Did Marvel Comics Just Announce a Sequel to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3?

Fans have long anticipated what a sequel in the Tobey Spiderverse may look like. Now, it seems like it could be coming-but not in the form that you'd expect.

Andrew Garfield. Tom Holland. Jake Johnson. There have been a lot of Spider-Men over the years, but for many of us, the only true Spider-Man is Tobey Maguire. Sam Raimi's run of the franchise in the early 2000s still stands as some of the greatest comic book filmmaking ever produced, and even though Raimi's Spider-Man 3 may have been a complete disaster, fans of the franchise were still disappointed when Sony announced that they wouldn't be moving forward with another sequel in the series.

That is, until now. The Tobey Hive on Twitter has been all abuzz about a cryptic tweet that Marvel posted over the weekend of what appears to be a spider webbing up the number "4" in the old-school Raimi Spider-Man font. Everything about the image, from the dark blue gradient to the shape of the spider seems completely in line with the Tobey Maguire iteration of the franchise. In the bottom left of the screen is the hashtag #MarvelComics, which leads many to believe that the long-rumored Raimi Spider-Man 4 is in production—but not in the way it was originally planned. Instead of a full-fledged film, fans on Twitter speculate it's likely an announcement for a comic book adaptation of the sequel.

Polygon writer Alex Kane posted a thread that lends a bit of credence to this theory, linking to a mysterious tweet from C.B. Cebulski, a writer for Marvel Comics.

Kane seems to think Cebulski's tweet has some relation to Raimi's Spider-Man franchise, since it was posted on May 3, which happens to be the anniversary of the release date of Spider-Man. Kane goes on to point out that Alex Ross, the legendary comics artist who painted the illustrations of Spider-Man 2's intro credits, tweeted #Spiderman4 twice on Sunday, only to delete them shortly after.

Rumors of what Sam Raimi had in mind for his Spider-Man 4 have been floating around for over a decade now, including plans for villains such as The Vulture, Mysterio, and a Felicia Hardy played by Anne Hathaway. Raimi said in an interview with Vulture, "I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all." Now that both the MCU and Sony are going full steam ahead with their Spider-Man content, it seems like as good a time as ever to put Raimi's old ideas to use.

If what Kane thinks is true, this wouldn't be the first time the world of comics took up the mantle after a film franchise faded away. In 2017, BOOM! Studios released a sequel series to John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China series, featuring an older version of the iconic Kurt Russell action hero, Jack Burton. The Star Warsfranchise has always been known to fill in the gaps between the narratives of their sequels using the medium of comic books. There was even a comic book sequel to Tim Burton's Batman Returns briefly being pitched at DC called Batman '89, which saw Burtonized versions of Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and even a Billy Dee Williams Two-Face. Sadly, that one never got off the ground.

Marvel has yet to confirm if any of this Raimi/Maguire speculation is true. Until then, we'll be dancing in anticipation.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Dom Nero
Senior Creative Producer
Dom Nero is a Senior Creative Producer at Esquire, where he also writes about film, tv, tech, and video games. Elsewhere, Dom hosts Eye of the Duck, a podcast about essential movie scenes.
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