David Koepp discusses scrapped Spider-Man trilogy plans
After helping bring Jurassic Park and Mission: Impossible to the big screen in the ’90s, writer David Koepp went on to help introduce audiences to Marvel’s webslinging hero in Sam Raimi’s 2002 hit Spider-Man. Despite the film’s rave success, he would only be invited back for work on the second film, before only having ideas from his script utilized by Raimi and Alvin Sargent and now he has revealed his scrapped plans for a potential trilogy.
In an interview with Collider for the upcoming horror film You Should Have Left, on which he is writer and director, Koepp revealed he envisioned the first film as a trilogy of stories and that his original plan would have involved killing Gwen Stacy off halfway through the 2004 sequel.
“Basically [my trilogy idea] was the telling of the Gwen Stacey/Harry Osbourne story but I spaced everything out differently,” Koepp said. “I wanted Gwen to be killed in the middle of the second movie, because the follows sort of the Empire Strikes Back model, and I had different villains I wanted to use. Just a different way to tell that story.”
Gwen Stacy would appear in Raimi’s trilogy in the third film with Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) portraying the character, but rather than depict her death, as is famous in the comics, she was used as a part of a love triangle between Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson. Koepp had entered talks to help develop the stories for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 3, which had introduced Gwen as the main love interest, but that “the moment had passed” by the time he started getting on a role with the plot.
“There was a time maybe seven or eight years ago when i was gonna come back for a couple Spider-Man movies, after they’d done their first Amazing Spider-Man,” Koepp said. “On the very first Spider-Man, I sort of planned out what I thought the first three movies should be and then all the assorted personalities it didn’t work for me to keep writing the Spider-Man movies. So I was excited to come back and try to finish the story I started telling in the first one, and as we were about to agree that I was going to do that, I pulled out all the old stuff and I started outlining those two movies and I thought, ‘Boy, you can’t go home again. That moment has passed. The time when I was really feeling it was 10 years ago, and there’s no point in trying to recreate it.’ So I bailed.“
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy received rave reviews from critics and helped prove to Hollywood the superhero genre was both a critically and commercially viable area. Plans were in place for a fourth film in his series alongside a Venom spin-off, but with Raimi dropping out due to creative differences plans were cancelled and the character was rebooted with the Andrew Garfield-led The Amazing Spider-Man series. While the second film worked to set up another shared universe franchise, its financial underperformance led to these plans being cancelled and the rights being shared with Marvel Studios and leading to Tom Holland taking over the role for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.