Spider-Man 4

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Spider-Man 4
Directed bySam Raimi
Produced byAvi Arad
Screenplay byJames Vanderbilt
David Lindsay-Abaire
Gary Ross
Based onSpider-Man
by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
StarringTobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst
John Malkovich
Anne Hathaway
Dylan Baker
Rosemary Harris
Bryce Dallas Howard
Music byChristopher Young
Columbia Pictures
Marvel Entertainment
Laura Ziskin Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 6, 2011 (2011-05-06) (Planned)
CountryUnited States

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Spider-Man 4 was the planned, but ultimately cancelled fourth film in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movie trilogy. It was scheduled for release in mid 2011. Disagreements between Raimi and Sony about the plot, characters and deadlines led to the film being scrapped in July 2010. The franchise would eventually be rebooted with Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.


  • Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man / Peter Parker
  • Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson
  • John Malkovich as Vulture / Adrian Toomes
  • Anne Hathaway as Vulturess / Felicia Hardy
  • Dylan Baker as Dr. Curt Connors / The Lizard
  • Bruce Campbell as Quentin Beck / Mysterio
  • Rosemary Harris as May Parker
  • J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
  • Bill Nunn as Joseph "Robbie" Robertson
  • Elizabeth Banks as Betty Brant
  • Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy
  • James Cromwell as Captain George Stacy
  • Mageina Tovah as Ursula Ditkovich
  • Elya Baskin as Dr. Ditkovitch


In 2008, Spider-Man 4 entered development, with Raimi attached to direct and Maguire, Dunst and other cast members set to reprise their roles. Both a fourth and a fifth movie were planned and at one time the idea of shooting the two sequels concurrently was under consideration. However, Raimi stated in March 2009 that only the fourth film was in development at that time and that if there were fifth and sixth films, those two films would actually be a continuation of each other.[1][2][3][4] James Vanderbilt was hired in October 2008 to pen the screenplay after initial reports in early 2008 that Sony Pictures was in contact with David Koepp, who wrote the first Spider-Man film.[5][6] The script was subsequently rewritten by Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and rewritten again by Gary Ross in October 2009.[7] Sony also engaged Vanderbilt to write scripts for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6.[6]

In 2008, Raimi expressed interest in portraying the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into his villainous alter-ego, the Lizard; the character's actor Dylan Baker and producer Grant Curtis were also enthusiastic about the idea.[8][9][10] It was reported in December 2009 that John Malkovich was in negotiations to play Vulture and that Anne Hathaway would play Felicia Hardy, though she would not have transformed into the Black Cat as in the comics. Instead, Raimi's Felicia was expected to become a brand-new superpowered figure called the Vulturess. However, several years later Raimi stated that Anne Hathaway was going to be Black Cat if Spider-Man 4 had been made.[11]

Sony Pictures announced in January 2010 that plans for Spider-Man 4 had been cancelled due to Raimi's withdrawal from the project. Raimi reportedly ended his participation due to his doubt that he could meet the planned May 6, 2011 release date while at the same time upholding the film creatively. Raimi purportedly went through four iterations of the script with different screenwriters and still "hated it".

So why reboot a property like Spider-Man so soon? Money, for one thing. After three films, Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire was getting $50 million to stay with the franchise for a least two more films – that’s $50 million in the budget just for the star to show up. Other big players in the franchise like Kirsten Dunst or director Sam Raimi would’ve also gotten fatter paychecks – and Raimi was pushing for more creative control on Spider-Man 4, after Sony forced him to wedge so many story elements into Spider-Man 3 that the whole thing became a bloated mess that most fans point to as the worst in the series.[12]

In addition to the dispute over story elements and villain choices between Raimi and Sony Pictures for Spider-M4N, a big reason for the cancellation was that Raimi said to them he cannot make their deadline to have the film release at the top of summer 2011. Raimi reportedly wanted a budget around $300 for the film but Sony wanted something closer to $200 million. Why so high a budget? After three super successful installments, the cast salaries went over the roof since they were option just for the trilogy and had to re-negotiate with the cast to do a fourth.[13]

Raimi's thoughts[edit]

Raimi admitted to being "exhausted" with the "tremendous amount of delegation" needed to make "gigantic" movies like the Spider-Man films. However, it ultimately came down to an inability to get together a suitable story that led him to pass on a fourth installment of the blockbuster franchise. "It really was the most amicable and undramatic of breakups: It was simply that we had a deadline and I couldn’t get the story to work on a level that I wanted it to work", he said of his split with Sony Pictures. "I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all. But I couldn’t get the script together in time, due to my own failings, and I said to Sony, ‘I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway’". He continued, "[Sony co-chairman] Amy Pascal said, "Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio’s money, and I appreciate your candor." So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios".


  1. Shawn Adler (September 5, 2008). "Tobey Maguire, Sam Raimi Sign On For 'Spider-Man 4': Report". MTV News. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  2. Larry Carroll (2008-10-16). "Sam Raimi Talks 'Spider-Man' Sequel Double-Shoot, Futures of Kirsten Dunst & The Lizard". MTV Splash Page. Retrieved October 16, 2008.
  3. John Harlow (September 14, 2008). "Spider-Man Tobey Maguire spins deal for fatherhood". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
  4. "Sam Raimi 'Can't Imagine' Doing 'Spider-Man 4' Without Kirsten Dunst, Only Working On Fourth Film". MTV Splash Page. March 15, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2009.
  5. Michael Fleming (January 21, 2007). "Columbia, Koepp talk 'Spider-Man'". Variety. Retrieved January 24, 2007.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fleming, Michael (August 16, 2009). "Sony sets writer to spin 'Spider-Man'". Variety. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  7. Eric Ditzian (October 9, 2009). "Sam Raimi Hopes To Start Shooting 'Spider-Man 4' In March 2010". MTV News. Retrieved October 11, 2009.
  8. Eric Goldman (January 23, 2007). "Exclusive: Lizard Leapin' Into Spidey 4?". IGN. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
  9. Sean Elliott (May 29, 2007). "Exclusive Interview: 'Spider-Man 3' Producer Grant Curtis talks about villains for 'Spidey 4' + His own origins - Part 1". IF Magazine. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved May 29, 2007.
  10. Larry Carroll (June 26, 2007). "Sam Raimi May Not Helm 'Spider-Man 4'; Wants Carnage, Vulture As Villains If He Does". MTV.
  11. "EXCLUSIVE: Spider-Man 4 Circling John Malkovich, Anne Hathaway". MoveLine. December 8, 2009. Retrieved December 12, 2009.[dead link]
  12. "Why are the 'Spider-Man' Movies 'Starting Over'?". Screen Rant. March 14, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  13. "Spider-Man Reboot Budget & Origins". Screen Rant. January 22, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2014.

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