Yellowstone Star Was Meant To Play Spider-Man?

By Phillip Moyer | Published

yellowstone wes bentley

The modern superhero movie craze arguably started with Robert Downey Jr. starring in 2008’s Iron Man. However, the groundwork for modern movies started with Bryan Singer’s X-Men film in 2000, and Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man movie. According to Movie WebYellowstone actor Wes Bentley could have gotten in on the ground floor of the superhero craze after he was offered the role of Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. However, Bently turned the offer down.

A whole 16 years before Yellowstone first aired, Wes Bentley’s career was just taking off. He had landed roles in American Beauty, The White River Kid, The Claim, and Soul Survivors. Bently revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live that he was approached for the Spider-Man role that Toby Maguire would eventually accept. Bentley explained that he had no interest in superhero movies at the time.

wes bentley
Wes Bentley in Yellowstone

Little did he know, Spider-Man would end up being a massive hit. His prominent role in Yellowstone shows that Wes Bentley has managed to be successful despite this misstep, however, Bentley had a good explanation for why he didn’t want to be a part of the movie. He was turned off by the trajectory of the Batman movies, which were the highest-profile superhero movies at the time. 

The Batman movies started well, with both 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, but they soon declined in quality. Batman Forever was a box office success but ended up disappointing critics, and Batman & Robin disappointed both audiences and critics alike with its descent into pure campiness. The dip in quality is likely what turned Wes Bentley off from the superhero genre.

Because of this, the Yellowstone star was nervous about the potential success of any comic book film, so Wes Bentley said he had no interest in anything based on comic property. However, when both Spider-Man and X-Men ended up successful, his opinion soon changed, and he found himself signing on to a different comic book property. Unfortunately for Bentley, that property was the 2007 Ghost Rider film starring Nicholas Cage.

Unlike the complex character he plays in Yellowstone, Wes Bentley’s Ghost Rider role was a one-dimensional evil villain: the bluntly-named Blackheart. As the son of the devil Mephistopheles, it was Blackheart’s goal to kill Ghost Rider and bring about hell on earth. His character didn’t succeed, and neither did the movie. Though it made enough money to merit a sequel, it was largely panned by critics and has been forgotten by the world of comic book movies in general.

This was just a single misstep on the way to his success in Yellowstone, however, and Wes Bentley had no shortage of notable roles since then. He played Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games, Doyle in Interstellar, three separate roles in American Horror Story, and Erik in Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Yellowstone has brought Wes Bentley to what might be considered the peak of his career. Recent seasons have brought in more than 12 million viewers during their premieres. While appearing in the show, Bentley has managed to also voice Niander Wallace Jr. in the animated series Blade Runner: Black Lotus