A fourth Spider-Man film starring Tobey Maguire could exist in a different and more perfect multiverse. But, in this multiverse, the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man trilogy remains just that: a trilogy. To make up for it, a new Spider-Man 4 behind-the-scenes image offers a close-up look at what the award-winning actor John Malkovich‘s actual Vulture costume would have looked like.
Details about the canceled Spider-Man film previously emerged, revealing that Malkovich was set to play a darker version of the inventive, yet lunatic, genius Vulture. Although the image doesn’t show the Dangerous Liaisons actor in the metallic wing costume, comic book writer Ken Penders gave us a closer look at how the iconic villain Vulture might have been portrayed on screen. In a Twitter post, Penders shared that when the supposed production for Spider-Man 4 was halted, all the materials were turned over to him and remained with him for 15 years, saying, “Before Tobey & Sam were bid adieu by Sony, work actually had begun on SPIDER-MAN 4, and I visited friends who were working on the Vulture’s costume intended for actor John Malkovich. Once production shut down, all materials were turned in. I’ve sat on this for almost 15 years.”
Raimi’s Vulture costume boasts a metallic wing with a spiky finish, similar to X-Men: Apocalypse‘s take on the Angel character. Even though the costume never saw the light of day, fans can now appreciate the artistry and hard work that went into creating the Vulture’s costume thanks to the shared behind-the-scenes image.
Maguire first appeared as Peter Parker in the 2002 film Spider-Man, and he later reprised the role in two sequels, including the critically acclaimed Spider-Man 2 and the lackluster Spider-Man 3. Raimi was planning a fourth movie despite Spider-Man 3‘s poor critical and commercial feedback, but Sony ultimately abandoned the idea. Despite the fact that Raimi’s Vulture was not brought to life, Tom Holland‘s first outing as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming featured Michael Keaton‘s version of the maniacal villain. But although Jon Watts‘ take on Vulture was well-received, Raimi’s version would have been a lot different and darker, considering he has helmed various films like The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, The Grudge, and Drag Me to Hell. So with the reports saying that his Vulture was supposed to take a darker route, it will come as no small surprise if Spider-Man 4 will more than makeup for the bland feedback the dark Spider-Man received in Spider-Man 3.
Although Andrew Garfield (who also played Peter Parker in the two The Amazing Spider-Man films) and Maguire were unable to complete their respective Spider-Man stories, they both joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Holland in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Even though the behind-the-scenes image provides a somewhat melancholic feeling knowing that a Spider-Man 4 could have been made, you can still appreciate the craftsmanship that went into creating Raimi’s Vulture costume by checking out Pender’s tweet below: