Bruce Campbell, longtime collaborator of Spider-Man trilogy director Sam Raimi, says the belief he was set to make a cameo appearance as Mysterio in Raimi’s scrapped Spider-Man 4 is actually nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
“According to who? According to bullsh-t you read on the worldwide web of bullsh-t. No, that was a fanboy thing that started,” Campbell told Flickering Myth at San Diego Comic-Con when asked about his involvement with Spider-Man 4.
“Do you know Sam Raimi never sent, like, an email or a phone call saying, ‘Hey Bruce, uhh, prepping Spider-Man 4. What do you think about Mysterio?’ That conversation never happened.”
In 2016, concept art for the cancelled Spider-Man 4 showed Spidey (Tobey Maguire) wrangling a captured and unmasked Mysterio — who bore a resemblance to Campbell — as part of what would have been an opening montage featuring Spider-Man defeating a slew of B and C-list villains before eventually crossing paths with its primary antagonist, the dangerous Vulture.
Concept artist Jeffrey Henderson, who released the storyboard art online, said Campbell’s potential cameo as Mysterio was an idea that was considered.
The master of illusions would have been trounced in an opening that would have included “the Shocker, the Prowler, the old school-onesie-wearing version of the Rhino, maybe even Stilt Man,” Henderson told io9 in 2016.
Campbell first appeared in 2002’s Spider-Man as a wrestling announcer, later making a cameo in 2004’s Spider-Man 2 as a stuffy usher and another in 2007’s Spider-Man 3 as a maitre’d.
For Raimi, who grew frustrated with development on Spider-Man 4 and stepped aside to allow studio Sony to move forward with a reboot that became The Amazing Spider-Man, the director admitted in a recent interview he thinks about the unmade sequel “all the time.”
“It’s hard not to, because each summer another Spider-Man film comes out! So when you have an unborn one, you can’t help but think what might have been,” Raimi told Yahoo. “But I try to focus on what will be, and not look into the past.”
Mysterio appears as the lead villain in Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Far From Home, where he’s played by Jake Gyllenhaal.