2. Spidey Versus All The Bad Guys
A couple of years ago, artist Jeffrey Henderson shared several storyboards from pre-production work he conducted on Spider-Man 4 via his website, some of which gave us a great look at Vulture and Spidey in action, again confirming the villain's involvement in the film and some clues to how the film would have turned out.
A few of the images depict a mid-air showdown between the two, with Spidey slinging a gargoyle at Vulture and the villain being chased down by a helicopter. The design of Vulture is incredibly comic-book-accurate, with the furry neckpiece and tight suit, but it's always possible the character's look hadn't been fully locked down at this stage.
There are also some rather interesting shots of Peter passionately kissing a mystery woman. Since Henderson never confirmed who this is, there's a strong possibility that it's Felicia Hardy. If so, these images prop up that aforementioned story rumour about Felicia and Peter hooking up after he breaks up with Mary-Jane.
Or, this woman could be Mary-Jane, and that plot could be bogus. Take a look and decide for yourself.
In another shot on Henderson's page, we see a woman who definitely does look like an Anne Hathaway-type stood in a crowd of people, glaring at something (or someone) just off camera.
Again, Henderson never confirmed who this is, but it certainly looks like Hathaway and it's almost certainly Felicia Hardy.
If that is the case, then again, these images support that rumoured plot; if Felicia discovered that Peter killed her father, then she'd absolutely be staring at him with that disapproving look. Peter is a photographer, so whatever event Felicia is attending here, there's a good chance he's there too, stood in the direction of her gaze.
Vulture and Felicia aside, the most curious storyboards show Spidey carting Mysterio - who, apparently, would've been played by Bruce Campbell (on the backs of his mischievous cameos in the prior 3 films) - off to the authorities.
Henderson told io9 that the opening of the film would have shown Spidey battling a roster of D and C-list villains including Prowler, Rhino, Mysterio and Shocker in a quick montage, and reiterated that Vulture was the primary antagonist of the piece:
“[the beginning of the film featured] a montage of C and D-list villains that we knew would never be used as main antagonists: Mysterio, the Shocker, the Prowler, the old school-onesie-wearing version of the Rhino, maybe even the Stilt Man, etc."
However, only Mysterio - both masked and unmasked - is shown in the storyboards Henderson chose to post.
So what's the deal with all these villain characters, both confirmed and speculated?
Earlier rumours like Morlun were possibly remnants of one of the many drafts of Spider-Man 4's script, or maybe they were studio suggestions. Perhaps all this back-and-forth with villains could be interpreted as Raimi (who, let's remember, had already been at odds with Sony over the whole Venom situation) being in constant disagreement with the studio over the direction of the film.
Based on the reports that followed, this scenario seems highly likely.