Summary

  • Spider-Man 4’s story and cast are largely unknown, but theories and anticipation for the film are high among fans.
  • The canceled dark Spider-Man story in What If…? season 2 can potentially be made up for if Spider-Man 4 has a darker tone.
  • Spider-Man 4 needs to be darker than the previous trilogy to continue the character’s development and address tonal issues in the MCU.


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Tom Holland’s Spider-Man 4 can make up for the MCU cutting a Spider-Man story in 2023. Since the ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home, MCU fans have waited with bated breath for the announcement of more Holland-led Spider-Man movies. In the years since the third MCU Spider-Man film, only rumors and reports have been provided concerning this, with no confirmation being given by Marvel Studios or Sony as yet.

This means that the story and cast of Spider-Man 4 in the MCU is largely unknown, though this has not prevented theories from being crafted. From the potential villains of Spider-Man 4 to the team-ups possible given the fleshing out of the MCU’s street-level heroes, the anticipation for the film cannot be ignored. This excitement is also directed toward the film’s tone with many hoping for a darker entry for Holland’s Peter Parker, something that could be emblematic of a cut Spider-Man story from 2023.


Spider-Man 4 Can Make Up For What If Season 2’s Dark Cut Story

The poster for What If season 1 next to the MCU's Spider-Man

The cut story in question comes from What If…? season 2, Marvel Studios’ animated exploration of the multiverse. Initially, one of the planned What If…? season 2 stories surrounded Spider-Man with writer A.C. Bradley revealing that the story was cut because of its dark nature. According to Bradley, the cut episode was a blend of Children of Men and Spider-Man, with the former being an unflinchingly grim story.

Children of Men is very difficult to watch given the distressing subject matter it explores, something that seemingly does not blend with Spider-Man. However, the concept of What If…? makes this idea overly intriguing and makes the cancelation of the episode all the more disappointing. That said, Spider-Man 4 can make up for this in the MCU if the film presents a darker tone than its three predecessors.

Why Spider-Man 4 Needs To Be Darker Than The Previous MCU Trilogy

Spider-Man No Way Home ending Peter apartment

While Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy certainly had its share of dark moments, especially in No Way Home, many would agree that the overall trilogy exuded a sense of childlike wonder given Spidey’s younger age. However, the ending of No Way Home proves that Spider-Man 4 has to be darker than the three films before it. The world forgetting Peter Parker as well as the death of Aunt May means the former should be entirely alone at the beginning of Spider-Man 4, making for a dark character set-up. As such, Spider-Man 4 needs to be darker to adequately continue what was established in prior films.

Furthermore, Spider-Man 4 being a darker movie than the previous trilogy would also benefit the wider MCU. Many have been critical of the MCU’s sillier, light-hearted nature of late especially in projects like Thor: Love and Thunder, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, and The Marvels. If Marvel Studios and Sony crafted a darker film than the previous three Spider-Man movies – without losing the heart of the character – Spider-Man 4 could not only make up for What If…? season 2’s cut story but fix the overall tonal issues present in the MCU in recent years.

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