Following the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans of the cinematic web-slinger are eager to see the live-action Spider-Verse expanded. This would mean not just more adventures of Tom Holland's Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but also previous Spideys, including Tobey Maguire's version. Though the chances of him getting another solo movie are somewhat slim, there's one comic book story, in particular, that would be a great sendoff.
A tentative Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 4 could retell Kraven's Last Hunt, adapting the comic book villain while giving Maguire a dark but fitting farewell. The biggest hurdle to this is the still amorphous plan that Sony has for Spider-Man and Kraven, but if it's willing to have one last swing at the Raimiverse, this would be the best story to use.
Why Kraven's Last Hunt Works For a Potential Spider-Man 4
Meant to be the final appearance of Kraven the Hunter, Kraven's Last Hunt was as much of a psychological battle between him and Spider-Man as it was a physical one. Attempting to take over Spider-Man's role and prove himself the superior hunter, Kraven seemingly kills Spidey and buries him. However, Spider-Man survives the ordeal, carving his way out of his early tomb two weeks later. Still, Kraven feels fulfilled as a hunter and commits gleeful suicide while Spider-Man summons all of his might to stop the villainous Vermin. All the while, Mary Jane Watson is scared to death, fearing that her husband has truly been killed.
The story works on several levels as a comic book and is surprisingly dark for a Spider-Man tale. Despite this, it shows how Spider-Man's heroism separates him from someone just trying to imitate him, and how, for all of his power, Kraven lacked any of the responsibility that Spidey had. This could be a great story to feature an older Tobey Maguire Spider-Man in, showing how he's still the hero that Uncle Ben raised.
Getting home to his wife, Mary Jane, is another huge part of what drives Peter Kraven's Last Hunt, and this hook could (and should) be easily replicated in a tentative Spider-Man 4 given how central their love story was in the Raimi movies. To cap things off and truly let Maguire go off into the sunset, MJ could even announce that she's pregnant upon his return, allowing the couple a truly happy ending.
Conversely, the dour tone would be akin to the movie Logan, making the steps to this happy ending darker than ever and showing how things aren't quite as cute and cozy as they once were. Kraven's violent and evil ways would also be a contrast to Doc Ock and Sandman being made more sympathetic in the previous movies. By upping the stakes and putting Peter through the wringer, the happy ending would feel truly deserved.
Why Adapting Kraven's Last Hunt for Spider-Man 4 Still Has Issues
There are a few problems with this happening, of course, with the main one being the possibility of a Spider-Man 4 even happening. Though nostalgia for the old movies and a desire to see their worlds revisited is stronger than ever, that's not a guarantee that Sony or Marvel Studios will do it. On top of that, Tobey Maguire may be an obstacle, as his own waning interest in the role and acting, in general, was part of why the series was first rebooted into The Amazing Spider-Man series. Though he came back for No Way Home, it was in a much smaller role with much less commitment. Thus, a solo movie might be too much.
Likewise, Kraven's Last Hunt is reportedly being used as a basis for the planned Kraven movie, though specifics about the film are still ambiguous outside of Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing the Russian hunter. It's possible, of course, that the Kraven film could simply be folded into a Spider-Man 4, especially since Kraven's Last Hunt without Spider-Man would be pointless. However, the need for a Spider-Man doesn't mean it would be Maguire's, however.
Finally, the story's tone might be a bit too dark for cinematic Spider-Man, especially the more saccharine Raimiverse version. On the other hand, these movies definitely were fairly serious, with Spidey himself barely making quips or jokes. Thus, perhaps Spider-Man 4 using the final hunt of Sergei Kravinoff as a basis would fit perfectly for a bittersweet goodbye to the first major motion picture Spider-Man.
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