The MCUs Iron Man was nearly connected to the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films, which could have had interesting effects of the rest of the franchise.
Early plans for Iron Man would have made Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker the MCU’s first Spider-Man which could have had fascinating ramifications for the rest of the franchise. The Marvel Cinematic Univers, led by Kevin Feige, has dominated the pop culture zeitgeist since its first wave of superhero films (Phase 1) concluded with 2012’s The Avengers. The Avengers was not only a critical and commercial success, but it also popularized the concept of a shared universe in fiction, a notion that was commonplace in the superhero comic genre but was highly ambitious on film. With Marvel’s characters more popular than ever, it was only a matter of time before their flagship character, Spider-Man, joined their successful film franchise. Sam Raimi’s classic Spider-Man Trilogy, which began six years before the MCU, very nearly became the franchise’s first installment, retroactively.
Raimi’s first Spider-Man film from 2002 wasn’t the first major tentpole superhero blockbuster in the genre, having followed the success of 1978’s Superman, 1989’s Batman, and Marvel’s more recent Blade and X-Men films. What set Spider-Man apart from the others, however, was its unprecedented authenticity to its comic source material combined with a strong focus on naturalism and emotional sincerity. Spider-Man proved that Marvel could make movies that worked as both adaptations and as palatable films for those unfamiliar with their comics. Without the success of Raimi’s Spider-Man films, there might not have been an MCU in the form that viewers are familiar with.
In an early draft of 2008’s Iron Man script, Tony Stark was revealed to have been a collaborator on Doctor Otto Octavius’ robotic tentacles, whose advanced AI tragically transformed him into Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2. Had this detail remained in the final cut of Iron Man, it would have been the MCU’s fourth film instead of its first, and Tobey Maguire’s iteration of Spider-Man would have been integrated into the developing MCU narrative instead of Tom Holland’s version. With legal barriers preventing Spider-Man from entering the MCU until the mid-2010s, this hypothetical scenario in which Raimi’s Spider-Man was part of the MCU doesn’t significantly change the first two phases, and would only have a notable impact on the end of the Infinity Saga.
How An Established Spider-Man Would Change The MCU
Having concluded his film trilogy and been Spider-Man for years, Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker would be a seasoned superhero by the time that Tony Stark became Iron Man, assuming that Spider-Man 3 took place before Tony’s first film. With most of the MCU’s first solo outings taking place outside of New York City, Spider-Man’s superhero escapades wouldn’t create any issues. The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and The Avengers all feature action-packed third acts set in New York, but Spider-Man’s presence could easily be explained away with little to no changes being made to the films as they are. Avengers: Endgame revealed that The Ancient One was defending New York during the Chitauri invasion but simply wasn’t shown in the 2012 film. While Spider-Man wouldn’t be able to intervene in The Hulk’s battle with The Abomination, it’s easy to imagine him rescuing civilians and battling Hammer Drones and Chitauri offscreen. note: Spider-Man: No Way Home 2021 ganzer film deutsch
Spider-Man’s biggest impact would begin in Captain America: Civil War, where Tony Stark would, presumably, try to recruit him to his team of pro-Sokovia Accords heroes. Considering how closely he guards his secret identity, it’s highly unlikely that Peter would agree with the Accords, and it’s difficult to imagine Stark or even SHIELD discovering Spider-Man’s secret identity. Stark could recruit Spider-Man by offering him an incentive of some sort, such as improving his reputation among New Yorkers when they learn that Spider-Man is an ally of Iron Man. Spider-Man could easily end up doing what his comic counterpart did in Civil War and join Tony briefly, but switch to Captain America’s side by the end of the conflict, returning him to an inconsistently-trusted figure among New Yorkers once again.
Spider-Man 4 Would Be About Passing The Torch
Spider-Man is popularly seen as a teenage superhero, but he was a high school student for less than a decade in the comics and joined The Avengers well after graduating from college. Nevertheless, Tobey Maguire would have a hard time playing the famously young adult hero by Phase 3 of the MCU, which is why his Spider-Man 4 would probably be his final solo outing, but it’d be a spectacular last installment for Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi. While Raimi’s original Spider-Man 4 story would have involved The Vulture and Black Cat, a heavy-hitter like The Hobgoblin, Carnage, or The Jackal might make for a better final adversary. Having Willem Dafoe come back for one last chilling performance as Norman Osborn would be the most crowd-pleasing option, however, and would bring the series full circle.
With Spider-Man 4 coming out a decade after Spider-Man 3, it’d be fitting to introduce May “Mayday” Parker as Peter and Mary Jane’s daughter. Comic fans would recognize her as the eventual Spider-Girl from Marvel’s MC2 continuity, but this hypothetical MCU version wouldn’t be a superhero yet, taking a supporting role in Peter’s last solo outing. Towards the end of the MCU’s Spider-Man 4, however, the film would have to reveal that she inherited her dad’s powers, setting her up as Peter’s successor. In following Tom DeFalco’s stories, Peter and Mary Jane would do their best to dissuade Mayday from becoming a hero like Peter out of protectiveness, but the torch would inevitably be passed in the next installment.
Spider-Girl Would Be The MCUs Web-Slinger After Endgame
Spider-Man’s role in Avengers: Infinity War would likely be the same with Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker, including his death when Thanos wipes out half of all life in the universe. Assuming that Mary Jane dies as well, the young Mayday might be in the custody of an Avenger (possibly a guilt-ridden Tony Stark). The five-year time skip in Endgame would bring Mayday closer to the age she began her superhero career in the Spider-Girl comics, and allow her to further develop the use of her spider powers. Mayday presumably wouldn’t participate in the Time Heist, but she’d be reunited with her parents after The Hulk undoes Thanos’ snap, and fight alongside Spider-Man as the costumed Spider-Girl for the first time in act 3’s battle.
Replacing Spider-Man: Far From Home would be Mayday’s first solo Spider-Girl film, continuing to adapt DeFalco’s MC2 work. Peter Parker and Mary Jane would fall back to supporting roles, gradually coming to terms with Mayday’s choice to accept the role of superhero, while Mayday learns that it’s a perilous and demanding life that presents a slew of complications, similar to Peter in Spider-Man 2. The MCU’s Spider-Girl film would also be the perfect opportunity to introduce fan-favorite Miles Morales as an additional successor to Peter Parker. While the franchise as a whole would remain relatively unchanged, having Tobey Maguire be the MCU’s first Spider-Man would have given him fascinating new appearances after his trilogy.
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