The classic wall-crawler remains one of Marvel’s most iconic superhero adaptations after starring in a trilogy of early 2000s movies under director Sam Raimi.
Sam Raimi's Failed Spider-Man 4 Plans
Despite the poor response to Spider-Man 3, its box office success ($895 million USD globally) was enough for Sony Pictures to greenlight a fourth Raimi movie in 2008, with the core cast set to return. Some reports went as far as to claim a whole second trilogy was in the works for Maguire.
Spider-Man 4 even got as far as casting its expansive arsenal of villains, with John Malkovich set to come on board as the Vulture and Anne Hathaway supposedly lined up for Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat.
Additionally, Dylan Baker would have reprised his role from the previous installment as Dr. Curt Connors, and he would finally make his much-anticipated transformation into the Lizard.
While the Vulture was poised to be Spider-Man 4's ultimate big bad, he would have reportedly met his demise before the movie’s climax, setting up his daughter’s transformation into the Vultress - a role for which Angelina Jolie was eyed.
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Sam Raimi also admitted plans for his frequent collaborator to make his fourth cameo of the franchise, this time as the illusionist villain Mysterio:
"I miss the really great cameo we had designed for Bruce Campbell. [Mysterio] was one of the possibilities. We had other things in mind, too, but that was one of them."
The exact plot details of how all these characters were set to tie together are unclear, but the plan certainly seemed set to repeat the famous overcrowding problem that plagued Spider-Man 3.
Sony was so committed to developing Spider-Man 4 that it had even commissioned a video game tie-in from Radical Entertainment - working gameplay of which has previously leaked online.
Ultimately, after concluding he would not be able to meet the May 2011 release date, Raimi departed the project and the movie was scrapped in January 2010. Thus, Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield was born.
Is Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man Coming Back?
While every movie in the MCU's Spider-Man trilogy was a massive box office success, Spider-Man: No Way Home was by far the most successful and is the only non-Avengers superhero movie to come near $2 billion grossed.
As such, both Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios will be looking to replicate that success as closely as possible. Since the hype for Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's returns drove much of that glory, one can only imagine they will be looking to bring them both back in the not-too-distant future.
But exactly what form that likely return will take is much tougher to predict. Will Maguire be back for Spider-Man 4, Avengers: Secret Wars, Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, or a movie in Sony's Spider-Man Universe?
During the press tour for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, director Sam Raimi was often asked about the potential of returning for Spider-Man 4, and one response saw him confirm he is "completely open" to the notion.
“I didn’t think it was possible but after jumping back in with the Multiverse, I realized that anything is possible now so I’m completely open to it.”
A separate interview with Fandango also saw him state, "Anything is possible," noting how the idea "sounds beautiful" and expressing his love for the original cast, despite not having a story or knowing if Marvel would be interested:
"I've come to realize after making 'Doctor Strange' that anything is possible, really anything in the Marvel universe, any team-ups. I love Tobey. I love Kirsten Dunst. I think all things are possible. I don't really have a story or a plan. I don't know if Marvel would be interested in that right now. I don't know what their thoughts are about that. I haven't really pursued that. But it sounds beautiful."
Regardless, it seems unlikely Sony will be looking to develop Spider-Man 4 right now, especially as Holland is currently set to get his own fourth movie in the next few years and the overlapping numbering would likely cause confusion.
However, he could appear for a cameo in Beyond the Spider-Verse, especially after it was rumored he might show up in the animated franchise following several live-action characters featuring in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Tobey Maguire vs. Kang in Avengers: Secret Wars?
Both Maguire and Andrew Garfield confirmed in No Way Home that there are no Avengers in their universes, but as the Multiverse comes together against Kang in The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars, they might tag along for the ride.
According to rumors, Marvel Studios is "aiming to get as many heavy hitters as they can" for Secret Wars to make the ultimate Multiversal crossover. Maguire himself was particularly named in that rumor as being on the studio's radar, and that only makes sense after the success of No Way Home.
When Maguire himself was asked if he would stick around as Spider-Man after No Way Home, he questioned, "Why wouldn't I want to do that?" Obviously, these comments reignited talk of the actor returning for Avengers 6 after Maguire revealed his openness to getting involved in all things Spider-Man:
"I love these films and I love all of the different series. If these guys called me and said, 'Would you show up tonight to hang out and goof around?' or 'Would you show up to do this movie or read a scene or do a Spider-Man thing?', it would be a 'yes!' Because why wouldn’t I want to do that?"
Of course, as Sony officially holds the rights to Spider-Man, bringing Maguire into the Avengers movies will rely on their agreement. But as things seem to be going strong between the studios, the actor appears interested in coming back, and the MCU is eyeing a massive crossover of old and new, it seems like a no-brainer.
The Kang Dynasty and Secret Wars are both now also seeking a director, and after helming Doctor Strange 2, Sam Raimi may well be on the studio's radar for the job. One can only imagine the excitement from fans if the next Avengers blockbusters were to reunite Maguire and Raimi once again after almost 20 years by then.
All three of Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man movies are streaming now on Disney+.