‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’
One Spider-Man had to die so another might live. In this case, Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise skidded to a stop midstream, and in its place we got Tom Holland’s take on the Wall Crawler in Homecoming. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but it does make you wonder what could’ve been.
The last thing we saw in Amazing Spider-Man 2 was the introduction of Rhino, him terrorizing New York City, Spidey leaping into battle to fight him, and the screen cutting to black. According to Hollywood Reporter, the plan was for ASM3 and ASM4 to continue the story. In fact, according to Deadline, the plan was for Sony to build an entire cinematic universe around everyone’s favorite Garfield (cats and presidents excluded) — there would have been Spidey films, Sinister Six films, and Venom films. If we dreamed hard enough, maybe we could have gotten an adaptation of the comic where Aunt May becomes a superhero and battles Galactus. (Sorry, dreaming.) Unfortunately, ASM2 underperformed and Sony sought out a deal with Marvel to take Spidey in a new direction. This deal — which involves confusing rights and money issues best summarized with “Spidey hangs out with Iron Man now, so hooray” — placed the hero smack-dab in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sent him back to high school, and canceled out any need for Garfield’s Amazing-verse. Some of the spinoffs, such as Venom, may happen yet, but they’ll have nothing to do with Marvel’s Spidey. What happened to Sony’s Spidey post-Rhino will forever remain a mystery.