10 Most Interesting Unused Spider-Man Concept Art Designs (2024)

Summary

  • Some Fascinating Alternate Spider-Man Movie Designs and Concepts Never Made It to Screen
  • Sam Raimi's plans for Spider-Man 4 introduced new villains.
  • The MCU left out a Hobgoblin reference for Ned in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

The many theatrical faces of Spider-Man almost went in some very different directions, with oodles of concept art left on the cutting room floor that never made it to cinema screens. The friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is one of the world's most popular superheroes, with an impressive 12 movies and counting featuring Spider-Man as the leading star. These cinematic appearances had some fascinating concepts behind them that didn't always make the final cut.

Many of Spider-Man's films almost went in very different directions, from the choice of villain to the plot beats and equipment that Spider-Man uses. There's even scrapped plans for an entire movie that never got made in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4. If nothing else, the scrapped ideas of Spider-Man's films make for some interesting conversation points that make it exciting to imagine how different his many movies almost were.

10 The Original Green Goblin Mask

Almost lived up to its name much more

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Visually, the Green Goblin is an incredibly difficult character to represent in live-action. While he's essentially a human wearing an elaborate costume, illustrations and animated interpretations of him make his face seem like a real fantasy creature. Such a lifelike mask isn't an easy thing to translate for the big screen, and as a result, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin would up simply wearing a Power Rangers- like mask with a frozen expression, more of a stylized piece of military gear.

However, the very first Spider-Man movie almost strove for comic book accuracy with its original ideas for the Green Goblin. Early test footage reveals the prop masters in Sam Raimi's employ had created a very life-like Green Goblin mask that was capable of making its own expressions, creating a much more terrifying visual. The mask was a little too good at its job, and was deemed to scary to use in a film ultimately marketed towards children.

9 The Amazing Spider-Man's Unused Suit Designs

Went far-out with Spider-Man's stylings

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The initial suit Peter wears in The Amazing Spider-Man is a dramatic departure from the Sam Raimi trilogy. Quite different from other live-action Spider-Man suits, Andrew Garfield's version has much more blue incorporated into it, and has a slightly busier linework on the body in general. This can be attributed to the in-universe explanation that Peter Parker was inspired by ski jumping suits to enact his vision of a masked crimefighter.

It turns out that The Amazing Spider-Man had an almost even more different suit. Concept art for the film reveals some incredibly striking ideas for a "modern" Spider-Man look, with incredibly form-fitting fabrics, webbed armpit capes, and sporty red lines darting through vast plains of blue. Some of the looks end up looking a little bit like Miguel O'Hara's Spider-Man 2099, a look that would get its film debut appearance in Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

8 Spider-Man 2's The Lizard

Sam Raimi almost picked a different villain for his sequel

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Spider-Man 2 is widely considered to be the best entry in Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man trilogy, thanks in no small part to Alfred Molina's excellent performance as the villain Doc Ock. That being said, Raimi almost went for a different member of Spider-Man's rogue's gallery to face off against Peter Parker in the follow-up-film, that being Dr. Curt Connors a.k.a. The Lizard. This was proven with some concept art for The Lizard drafted up early in the film's ideation phase.

It seems as though Sam Raimi couldn't help but show off his horror director roots, as his commissioned pieces for The Lizard are utterly terrifying. One image gives The Lizard a more humanoid look, with a roughly human-skull-shaped head, webbed arms, and eerie eye sockets that seem to be overgrown with reptilian skin. The other design is far more animalistic, but no less terrifying, making The Lizard out to be an apex predator still freshly torn out of his lab coat.

7 Bruce Campbell's Mysterio

Campbell nearly had a much more prominent role in the Spider-Man series

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A close friend and frequent collaborator, Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell's relationship is well known, with the latter carrying Raimi's famed Evil Dead series as Ash Williams. Since then, Campbell has appeared in every Raimi film in at least some small cameo, with the Spider-Man trilogy being no exception. Campbell appears as a wrestling ring announcer, a maître d', and a snooty usher, though it's unclear if he's supposed to be the same person every time.

The canceled Spider-Man 4 was set to explore Bruce Campbell in a more important role, possibly revealing some grand scheme involving his previous appearances, as Mysterio. Concept art showing an unmasked Mysterio bearing an uncanny resemblance to the actor has since made the rounds on the internet after leaking from the wreckage of the unproduced project. It's a shame Bruce Campbell didn't end up getting a more substantial Spider-Man role, but Jake Gllenhaal's Mysterio is also plenty entertaining.

6 Yellow Electro

Max Dillon was almost more comic-accurate

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Electro was one of three villains crammed into The Amazing Spider-Man 2. While the sequel to Andrew Garfield's first Spider-Man outing certainly had a lot going on, one of the stronger elements was Jamie Foxx's Max Dillon, a.k.a. Electro. Something of a sympathetic villain, a freak accident ends up turning the socially awkward Max into a being of pure blue electrical power.

Concept art for the film shows off a very different look Electro nearly had in the final product. With dramatic lines going down a custom-made suit and yellow arcs of lightning instead of blue ones, this version of Electro was almost much more comic-accurate. Luckily, Electro's return in Spider-Man: No Way Home gave audiences a taste of this, even referencing Electro's goofy starfish-shaped mask from his original appearance.

5 Sam Raimi's Mechanical Web Shooters

Peter Parker wasn't always meant to spurt organic webs

One of the most bizarre differences Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man has from other iterations of the character is how his web shooters work. Rather than being a homebrewed invention of Peter Parker, Spider-Man's webs in the Raimi trilogy are organic, allowing him to shoot web from his wrists without the need for technology. Spider-Man: No Way Home has the other cinematic Spider-Men, who had to build their own webs, react to this with astonishment.

It seems as though Raimi was close to following suit with the traditional mechanical web shooters after all. Concept art for Spider-Man shows blueprints for some mechanical web shooters built by Peter, with intricate details indicating how the devices functioned both in and outside of costume. Funnily enough, Maguire was changed to have organic webs in the name of realism. Go figure.

4 A Transforming Rhino Suit

Paul Giamatti's Rhino could've been so much more

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Among the stacked villain roster of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Paul Giamatti's Rhino gets lost in the chaos as a minor villain. The actor's comedic performance of the Russian gangster simply doesn't work, and the mechanized Rhino suit is more of a tank-sized mech, having little in common with the character from the comics. This is made all the more tragic by the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 almost featured a shockingly faithful version of Rhino.

Concept art from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 shows off a different, much more humanoid Rhino suit with a pilot that doesn't especially bear a resemblence to Paul Giamatti. Not only that, but the design seems to be capable of transforming into a quadruped rhinoceros, a much more striking design than the chunky walker mech audiences got. It's a shame these early iterations of the Rhino didn't make it into the final product.

3 Sam Raimi's Black Cat

The feline femme fatale almost made an appearance in Spider-Man 2

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Considering how popular Catwoman is in live-action Batman films, it's surprising that Black Cat has never gotten a live-action appearance in a comic book movie. The character occupies an interesting moral gray area compared to most of Spider-Man's villains, and creates a tantalizing dynamic for Peter Parker to tango with. The closest any film has come to doing so is Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2.

It seems as though the concept of Black Cat appearing in Spider-Man 2 got far enough to inspire some art, with a stunning piece by arist James Carson envisioning what Black Cat might look like in the Raimi-verse. Cast notes reveal Brook Adams was planned to be cast in the role, and the comic-accurate costume's wearer seems to support this with her likeness. Black Cat's costume included some complicated gauntlets that may have hidden some sort of tools of the trade.

2 Spider-Man 4's Vulture

Sam Raimi almost did Vulture before the MCU

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While Mysterio was the ultimate big bad planned for Spider-Man 4, it seems as though the film couldn't resist the idea of toying with additional supervillains. One of Spider-Man's from the comics planned to be adapted in the fourth film was none other than Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. The Vulture. Another of Spider-Man's many animal-themed villains, Vulture may have actually been the more dangerous villain of the two, if his concept art was anything to go by.

Compared to the Vulture audiences did eventually get in Spider-Man: Homecoming, this version is much more comic-accurate, with a lined suit, exposed, bald head, and traditional arm wings. The wings also seem to double as deadly blades, as Vulture is seen slicing through a solid stone gargoyle in an action shot, a blow Spider-Man only narrowly avoids. It's a shame this exciting aerial battle was never able to be fully realized in the Sam Raimi continuity.

1 Hobgoblin Ned

The MCU may have foreshadowed Ned's Hobgoblin arc

As part of Sony's delicate Spider-Man deal with Marvel Studios, Harry Osborn couldn't be used as Spider-Man's best friend in Peter Parker's MCU jouney. The series instead supplanted him with Ned, a more obscure character from the comics who quickly endeared himself to fans. In the comics, Ned eventually becomes his own version of the Hobgoblin, and it seems as though Spider-Man: Homecoming was toying with the idea of lampshading this.

In concept art, there's a striking still of Ned flying around on a goblin glider, about to throw a bomb with a jovial look on his face. Not only that, but he's even wearing a Mets hoodie with the traditional orange-and-blue color scheme of the Green Goblin spiritual successor, perhaps subtly foreshadowing his eventual turn into the Hobgoblin. Perhaps a future MCU Spider-Man movie will explore the avenue more fully.

Upcoming Marvel MoviesRelease Date
July 26, 2024
Captain America: Brave New WorldFebruary 14, 2025
Thunderbolts*May 2, 2025
The Fantastic FourJuly 25, 2025
BladeNovember 7, 2025
Avengers: The Kang DynastyMay 1, 2026
Avengers: Secret WarsMay 7, 2027
10 Most Interesting Unused Spider-Man Concept Art Designs (2024)

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