Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films hold a special place in the hearts of many people. Reaching both critical and commercial fame, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 paved a path for the modern era of superhero film. Spider-Man 3, however, was less well-regarded. While Raimi and Sony were initially in talks to make a fourth Spider-Man film, Sony eventually opted instead to reboot the franchise with Marc Webb as Director and Andrew Garfield in the lead role. Since then, a handful of details regarding Raimi's initial pitch for Spider-Man 4 have trickled out, but things were apparently far enough along that a video game based on the film was in early development for the Nintendo Wii!
The revelation comes courtesy of Gaming Alexandria, a site dedicated to video game preservation. Gaming Alexandria acquired a copy of the game's prototype and has made it available on their website. Developed by Eurocom, Spider-Man 4 clearly wasn't far along before things inevitably fell apart. It looks as though Eurocom intended to replicate the open world New York City that first appeared in the game based on Spider-Man 2 (and has since been perfected in Sony's Spider-Man on PS4). The prototype also confirms that the Vulture would have taken the lead villain role (which makes sense since that was Raimi's plan). Outside of the Vulture, the prototype offers no hints as to what other villains would have appeared in the game, outside of the requisite generic thugs.
The most interesting thing about the prototype is that it offers a tantalizing glimpse at the movie that might have been. The title screen shows a newspaper headline revealing that the Vulture has seemingly murdered Gregory Bestman, the now-former business partner of Adrian Toomes. Comic fans know, of course, that Toomes is the Vulture, and thus, the building blocks of a classic Sam Raimi villain story seem to come to light.
It's always a blessing to see bits of video game history preserved. The video game industry is notoriously bad at keeping its history preserved and accessible, and old files, concept art and even finished games have been permanently lost to time, as a result. It's impossible to know whether or not Spider-Man 4 would have delivered a worthwhile experience for gamers, but its preservation is doubly important, as it gives us a window into a film that never saw the light of day. Notably, even Sam Raimi still thinks about what things might have been like had that movie been finished.
Would you have liked to see Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4 release in theaters and on video game consoles? What would you have wanted to see in the film? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!