Now that Captain America: Civil War has come out, Tom Holland's excellent portrayal of Spider-Man in the film, though somewhat brief, has all but washed any bad tastes out of our mouths left behind from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. It was only because of the poor response to that film that Sony really got in bed with Marvel Studios to ink the deal that led to the third rebooted version of the Spider-Man character. Now all eyes are on Spider-Man: Homecoming, which drops next year. But what if Sony had pressed on?
Today would have been the day that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 dropped in theaters, as Sony had originally locked down June 10, 2016 as a release date for the film. However, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 really didn't land with fans, was mixed with critics and though it made a little over $700 million worldwide, it was the least of all 5 big screen Spider-Man films and wasn't nearly enough to justify launching the Spider-Man cinematic universe Sony was planning. Which, just to remind everyone did include an Aunt May solo film at one point.
We will never see that movie though and for the most part, pretty much everyone seems to be thrilled that Spidey is hanging out with The Avengers over at the MCU. But what if Sony hadn't worked out the deal with Marvel? What if we were all heading to the theaters this weekend to go see Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 3? What might that have looked like? Let's speculate wildly, shall we?
Andrew Garfield was for some people the definitive version of Spider-Man on screen and for whatever problems Amazing Spider-Man 2 had, and there were plenty, Garfield was very committed to the role. He was noticeably distraught when the franchise fell apart and Marvel didn't want him to carry over his version of the character into the MCU. He spoke with Uproxx shortly after things fell apart and gave some insight into what he had been thinking in terms of story for Amazing Spider-Man 3.
"I was actually starting to workshop ideas with Alex Kurtzman, who was going to be writing it. We thought to kind of start from the base level, the foundation level of where we left Peter. And where do we want to see him go and what's logical. And how do we build upon where we left off with this deep, desperate moment with Gwen? So, yeah, we got to some pretty heavy places and I was really excited to kind of explore it and be involved on the ground level like that."
Kurtzman also wrote Amazing Spider-Man 2 and has a super mixed bag of credits to his name ranging from excellent to downright awful, so it is hard to know what version of him would have shown up for the third installment. What is interesting is that Garfield was that involved and there is no question he made note of the fan response. He very likely would have done everything in his power to right the ship as he really loved the character and has made that clear. But based on his comments and the painfully obvious because of what happened at the end of 2, the next installment would have been very dark. And possibly really stupid.
Denis Leary played Captain Stacy mostly in the first Amazing Spider-Man and in a pretty unnecessary dream sequence in 2. As it turns out, Leary may have been back in a more substantial role in 3 and the reason leads us to believe that it is really for the best that Sony made the Marvel deal. In an interview with IGN in 2015, Leary gave us this bit about what might have been in Amazing Spider-Man 3.
"I was disappointed because I'm totally selfish and greedy. I came back briefly in two and possibly in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, there was this idea at one point that Spider-Man would be able to take this formula and regenerate the people in his life that had died. So, there was this discussion that Captain Stacy would come back even bigger in episode 3. So I was like, let's go!"
So yeah. If that were true, the death of the Gwen Stacy would have surely been the motivation for finding this formula and it sounds like it would have been some truly off the rails kind of wacky. There were teases of Parker's parents in 2, and it seems like his dad would have played a bigger role in 3. It was clear that Sony was leading to a full on Sinister Six Spider movie and in an earlier version of the sequence that showed all of the bad guy stuff at Oscorp, there was a floating black orb that was the black symbiote suit. Rumor had it, Parker's dad was the one who made it and that would have definitely been a thread to pull in 3.
Coincidentally, Sam Raimi went down the symbiotic Venom road in Spider-Man 3, and that didn't work out so great. So with what we know, it seems like The Amazing Spider-Man 3 would have tried to walk certain parts of the same road with a new, probably not so great, twist and also deal with potential magic zombie potion that would bring dead characters back to life. You might be thinking "there is no way they would have made that movie!" To that I say, reference above comment about the Aunt May movie that was absolutely in development.
We don't really know for sure who the bad guy would have been, but no doubt it would have helped lead to the Sinister Six showdown in what would have been The Amazing Spider-Man 4, which would have taken place after a Sinister Six spin off movie Sony was planning as well. There was a lot to explore and a lot that we will never get to see and we have no way of knowing what would have actually made it to theaters. Though, I think many of us would like to travel to the alternate universe where The Amazing Spider-Man 3 got made just out of curiosity. But we would definitely want to come back so we could see Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is set for release July 7, 2017. Would you have rather seen Sony keep on with it or are you happy with what is going on with Spidey in the MCU?