the work of Mephisto, but it was decided that it would be stupid for Mephisto to get involved with Spider-Man.
    • The one-shot 101 Ways to End The Clone Saga showcased a number of other ideas that were shot down, including killing Ben during Onslaught, having one of the two Parkers come down with short-term amnesia after an explosion, confusing him as to if he was Ben or Peter due to the fact that his hair would be brown again, putting Peter through a Stable Time Loop, etc.
    • Harry Osborn was originally going to be revealed as the mastermind behind the Clone Saga. The idea was that Gaunt, a mysterious armored villain that had menaced Spider-Man, was actually Harry, whose body had been ravaged and withered by the Goblin serum. Bob Harras vetoed the idea, as he thought Harry was a poor substitute for the real Green Goblin. One could assume this forgotten concept was retooled for Nick Spencer's run, with Kindred revealed as a demonic magical-duplicate of Harry, embodying his insanity from his tenure as the Goblin, believed to be a late-arriving consequence of Secret Wars (2015).
    • The mini-series Spider-Man: The Final Adventure was originally going to end with Mary Jane giving birth, but this was changed to a miscarriage after it was decided that Peter would be brought back as Spider-Man.
  • When he was writing Spider-Man 2099, Peter David had intended for the Goblin (a Legacy Character of the Green Goblin) to be Father Jennifer, the sister of his love interest Dana D'Angelo. However, when he left the book during the Writer Revolt following the removal of Joey Cavalieri as the Marvel 2099's editor, David's replacements, Ben Raab and Terry Kavanagh, revealed it was Miguel's brother, Gabriel. It was later retconned to be an impostor, but it was ironic, considering Peter David was the one who "revealed" that the Hobgoblin was Ned Leeds, which went against Hobgoblin Roger Stern's original intention and that "reveal" was itself retconned.note  However, much like Stern and Kingsley, David revealed in the 2014 series that Jennifer was indeed the Goblin.
  • Speaking of which, Tom DeFalco had wanted to reveal that the Hobgoblin was Richard Fisk, the son of The Kingpin. His other idea was that Roderick Kingsley (Stern's original choice for the Hobgoblin) would turn out to be another villain, the Rose. Ironically, this ended up going the complete opposite route; Kingsley was ultimately revealed to be the Hobgoblin (years later), while Fisk was revealed to be the Rose.
  • The legendary storyline Kraven's Last Hunt was originally a story between Wonder Man and his brother, the Grim Reaper. Marvel didn't like it, so it was sent to DC, repurposed as a storyline between Batman and The Joker. DC didn't like it either, so it was repurposed again as this. Likewise, J. M. DeMatteis originally wrote the story before the decision was taken to marry Peter and MJ, and once that happened, he changed the story again which ended up becoming the first story of a married Spider-Man, a decision that Matteis welcomed and celebrates since according to him it gave the story the emotional center it would not have had otherwise.
  • According to Brian Michael Bendis, the ending of Spider-Men was supposed to have led to the introduction of an Earth-616 version of Miles Morales, who would have then joined the cast of Amazing Spider-Man as Peter's new friend, but Marvel wanted their Miles to remain consistent with his original appearance and story. Miles's Earth-616 counterpart would not be introduced until the Spider-Men II miniseries, but as a quite unhinged villain, ironically enough with the goal of travelling to the Ultimate Universe to find its counterpart of his dead girlfriend.
  • Sean McKeever pitched a Spin-Off of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane that would have starred Firestar, but Marvel was more interested in a continuation of the original series, something that McKeever didn't want to do. Two years later, he changed his mind and pitched a new Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane story that would have been set in winter and featured MJ and Peter in a Love Triangle with a teenage Johnny Blaze. Unfortunately, by that point, Marvel no longer had any desire to revive the series.
  • In 2018, there were plans to have Miles Morales abandon the Spider-Man name in favor of a new identity, rumored to be "Spy-D" (which wound up being used as his codename in the Marvel's Spider-Man cartoon). Despite the seeds for this change clearly being set up in Miles' own book and the Generations event, a combination of Brian Michael Bendis jumping ship from Marvel to DC and the success of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse led to these plans being dropped.
  • Stan Lee has gone on record as saying that initially he and Romita thought Gwen should be Peter's main girlfriend albeit he also accepted that MJ was a more popular and interesting character than Gwen. Lee has also been open to seeing Spider-Man being married (as he pointed out that it was realistic for a serious committed guy like Peter, as opposed to some ladies' men like Johnny Storm and Iron Man, to want to settle down)note . It's been hinted by Lee and Romita that had Gwen Stacy not been killed off, she might've ended up married to Peter. Some stories, like House Of M, have toyed with this idea. But in either case, Lee who was always open to fan reaction and feedback (and generally quite a hands-off and open-minded editor hence his nonchalant original reaction to Gerry Conway's pitch about killing Gwen) quickly made MJ Peter's love interest and in the newspaper strip made them the only couple, and later had Peter married in his newspaper strip, which entirely unintentionally on his part, led to the marriage in regular continuity anyway.
  • Former EIC Jim Shooter claimed in a 2000 interview for CBR that Bill Mantlo, when he was writer on The Spectacular Spider-Man in The '80s tried to pitch an idea to his editor and then Shooter himself about Felicia Hardy becoming pregnant with Peter's illegitimate child. Shooter told him on the spot that it's not happening because the idea of a moral icon like Peter having a child out of wedlock would bring down the wrath of the bible belt down on them, while also scaring away all of Marvel's sponsors who were using Spider-Man as a license. What Mantlo might have planned with that story and his intentions for it are unfortunately unknown since an accident that he suffered left him injured and suffering from permanent brain damage. A similar plot was actually featured in the DLC for the Spider-Man (PS4) game where it turns out to be a con played by Felicia on clueless Pete.
  • David Michelinie said in interviews that his initial idea for Venom was that she would be a woman who lost her child as a result of collateral damage in a Spider-Man battle. He foreshadowed and built up Venom's appearance in Web of Spider-Man with this in mind and initially he saw Venom as a minor character. However, when he had gotten the post as head-writer on ASM, the flagship title and when planning out the milestone issue of #300 he pitched Venom's debut and he very quickly changed the character to Eddie Brock. Michelinie also said that towards the end of his run he had a plan for a year long arc where Peter Parker revealed his identity to the public. This would have been temporary and reversed. It would have involved villains, and other bad guys targeting him and his family, and then Peter would turn to the government for help, and basically be drafted as a mercenary doing shady things to protect his family and that eventually Peter would turn to the help of the Purple Man to erase the memories of his secret identity via world healing mind-wipe (similar to Michelinie's Emperor Doom graphic novel where Dr. Doom attached Purple Man to a power amplifier that made the rest of the world accept Dr. Doom as the new lord and master). The idea was rejected by editors as straining credibility that Peter's identity could simply be reset like that but in broad-strokes Civil War could have happened before.
  • Young Allies offered Anya Corazon a potential chance to shine. It had a cast with the potential to create a very interesting character dynamics, and which Anya shone through as the most down to Earth, and easiest to relate to character. But it was killed by poorly written out enemies, an uninteresting and almost generic story arc, and a refusal by Sean McKeever to give the team any sort of cohesion in spite of their common purpose and motivations. It really seemed the team was finally coming together by the 5th issue or so, but by then the series was canceled. The Young Allies have been popping up here and there however, most recently in Spider-Island.
  • Marvel's decision to cancel the Spider-Man newspaper strip in early 2019 meant the planned storyline chronicling Peter and MJ's adventures in Australia never happened. The plans were for Peter to battle The Kangeroo.
    • Black Cat's original storyline, which had many plot points coming together that were dropped suddenly when the writer left the series, was going to end with her death as J. Jonah Jameson had lost his mind and gunned her down.
  • Spider-Man: The Gilded Cage was a canceled mid-80s graphic novel that had Spider-Man get mowed down by a machine gun and be nursed back to health by Carla DelVeccio, a mob boss's wife, and eventually romance her. Jim Shooter approved the story but the artist team was delayed so much that by the time they got to work on it, the editor had changed to Tom DeFalco, who killed the story. What remains of the story can be found as a rough draft, a Cracked article with some pages colored in, and a summary with some black-and-white pencils.



    Spider-Man 2 
  • After a back injury during the production of Seabiscuit, Tobey Maguire was almost replaced by Jake Gyllenhaal as Peter Parker before Maguire was able to recover for the film. Gyllenhaal would eventually go on to play Quentin Beck in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
  • Christopher Walken, Robert De Niro, David Duchovny, Ed Harris, Sam Neill, Chris Cooper and Liev Schreiber were considered for the role of Otto Octavius before the casting of Alfred Molina. Neill would later go on to portray an Asgardian actor playing Odin in Thor: Ragnarok, while Cooper would play Norman Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Schreiber would portray Victor Creed and Wilson Fisk in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse respectively.
  • Stan Lee was originally going to deliver the "He stole that guy's pizza!" line. An outtake of this can be seen at the end of the DVD's blooper reel.
  • Michael Chabon, hot off winning a Pulitzer Prize for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, was hired to write the screenplay for the movie. While his draft wasn't fully used, enough elements were for him to receive a screenwriting credit. In his draft:
    • Otto Octavius was younger, single and in a Love Triangle with Peter and Mary Jane.
    • Harry would've gone into extreme paranoia after Norman's death, and takes out a $10 million bounty against Spider-Man, meaning that Peter has to save people trying to kill him for the reward money.
    • Doctor Octopus' obsession with his exo-arms is framed as an addiction.
    • Peter inexplicably losing his powers is given an answer as Otto gave him a microchip meant to reverse his spider DNA. Later on, Peter's forced to become a Combat Pragmatist against Doc Ock.
    • Doc Ock doesn't become fused with his arms until the subway fight.
    • Doc Ock is obsessed with Spider-Man because the chip he gave him can stabilize his fusion with the bionic arms.
    • Aunt May would've been angrier with Peter when she finds out that he could've stopped Uncle Ben's killer. Later on, they have a discussion where feeling crushed by your responsibilities is normal, not something you can escape from, and not a special destiny.
    • Peter would've gotten his powers back by taking a knife and pliers and digging the chip out.
    • Doc Ock captures Spider-Man, and Mary Jane and Harry find out about Peter's secret identity.
    • And lastly, it's Mary Jane who convinces Otto to abandon the experiment through their prior connection, and Spider-Man breaks free and saves Mary Jane.
  • Doc Ock aside, previous drafts included the Lizard and Black Cat villains. Another draft featured a younger Octavius who created the spider that bit Peter. In the end, all ideas were scrapped, though Black Cat was still featured in the video game adaptation.
  • An additional fight scene between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus on a collapsing water tower was storyboarded but never used in the finished film.
  • There was to be a scene where Otto, after having become Doctor Octopus, confronts Dr. Connors and ends up attacking him. The scene is used in the video game adaptation, however.
  • After Spidey quits and J. Jonah is given the discarded suit there was a scene where he prances around in it in his office. This was cut and later readded as a deleted and extended scene because he was supposed to come across as a total goof, and he does, but J. K. Simmons looked too good doing it.

    Spider-Man 3 
  • Elisha Cuthbert and Scarlett Johansson were considered for the role of Gwen Stacy before Bryce Dallas Howard was cast. Johansson would eventually go on to portray Natasha Romanoff in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and meet a different incarnation of Peter Parker.
  • Willem Dafoe filmed several scenes as Norman Osborn in Harry's hallucination, but in the final movie only has one.
  • Around this time, Elizabeth Banks was reportedly considered to play the Invisible Woman in Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Had this happened, Sony would have considered casting a different actress to replace Banks as Betty Brant.
  • The Vulture, who would've been played by Ben Kingsley, was originally going to be one of the main antagonists in the film and would play the Final Boss role that Venom ended up playing. He was ultimately scrapped since his role had no meaningful or personal connection to the hero at all, he was merely Flint Marko's cellmate who hated Spider-Man for putting him in jail to begin with, which likely means any scene involving the symbiote would've been substituted with Spidey battling against Vulture early in the film, likely sometime before Marko became Sandman.
  • An entire character was scrapped from the final cut. Adrian Lester would've portrayed a doctor whom Marko strong-arms into helping find a cure for his daughter, ended up on the cutting room floor, even though he had evidently filmed several scenes.
  • Spider-Man's symbiote suit was originally going to look identical to the one in the comics, being made of black latex. However, Sam Raimi thought it looked too much like a gimp suit and opted to go with a black and silver version of Spider-Man's original costume.
  • In the first trailers revealing his presence in the movie, Venom looked a lot more similar to his classic comic book portrayal, but was later changed to match his appearance in the film.
  • Neither Venom nor Gwen Stacy were present in the original planning packet, with a random woman serving the role Gwen later took.
  • Also, Gwen was originally going to be kidnapped for the final battle, not Mary Jane; Mary Jane would have talked sense into Harry instead of Harry's butler. A line Mary Jane said for this scene was actually used in the trailer: "We've all done terrible things to each other, but we have to learn to forgive each other or else everything we ever were will have meant nothing."
  • A scene with Eddie Brock coming to the Stacy's front porch and begging Gwen to take him back was actually filmed but not included in the final version, mainly since it connects with Gwen being the kidnap victim in the end, which was also cut.
  • The scene where Marko meets Eddie was quite different from the "90's Batman" villain team-up that was shown. After seeing Flint pretending to be sand in a park's playground for his little girl to play on, Eddie comes up and talks to him, and convinces him that his girl may be cured yet, and he will help him get the cash if Flint helps him take on Spider-Man. Images of this park scene being filmed actually exist. This, followed by him learning from his daughter that she is irrevocably sick and just wants to die with her dad a good man, makes his Heel–Face Turn at the end, and Peter forgiving him, much more credible and poignant. These scenes most likely were considered, at least somewhere along the line - they were, after all, used in the Peter David novelisation in lieu of what the movie actually gave us. Though the novelisation presents Peter and Flint making amends partway through the battle, while the film shows it after Venom is defeated, and it's really up to the audience to decide which is better (since stopping a big climactic action sequence so that characters can clear things up is pretty hard to pull off in a film). Both exist in some form, at least.
  • It is also rumored that John Jameson was originally to have an appearance, unknowingly bringing the symbiote back from his astronaut mission like he has in two other adaptations.
  • It is also rumored that J. Jonah Jameson hired Eddie Brock to spy on Peter, after MJ left his son at the altar.
  • Eddie Brock's death was originally different than in the end product, where he was blown up by a pumpkin bomb while trying to rebond to the Venom symbiote. Originally, Peter was going to impale Venom on a metal blade, only to watch in horror as the symbiote sloughed away and revealed it had consumed its host — leaving only a skeleton with glaring eye-sockets and fanged teeth behind.
  • The cancelled Spider-Man 4:
  • Sony also tried for several years to get a Venom project off the ground, beginning in 2007. The studio commissioned several writers to do treatments, but none of these got past the planning stages and were eventually scuttled for years after the Amazing reboot was announced. This was eventually subverted when Sony got Ruben Fleischer on board to direct Venom.

    The Amazing Spider-Man 

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 
  • Sam Claflin, Eddie Redmayne, Alden Ehrenreich, Douglas Booth, Brady Corbet and Boyd Holbrook screen-tested for the part of Harry Osborn before Dane DeHaan was cast. Ehrenreich previously auditioned for Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man. Holbrook would go on to portray Donald Pierce in Logan.
  • Mads Mikkelsen, Damian Lewis and Jean Dujardin were considered for the part of Max Dillon before the casting of Jamie Foxx. Mikkelsen would later go on to portray Kaecilius in Doctor Strange.
  • Among the shelf of Oscorp inventions, the Venom symbiote was supposed to appear in the Rhino armor's place, according to trailers and test screenings. This is consistent with the previous plans for a Venom Spin-Off set in the Amazing Spider-Man universe, though the eventual movie wound up being set in its own canon.
  • According to Marc Webb and James Vanderbilt, Spider-Man was originally going to keep his original costume from the first film throughout at least the first act, with an unfinished opening swinging sequence and storyboards depicting his first battle with Electro in Times Square showing him wearing it. As well, the opening heist he'd be stopping would be set at dusk instead of early noon during the graduation ceremony, lead by Herman Schultz. However, due to widespread dislike of the first film's suit, Sony mandated a redesign of the suit to be more comic-accurate. Webb states he'd have been in favor of it being a story-necessary change, having Peter or Gwen craft a new suit for the second act if the studio hadn't been hellbent on appeasing the unhappy fans.
  • According to test screenings, The Stinger revealed that Norman Osborn's head was placed in cryogenics - and while there's no evidence that this scene isn't canon, it still didn't make it into the movie. In addition, there is evidence that the scene where the Gentleman walks by Doctor Octopus's arms and Vulture's wings and also sets up the formation of the Sinister Six was supposed to be The Stinger, but it was edited into the film proper - most likely so the Days Of Future Past footage could fit in.
  • The original script would've treated the immediate aftermath of Gwen's death in a much closer manner to the original comics. Harry would've started laughing and taunting Peter, resulting in Peter snapping and beating the hell out of Harry. The ending was changed from that of the comics, however, with Harry being turned in by Peter instead of dying (as had happened to Norman Osborn's Goblin).
  • Felicia's role was also cut down for time, and she originally would have been Harry's out and out girlfriend - which Felicity Jones alluded to in an interview. One scene implying a romantic attraction between Harry and Felicia remains in the film.
  • Several notable changes were made to the film's script.
    • Mary Jane Watson was going to be in the movie, played by Shailene Woodley. She was originally going to be introduced as a minor character who lived near Peter's home, having to deal with her abusive father. The plotline would have involved Peter showing up as Spider-Man, webbing her father up, and telling him off before leaving him hung up. A scene involving Mary Jane and Gwen having a conversation about romance was also planned, which would have served as connective tissue for future installments. However, according to eagle-eyed viewers, apparently one scene with Mary Jane made it into the final film, being a Freeze-Frame Bonus during the final fight of Spidey against Rhino, with a shot from the inside of a diner depicting the explosions from the Rhino's missiles shattering the windows and patrons an employees thrown back, the waitress shown from the back is apparently her.
    • Max Dillon's character was going to have been explored to a greater length, such as the character having a seemingly-wheelchair-bound mother apathetic to the apparent death of her son, not to mention that she ignores his birthday. (This was shot and is on the DVD and Blu-Ray).
    • Doctor Kafka was originally written as a woman, like the character in the comics, instead of as a man. It's also likely that the character wouldn't have suffered from Adaptational Villainy, given that Electro originally escaped from Ravencroft on his own and that there was apparently no torture involved (or at least, Kafka wouldn't have authorized it). In fact, according to Vanderbilt and Webb, instead of the middle of the movie, Electro's incarceration at Ravencroft was supposed to happen at the end of the movie, with Max's restraints being far more humane and Ashley being far more sympathetic and introspective towards his condition, albeit he's still seething with vengeance and makes a different version of his No Holding Back Speech to her, much to her disappointment. Laura Haddock was reportedly offered the role of Ashley Kafka, who while interested, was preoccupied and unwilling to acquiesce to the strict scheudle, leading Jeff Pinkner and Avi Arad to hastily rewrite the character as a stereotypical Germanic mad doctor lacking in scruples and bringing in German actor Marton Csokas for the role as Ludwig Kafka. Marc Webb was DECIDEDLY unamused by this change and fought hard to get the character killed off by Electro, backed by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
    • A year-long Time Skip was planned to occur between Peter's graduation and Harry Osborn's return to the United States, which also would have given Peter and Gwen a greater amount of time to re-evaluate their relationship after breaking up.
    • Doctor Rajit Ratha, who had mysteriously disappeared after the Lizard's first appearance, was originally going to have a role in the movie, apparently serving the role of Harry Osborn's The Dragon that Donald Menken would serve, but much as he'd been to his father, would be far more sympathetic to Harry's plight as he'd been friends with Norman and overall invested in his own well-being, being the one to tell Harry about the Green Goblin armor and glider, which was hidden in a compartment of Norman Osborn's boathouse, alongside a perfected version of Richard Parker's spider-venom serum, dubbed OSP-178-COMPOUND OZ, assigned to the Osborn DNA signature, setting up the Green Goblin for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 instead. The plot point was apparently trashed completely if The Daily Bugle Tumblr is to be believed, as it stated that Ratha's body had been found in the sewers. His role was replaced entirely by Donald Menken, who is far more weaselly and trecherous, authorizing absusive treatment of Electro in Ravencroft Institue under Dr. Ludwig Kafka and an overall contemptuous attitude towards Harry.
    • Spider-Man originally decided to save Harry Osborn's life with a blood transfusion at Harry's second request rather than to refuse to do so twice. This still would have turned him into the Green Goblin, of course. The Green Goblin's suit was actually given an explanation in that it was meant to sustain Norman Osborn's life, but also contained a small arsenal for his use - complete with pumpkin bombs and the glider - and the suit would have been found within Norman's boathouse instead of within Oscorp. In addition, Electro originally was going to try to kill Harry, but Electro saw potential in the Green Goblin and formed an Enemy Mine to take down Oscorp.
    • J. Jonah Jameson was actually going to appear in the film, alongside Robbie Robertson. Spider-Man and Electro were originally going to crash into the building during one of their battles, much to Jameson's disdain. Of course, it was made no secret by fans of the previous Spider-Man Trilogy and Marc Webb himself that none than J. K. Simmons would've reprise his legendary role refitted for the new setting, while Denzel Washington and Sterling K. Brown were eyed for Robbie. Kurtzman and Orci both had hoped to also include Betty Brant in a cameo, specifically writing the role with Zooey Deschanel in mind.
    • The kid that Spider-Man helps at the beginning and end of the movie was not written into the original script. In addition, the Rhino's screentime was supposed to be even more limited than it was in the final film - and the truck heist at the beginning wasn't supposed to have featured Aleksei Sytsevich, but a typical thug.
    • Gwen Stacy wasn't originally going to die instantaneously, as she originally suffered from severe back injuries instead of a Neck Snap. She was also meant to have a Final Speech where she told Peter not to give up.
    • The last few minutes of the film were also going to be radically different: instead of listening to Gwen's graduation speech, Peter is encouraged to become Spider-Man once more by his father, who had been revealed to have been alive. He reveals that he'd been watching Peter from afar, and that he's proud of his son for the courage he's displayed as Spider-Man, and tells him "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility". It was Marc Webb who vetoed this HARD, as they couldn't undermine Gwen's death by following it up with the reveal that Richard Parker was still alive, and it would also undermine Peter by having him struggle to move past Gwen's death only for his father to return and fix everything, taking away from what he'd intend for the third film. However, the scene was shot and can be seen on the DVD and Blu-Ray releases.
  • The scene with Harry locked up in Ravencroft after Gwen's death wasn't in the original script. It was added after it was realized that Harry wasn't seen again after Gwen's death and the viewer would be left questioning if Harry had died or simply escaped. Granted, in James Vanderbilt's actual original script, Harry wouldn't have become the Green Goblin at all, rather being alluded to when Harry finds the armor and glider, alongside a perfected serum based on Richard Parker's (likely thanks to Ratha being able to successfully replicate it from Peter and Connors' completed formula solving the decay-rate algorithm, with help from Sergei Kravinov and Norman himself) in his parents' boathouse in a secret compartment that responded to a DNA access code. Granted, even then the ending would've still been too similar to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2, also showing Harry set up as the Goblin.
  • With Sony and Marvel sharing Spider-Man and a movie reboot, Spider-Man: Homecoming, set in the MCU for 2017, the Sinister Six movie and Amazing 3 lapsed into this.
    • The Sony hack revealed several details about the Sinister Six movie. The Sinister Six were actually going to be the heroes of the film, and Spider-Man would've teamed up with them to help stop a rip in the space-time continuum. The film's climax would've taken place on the Savage Land and the Six would fight the Big Bad of the movie, Gog. After several concerns about the budget, tone, and whether or not Sony actually had the rights to these places and characters, it was decided to merge the Sinister Six film with the in-production Venom: Carnage movie. This didn't get far before the deal with Marvel broke through and production on the film was scrapped.
    • There were various ideas for which villains would be featured in the film, as well as who would play them. One email reveals that Scorpia was going to be part of the team, and that Drew Goddard had wanted Emily Blunt or Rose Byrne to play her, while Amy Pascal suggested Emilia Clarke and Elizabeth Olsen (who would go on to play Scarlet Witch in Age of Ultron). Goddard also wanted Tom Hardy to play the Sandman. Doctor Octopus (with casting suggestions ranging from Sean Penn to Denzel Washington) would have been the team's leader, and would have been given some personality quirks in order to avoid seeming boring.
    • The e-mails also mentioned that Channing Tatum was very interested in portraying Venom in a solo spin-off, but was taken out of consideration when he agreed to star in Fox's Gambit movie instead.
    • Sony had announced that Black Cat and the Spider-Slayers were intended to appear in sequels and spin-off films, with Felicity Jones and B.J. Novak reprising their roles. Jones as Black Cat even would get a solo film of her own, with Tombstone considered as the villain.
    • Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman, was also considered for future movies, with Angelina Jolie and Kate Beckinsale in mind for the role.
    • Taking a note from the Ultimate Spider-Man comics, Emma Stone jokingly suggested bringing back Gwen Stacy by making her into Carnage. Hannah Minghella actually liked the idea, and said that it had potential to be "really cool/sexy/intense to see."
    • According to Denis Leary, one of the proposed plot points for Amazing Spider-Man 3 would have seen Peter using a serum that allows him to resurrect the dead, allowing Captain Stacy (and presumably Gwen) to return.
    • There were plans to bring Emma Stone back to the franchise with a female-centric Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spin-Off, which would have starred Silver Sable and an alternate version of Spider-Woman. The film would have seen an eager young Silver reluctantly working as the recruiter for her dad's team, the Six Pack, despite wanting to be an actual member of the group. Early on, the Six Pack and Spider-Man would be taken out by Doctor Octopus and Mr. Negative, forcing Silver to recruit her own team (which would include Raul Quentino and a Somalian heroine named Lightbright) in order to save them and stop the villains. This would then lead to her teaming up with a Gwen Stacy (played by Stone) from a Parallel Universe, who would be revealed to be her world's Spider-Woman. Ironically, this idea actually predates the creation of Spider-Gwen!

    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 


    Sam Raimi's cancelled Spider-Man 4

    Other Assorted Trivia 
  • The first genuine attempt to bring Spider-Man to the big screen happened in 1982. Roger Corman (who was a huge fan of the Spider-Man comics) acquired the rights to the property through Orion Pictures, and hired Stan Lee himself to write the screenplay. The script, in addition to a faithful adaptation of Spidey's origin story, would have featured a college-aged Peter Parker fighting to stop Doctor Octopus and avert a nuclear war with Russia. Peter would have had numerous love interests (including Mary Jane and a "sexy KGB agent"), and the film's climactic scene would have taken place in downtown New York atop the U.N. building, with Spidey doing lots of web-slinging and wall-crawling to avoid Doc Ock's tentacles (much like in Spider-Man 2). Unfortunately, Corman (who was accustomed to working on low-budget indie films) was ill-equipped to handle Lee's ambitious, big-budget vision for the film; production was continuously delayed, and eventually, Orion Pictures — concerned that the project would run over budget — allowed the rights to expire.
  • The next plan to get a Spider-Man film off the ground was in 1985, when Tobe Hooper was set to direct a film for The Cannon Group starring Tom Cruise. Due to Cannon chiefs Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus not understanding the concept, the original script treatment had Dr. Octopus experimenting on Peter Parker and turning him into a Body Horror-fusion between a spider and a human, who was also suicidal. Stan Lee immediately vetoed the concept on the grounds that it perverted the entire concept of the character (though elements of the story did ultimately see the light of day in the Neogenic Nightmare arc of Spider-Man: The Animated Series).
  • The following year (1986), director Albert Pyun was then hired to direct the film for Cannon, after the initial choice following Hooper, Joseph Zito (of The Prowler fame), walked out. Scott Leva was hired to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and although no one else was officially cast, the studio considered Bob Hoskins for Doctor Octopus, Peter Cushing and Adolph Caesar for smaller roles, and most notably Katharine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall for Aunt May. On top of all that, Stan Lee himself wanted to play J. Jonah Jameson. Filming was set to take place at De Laurentiis' studio in Wilmington, North Carolina. With a $6 million budget, the Brooklyn sets were built for the film on the Wilmington stages, a teaser trailer was released (though too late to remove Zito's name that was infamously heard in said trailer) and publicity photos of Leva as the character were taken. Pyun had originally planned to film two weeks worth of scenes for Spider-Man before Leva's nerdy Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, then Leva would undergo a supervised eight-week workout regimen to build muscle mass while director Pyun would film Masters of the Universe Part 2, and filming for Spider-Man would resume for the scenes after Peter gets his spider powers. However, both projects were scrapped due to Cannon's stretched-thin finances. Albert Pyun was then given the task to make a movie out of the 2 million-worth of costumes and sets already built for both projects, came up with a script on a single weekend, and 24 days of rushed filming and editing later, the cult-classic Jean-Claude Van Damme starring Cyborg was released. The head honchos at Cannon had a major case of Comically Missing the Point when their revised script centered around Peter Parker getting roped into a villainous plot by Octavius to find the secret of anti-gravity. Various rewrites went nowhere, and despite another attempt by Cannon to finance another script in 1989 (in actuality, it was just the 1985 script with a revised date), nothing ever occurred and the production rights were eventually licensed to Carolco Pictures, which led to...
  • James Cameron's aborted treatment for Spider-Man:
    • It would have followed the web-slinger, with Leonardo DiCaprio or Edward Furlong in mind for the role, as he establishes his powers in high school. In the treatment, the main villain is Carlton Strand (a.k.a. Electro), a former thief who was electrocuted and given very strong powers, which he has used to rise to the top of a large corporation. Peter Parker's origin follows the comic book closely (bitten by spider at university lecture), but goes off on a tangent once he starts falling for Mary Jane Osborn. After he finds out that her flashy image is a front and that she comes from a broken home, he sees Flash Thompson hit her, then proceeds to knock him out and destroy his car. Uncle Ben still dies, and his killer is captured by the police. Then, Parker seduces MJ by kidnapping her, taking her to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, and doing a Spider mating dance for her. Strand teams up with a man named Boyd (Sandman) and kidnaps MJ, taking her to the top of the World Trade Center. The climax of the film is a pitched two-on-one battle with Spider-Man rescuing MJ and taking on both Strand and Boyd at the same time. He eventually wins by using one of the WTC's generators to fuse Sandman into molten glass, and ends up throwing Strand off the building. Although Carolco remained committed to producing the film, as evidenced by extending their rights to the character to 1996, financial and contractual problems led to Carolco shutting down production in 1992.
    • Cameron also rewrote a draft in 1993 that would have featured Arnold Schwarzenegger as Doc Octopus (or "Professor" Octopus. His catchphrase would have been "Okey dokey then", and he would've insisted his tentacles be called "waldos". He would have also had a lab assistant named Weiner that he constantly insulted throughout the movie, and he would have been bitten by the same radioactive spider as Peter. The plot would have revolved around him trying to steal Peter's physics paper.
    • This is why Electro and Sandman didn't show up in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, which was created around the time Cameron's film was in development. Electro did eventually appear... as the Red Skull's son. By that time the Cameron script had been trashed.
    • Cameron's original screenplay tried to present Peter's growing powers as a metaphor for puberty, complete with him waking up in bed and covered in sticky white webbing.
    • Cameron had the idea of having Peter use web shooters to focus and disguise his organic webs.