11th June, 2010.... the day Deadline broke the internet with news that director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire would not be returning for Spider-Man 4 and that Sony would be pushing ahead with a reboot that would see Peter Parker return to high school.
To put this news in today's context, it would be something similar to Disney announcing that Robert Downey Jr would no longer be playing Tony Stark and future movies involving the rebooted, re-cast character would begin with his pre-Iron Man days.
It's easy to forget how big a deal Spider-Man 3 was. Back in 2007, the MCU was still a year away from kicking in and only Batman Begins had been released from the newly minted Dark Knight franchise, leaving the Spider-Man movies as the undisputed king of superhero movies, in much the same way The Avengers movies are today.
Spider-Man 3 broke all kinds of box-office records on release, grossing $890.9 million worldwide at a time well before hitting $1 billion mark was an annual event. And though Spider-Man 3 wasn't as well-received as the prior two movies, this was a saga that fans were heavily invested in and wanted to see continue.
Spider-Man was about to tread into unprecedented waters. Fans were rabid for a fourth movie when sagas don't usually have the legs to carry past a third installment.
In development for around three years before its cancellation in early 2010, Spider-Man 4 is one of the most high-profile, canned sequels in movie history. It's also one of those rare cases where the story of what happened to the movie is (mostly) out there for all to read up on, from confirmed villains to scripting problems, confusing rumours to cold hard truths.
This is the story of what really happened to Spider-Man 4...