No, Director Sam Raimi Isn't Working On A New Spider-Man Movie

From 2002 to 2007, director Sam Raimi helmed three Spider-Man movies for Sony. The films starred Tobey Maguire as the title hero, and they were all massive hits, pushing open the door for a superhero renaissance that dominated the 2010s. The series ended when "Spider-Man 3," despite making nearly $900 million at the worldwide box office, wasn't as big a hit as the studio wanted. The budget for that film was also wildly high, costing as much as $350 million to make, and fans weren't as excited by the sloppy storytelling and strange Venom storyline. 

Rather than push ahead with "Spider-Man 4," Sony elected to wait five years and reboot the continuity with "The Amazing Spider-Man" in 2012. That continuity was short-lived, ending in 2014 with the release of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Fan goodwill was at an all-time low. From there, a tertiary Spider-Man appeared in the now-flourishing Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Then, in 2022, Marvel and Sony collaborated to release "Spider-Man: No Way Home," a film that — thanks to a dimensional portal — brought the three Spider-Men together to interact in a single film. It was a massive hit, and Spider-Fans began to declare their fondness for the previously hated Spider-Man movies. "No Way Home" did indeed feature villains from "Spider-Man 3," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," and several others. Enthusiasm for "No Way Home" began a buzz in the fan community about older Spider-Men returning to the big screen, and the rumor mill posited that "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" and Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 4" were inevitably nigh. 

At a recent WonderCon appearance, however, Raimi put the kibosh on those rumors. No, he stated categorically, he currently has no plans to make "Spider-Man 4" with Tobey Maguire.

There will be no Spider-Man 4 (for now)

Years ago, there were indeed plans for a "Spider-Man 4," as previously reported in the pages of/News. It seems Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 4" would have featured the daughter of the Spider-Man villain the Vulture taking over the Daily Bugle, the newspaper where Peter Parker freelances as a photographer. The Vulture would eventually appear in the Marvel Studios film "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and would be played by Michael Keaton. That character would also cross into Sony's Spider-Spinoff "Morbius," the highest-grossing film of the 21st century

As for the rumors about a new "Spider-Man 4," they were so pervasive that some enterprising fans even set up an IMDb page for the film, implying that it was in pre-production, or had at least been announced.  Thankfully, a reporter from Comic Book Resources asked Raimi point-blank about "Spider-Man 4," and the director was frank, saying that his new Spider-Man is not needed: 

"Well, I haven't heard about that yet. I did read that, but I'm not actually working on it yet. I mean, Marvel and Columbia are so successful with current Spider-Man, and the track there, and I don't know that they're going to go back to me, and say, 'Well, folks, we can also tell that story!' I'm not sure, but I love all the new Spider-Man movies. I loved 'Spider-Man: No Way Home.' It was really, super powerful seeing Tobey again in it."

Raimi, it seems, has moved on, having seen his own Spider-Man film outpaced by two newer continuities. There doesn't seem to be, judging by his words and demeanor, any pressing need for him to return to the realm of superheroes. 

Eh, I already did 'Doctor Strange'

Raimi was also asked if he and Maguire had at least discussed a new Spider-Man project. They hadn't. Raimi said: 

"I haven't talked to Tobey about it, but maybe Marvel has, or Columbia Pictures. But I just worked with Marvel on a movie called 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.' So, I'm on great terms with them. I'm sure I would hear about it if it was in the works."

There it is, straight from the horse's mouth. Indeed, Raimi already dipped his toes back into superhero territory with "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," giving the MCU its most gruesome movie yet

Given the current state of superhero cinema — a once-ultra-dominant genre that entered a stage of sharp decline in 2023 — it seems unlikely that studios would be as willing to pour money and resources into an expensive tentpole as they once were. "Spider-Man: No Way Home" felt very much like a finale, one of the closing chapters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That film, "Avengers: Endgame," and "Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3" were not so much bold continuations of a merrily unending story, but final scenes in an extended TV-like movie arc that lasted for 15 years. 

Sony is currently releasing low-rent Spider-Man spinoff films like "Madame Web" and the upcoming "Kraven the Hunter." There is, it seems, no way that Raimi will make a "Spider-Man 4" with Tobey Maguire. 

But then again, Michael Keaton returned to play Batman in "The Flash," albeit with disappointing box office returns, as well as in the canceled "Batgirl" film, so perhaps, in a few decades time, Raimi and Maguire will feel nostalgic and return to Spider-Man after all. Time will tell.