'Spider-Man 4' Fight Animatic Shows Off An Action Scene From Sam Raimi's Abandoned Sequel

The year was 2010. Casting news was ramping up about Spider-Man 4, the fourth installment of director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man film series for Sony Pictures. John Malkovich was tapped to play The Vulture, and Anne Hathaway was in talks to play Felicia Hardy – who, in this iteration, would not have been the catsuit-wearing thief Black Cat, but would instead be the daughter of The Vulture known as The Vulturess.

That movie came crashing down and Sony ultimately moved on to Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man films before abandoning those and teaming up with Marvel Studios on the Tom Holland-led movies. But a recently uploaded Spider-Man 4 animatic video reveals what a major action set-piece from Raimi's scrapped movie would have looked like.

Spider-Man 4 Animatic

ComicBookResources pointed us to this video from animatic producer David E. Duncan, which Duncan originally uploaded to Vimeo with a caption reading:

One of a half dozen animatics I produced for the ill-fated 4th Raimi Spider-Man. Studio politics, creative differences and bad internet reactions (to John Malkovich as Vulture) caused the plug to be pulled December of 2009, early in the prep stage. However, one month later, Sony moved forward with Andrew Garfield reboot...

Animatics like this don't make it into the public sphere very often, especially for projects that never ended up happening. Sometimes you'll see one as a bonus feature on a Blu-ray or DVD, but as physical media continues to be phased out, videos like this seem to be more and more rare.

A Precursor to One of the MCU's Best Scenes

It's clear from the shock on The Vulture's face when he unmasks Spider-Man that he's aware of who Peter Parker is, and I wonder if this iteration might have featured a scene similar to the one we saw in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In that film, Tom Holland's Peter Parker finds himself dating the daughter of the Vulture, and the villain learns his identity, leading to that spectacularly tense car ride sequence that is one of the best hero/villain moments in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. I can easily imagine a scenario in which Tobey Maguire's Peter would be dating Anne Hathaway's character and have met The Vulture out of costume in a social capacity, which would heighten the drama of this big unmasking moment.

If you're curious about why Raimi's version of Spider-Man 4 never happened, we wrote a whole article looking back at what went wrong, and it has some quotes from Raimi explaining why he walked away from the project.