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SYFY WIRE Spider-Man

Original plan for Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy could've followed 'Empire Strikes Back model' with Gwen Stacy's death

By Jacob Oller

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy was groundbreaking for the world of superhero cinema and has become a beloved series with a devoted fanbase (who are dedicated to praising the film just as deeply as making memes out of their every frame), but the films would've looked very different if their original screenwriter had his say. David Koepp, the veteran scripter behind such films as Jurassic Park and Mission: Impossible, got sole credit for Raimi's Spider-Man but didn't write on the film's two sequels. But his plans involved one of the most famous stories in Spidey history and one of the most famous sequels in genre.

Speaking to Collider, Koepp broke down his plans for the Raimi trilogy and beyond — even his brief time considering work on the Amazing Spider-Man movies — including a plot point that was key in the Amazing films' story: the death of Gwen Stacy.

"Basically [my trilogy idea] was the telling of the Gwen Stacy/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 that 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."

Going dark in the second movie is usually a good sign, especially if the best Star Wars film is used as a touchstone. But, since Koepp didn't get to continue on with Raimi's films, this storyline didn't come up until 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which wasn't particularly well-recieved and had its follow-up plans scrapped (meaning no fallout from Gwen's death and no more of Paul Giamatti's awesome Rhino accent). But Koepp almost worked on that film too... until he jumped ship.

"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," the screenwriter explained. "On the very first Spider-Man I'd 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'd 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."

And so, fans got a version of the Gwen Stacy story (while Raimi diehards got a glimpse at what could've been with Bryce Dallas Howard in his third webslinging film) and a whole lot of Jamie Foxx's Electro. More Star Wars prequels than Return of the Jedi.

Koepp's next work, the horror You Should Have Left which he wrote and directed, drops on June 18.