With Spider-Man Homecoming swinging its way into cinemas on July 7th.We take a look back on two previous versions that didn’t make their way to the big screen.
James Cameron’s Spider-Man
In the mid-90s, Cameron wrote a script for a Spider-Man movie just as he completed shooting True Lies. Cameron was on-board to co-write and direct, with his future Titanic star Leonardo DiCaprio pencilled in as Spider-Man and Arnold Schwarznegger rumoured to play Doctor Octopus. With the height of the comic boom in full effect and Schwarznegger still the biggest movie star on the planet, this was a sure fire hit.
So why was it not made? Well turns out Spider-Man had an enemy even he couldn’t defeat… Showgirls. That’s right, the box office bomb coupled with the failure of Cutthroat Island meant that the studio Carolco Pictures were unable to finance the movie. The comic book bubble would burst not long after and the movie rights to Spider-Man ultimately reverted back to Marvel, who quickly sold them to Sony to aid in their ascendancy from bankruptcy.
In spite of the poor reception from fans and critics alike to Spider-Man 3, it still is the most successful Spider-Man movie to date, raking in close to a billion dollars worldwide. Director Sam Rami was eager to do a course correction after being unhappy with the script for the third movie and hired David Koepp, the writer of the first film, to do it. Rami had wanted to finally show the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into the Lizard, with Dylan Baker reprising his role. He also had plans to upgrade Bruce Campbell to a more significant role, rumoured to be Mysterio.
The main villain of the piece would be the Vulture, with John Malkovich signed on along with Anne Hathaway playing Felicia Hardy. Hardy would be reimagined as “Vulturess” instead of the Black Cat that she became in the comics.
Four drafts that Raimi “hated” later and he would leave the project, with Sony opting to instead reboot the series entirely, with the two under-performing Amazing Spider-Man movies.
- Andy McCarroll