Sam Raimi Reveals Crazy Plan For Spider-Man 4

By Nathan Kamal | 1 week ago

tobey maguire spider-man 4

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 is one of the big “What If?” stories of comic book movies (along with the actual What It?). After years of work in the trenches of low-budget filmmaking with movies like Evil Dead and Crimewave, he graduated to a series of wildly varying genre films with big studios from the neo-noir of A Simple Plan to a Kevin Costner baseball film to a Western film so stylized it took years to years for its skill to be recognized. Then Raimi exploded into the mainstream with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. The movie redefined the comic book movie, the first sequel improved on it, and the third landed with such an exhausted thud that it essentially killed plans for another. According to a recent interview in Rolling Stone, the director’s biggest regret about not doing Spider-Man 4 is pretty classic Sam Raimi: he wanted Bruce Campbell to play Mysterio

Bruce Campbell

It would have been nearly inevitable for Bruce Campbell to show up in a Sam Raimi Spider-Man 4. Campbell and Raimi have deeply intertwined careers; they launched their journeys in show business making no-budget films as high schoolers, and eventually created the influential Evil Dead franchise together. Even after Raimi had (reluctantly) moved on to other leading actors, he generally has found a way to work Campbell into his films, if only as a cameo. All three of his Spider-Man movies have a Campbell cameo (as a wrestling announcer, theater usher, and French Maître d, respectively). While Raimi says several ideas were considered for a fourth cameo, the leading one was as Spider-Man villain Mysterio. According to storyboard artist Jeffrey Henderson, the idea was the beginning of Spider-Man 4 would include a montage of low-tier Spider-Man villains being defeated, with Mysterio’s classic fishbowl helmet being knocked off to reveal Bruce Campbell’s face. You can even see some concept art for it here. 

Mysterio did eventually make his way into a Spider-Man film, just not Sam Raimi’s potential Spider-Man 4. He was portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal in the MCU’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, which itself was a bit of a reference to Raimi’s trilogy, as the actor had allegedly been in consideration to replace Tobey Maguire at one point. In Jon Watts’ trilogy of films, Mysterio became a much more important character than he would have been in a Raimi Spider-Man 4, but it still does not quite soothe the stings of not getting to see Bruce Campbell’s legendary chin revealed under the villain’s mask. 

Spider-Man 4 will likely never be made, at least not Sam Raimi’s vision of it. There will no doubt be Spider-Man movies as long as the sun burns in the sky and he remains a profitable commercial property, but we may never see another Bruce Campbell cameo in one. However, we are very hopeful for a Campbell cameo in Raimi’s upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Both Raimi and Campbell have been pretty evasive if and what that cameo might be, but if we do see a Mysterio-Campbell in it, at least we will know why.