From 2002 to 2007, comedian Tobey Maguire was the face of Peter Parker on film. Last December, almost fifteen years after his last appearance as the weaver, the actor returned to the role of Peter Parker for the needs of Spider-Man: No Way Home. However, his comeback as Spider-Man could have been years earlier. But Sony refused the deal…
The Incredible Hulk: Back to 2008
A few years after the Hulk by Ang Lee, the Jade giant is back at the cinema on the occasion of The Incredible Hulk. Directed by Frenchman Louis Leterrier, The Incredible Hulk is the second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCUs). At the time, comedian Edward Norton portrayed Bruce Banner. He has since been replaced by Mark Ruffalo in his subsequent appearances.
With its $264 million in box office receipts, The Incredible Hulk sometimes acts as the ugly duckling within the MCU. The film is different from other productions of the firm, darker, and sometimes seems disconnected from the rest of the Marvel universe. Only General Ross (and more recently the Abomination in Shang Chi) have reappeared within the MCU.
Spider-Man almost appeared
However, The Incredible Hulk could have been more connected to the rest of the Marvel Universe. Indeed, during an interview with MTV News in 2008, Louis Leterrier revealed that Peter Parker could have made a cameo in his film. In fact, a year later Spider Man 3, Tobey Maguire Could Have Donned Spider-Man Tights For A Fourth Time To Make A Short Appearance In The Incredible Hulk. This cameo would have taken place during the sequence on the Columbia University campus where Bruce Banner meets Samuel Sterns at the end of the film. But Sony Pictures, which already owned the rights to the character at the time, did not give his authorization concerning this famous cameo.
At the time, Sony was still thinking of producing Spider Man 4. Sam Raimi even has a beginning of the scenario and intended to make Le Vautour appear in this fourth part. But the project never happened. In parallel, in 2008, the MCU is still in its infancy. Alone Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk have for the moment emerged, and we are still very far from the connected universe today developed by Marvel Studios.
Logically, Sony does not trust this project, and prefers to keep Spider-Man jealously in his hands. Unfortunately for the firm, Spider Man 4 will never see the light of day, and we will have to wait until 2012 to see Andrew Garfield don Spidey’s costume in The Amazing Spider-Man. As for the return of Tobey Maguire, it did take place, but in 2021, on the occasion of the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Faced with Sony’s refusal, Louis Leterrier tried another approach to stage a reference to Spider-Man in The Incredible Hulk. Indeed, rather than highlighting Columbia University, the filmmaker wanted the events of his film to take place at Empire State University, the school attended by Peter Parker in the comics. Again, Sony did not agree. And it’s frankly a shame… It would have been absolutely great to see Peter Parker in The Incredible Hulk. Fortunately, today, the studio is more conciliatory with Marvel Studios and thanks to their mutual agreements, the fans were able to discover the last trilogy Spiderman worn by Tom Holland and totally rooted in the rest of the MCU.