When Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man hit theaters in 2002, it helped kick off a trend for years to come for a world with a desperate need for Superheros. Along with 2000’s X-Men, the smash hit Spider-Man paved the way for two-decades of spandex with the Fantastic Four, Hellboy, the re-vamped Dark Knight trilogy, and the eventual box office powerhouse that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The success of the first Spider-Man owes a large debt of gratitude to legendary writer David Koepp. Jurassic Park, Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible, The Shadow all were written onto the screen by David’s pen. However, these credentials, as well as the first movie’s success, weren’t enough for Raimi to retain Koepp for the sequel. Speaking with Collider, Koepp spoke on his original plans for the trilogy.
“Basically [the trilogy] was the telling of the Gwen Stacey/Harry Osbourne story but I spaced everything out differently. 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.”– Screenwriter David Koepp’s on his original plans for Sam Rami’s ‘SPIDER-MAN’ trilogy (via Collider)
This would have brought the death of Gwen Stacy to the silver screen a whole 10 years before the story was realized in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Gwen did eventually enter Raimi’s Spider-Man. Played by future director Bryce Dallas Howard in Spider-Man 3 (2007), Gwen served as the third wheel in a love triangle with Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson, far from the emotional centerpiece she would have been in a Death of Gwen Stacy storyline.
And speaking on The Amazing Spider-Man movies, Koepp revealed that he was originally in talks to map out The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Amazing Spider-Man 3 but eventually passed on the opportunity.
“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... 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.”– Screenwriter David Koepp on passing up the mapping out of ‘THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN’ trilogy (via Collider)
Clearly, the Raimi Trilogy could have looked much different in the hands of Koepp. Whether that means better or worse, we’ll never know. Currently, Koepp is hard at work on Universal’s The Bride of Frankenstein, having walked away from Indiana Jones 5, currently in development.
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