Spider-Man is just right in threes. Tobey Maguire got all the way to Spider-Man 3. The recent Spider-Man: No Way Home is part three in Tom Holland’s trilogy. Two more planned Spider-Verse films will make three for Miles Morales. And yet fans never got to see a third film in Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man trilogy.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 was a film everyone involved had planned on doing and then, poof, it was gone. A lot of factors went into that, but now, due to recent events, everyone’s talking about it again. Could we see The Amazing Spider-Man 3? We don’t know, but here’s everything we did know about the film that never happened.
In Spider-Man No Way Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) crack open the multiverse letting villains and heroes from other dimensions into our world. Among them are two other Spider-Men, one played by Tobey Maguire, star of the three Sam Raimi films released between 2002-2007, and Andrew Garfield, star of the Marc Webb Amazing Spider-Man films released in 2012 and 2014. And though everyone loves all three Spider-Men, Garfield’s infectious performance (and emotional arc in this film) has fans clamoring for more.
Yes, it was. Back in June 2013, almost a year before the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sony announced release dates for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10, 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 on May 4, 2018. They were all in with Andrew Garfield’s character after the financial success of the 2012 film.
But after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out and only did okay, the plan was altered. The sequel was still going to happen, but it would be preceded by a Sinister Six movie. The Sinister Six release date was announced for November 11, 2016 with The Amazing Spider-Man 3 to follow in 2018.
This is the real question, isn’t it? Well, it’s a long story but we’ll try and keep it tight. Don’t forget that as all of this Andrew Garfield/Marc Webb/Sinister Six stuff is happening at Sony Pictures between 2012 and 2014, over at Marvel Studios Kevin Feige and his team are releasing hit after hit featuring lesser known Marvel characters, and building a massive Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was something Sony wanted to do themselves, which is why The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is littered with villains and hints to other characters. But that lack of focus in the movie hurt its quality, which lead to a smaller box office and diminished confidence in the character and direction he was taking. That’s one aspect.
Then, in late 2014, there was the Sony hack. This put the entire company into disarray with secrets revealed, people losing their jobs, and all kinds of chaos. Around this time, studio head Amy Pascal, a producer on all the Spider-Man films, asked Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige for help with the character. Feige tells her the only way he can help is if Marvel takes over control, and hits her with an idea: “What if Tony Stark made Peter’s suit?” She’s sold. The studios make a deal.
So you have a studio losing confidence in a character, while another studio with an incredible track record offers to lend a hand, and then the added wildness of the hack throwing doubt on everything. Couple that with one of the writers, Roberto Orci, leaving the franchise, and Sony realizes it was time to press reset.
It’s hard to say exactly when principals like Andrew Garfield or Marc Webb knew, but for the rest of us, it was probably on June 23, 2015, when Sony announced that Tom Holland would be playing Spider-Man in a new movie directed by Jon Watts. He first appeared in Captain America: Civil War in April 2016, reportedly saving the entire movie.
A few months after Holland was cast, Garfield gave a touching interview where he talked about all the regret and pain playing Spider-Man gave him. “And I wanted to... not to say that I needed to rescue those films, but I couldn’t make them as deep and soulful and... life-giving as I could ever dream,” he said. “And I’m never gonna be able to do that, with any film. It was especially difficult in that situation because... well, just because. And it was especially important because that character has always meant so much to me.”
Actually, we kind of do. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 planted roots for the Sinister Six to assemble and the plan was for Spidey to take them on. That plan got altered slightly, when a full Sinister Six movie was planned to release before Amazing Spider-Man 3 but still, it seemed like the basic idea. Introduce Sinister Six in one movie, bring in Spider-Man to stop them in the next. Marc Webb explained in 2017 that Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) would have lead the team which would have featured Vulture and, one would guess, Paul Giamatti’s Rhino at the very least. Venom was also in discussions. So Amazing Spider-Man 3 would have been Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man fighting the Sinister Six.
Peter was almost surely also going to deal with the death of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and that could have happened with one or two other ladies in his life. Shailene Woodley was going to play Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, however the actress’ scenes were cut, so there was a chance she could come back (However, at the time she wasn’t going to be able to reprise the role, due to commitments in the Divergent series). Amazing Spider-Man 2 also introduced Felicity Jones as master thief Black Cat, and she could have also returned as well. At the time she said she’d come back if asked.
That’s the big question on everyone’s lips at the moment but no one is talking, probably because no one actually knows. The record setting release of Spider-Man: No Way Home has certainly made it clear to Sony and Marvel that the public is hungry for the character, and there’s plenty more already coming. Morbius will be here in a few months. A Kraven the Hunter movie is in the works. Not to mention two animated Spider-Verse movies and early talks about a new Tom Holland film that picks up where No Way Home left off. On top of all that, is there even room for another live-action Spider-Man? If Spider-Man: No Way Home told us anything, it’s the more Spider-People, the better.
Do you think we’ll get Andrew Garfield back in a proper Amazing Spider-Man 3? Could he just reappear in another supporting role? Tell us your thoughts below.
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