What happened to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Spider-Man with James Cameron?

What a great time to be alive as a Spider-Man fan.

Not only is Spider-Man: No Way Home crushing it at the box office, but there is also a lot more to come within the MCU starring your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Additionally, news of a canceled Spider-Man project with Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron onboard has been aired around the world wide web and we look into what happened to the project.

No Way Home is certainly Marvel’s best and worst kept secret surrounding the litany of rumors and leaks that caused fans’ anticipation to skyrocket. Now that the cat is out of the bag, the Marvel fandom is already looking ahead to what the web-slinger’s future has in store.

Spider-Man: No Way Home | Official Trailer

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Spider-Man: No Way Home | Official Trailer

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What did Leonardo DiCaprio and James Cameron’s Spider-Man film entail?

James Cameron’s Spidey project supposedly began development in 1983, with a screenplay written by Barry Cohen and Ted Newsom.

One version featured a much older Peter Parker – with Michael Biehn attached to the role – and the other was a comic accurate age for Peter with Leonardo DiCaprio being eyed.

Cameron’s version was meant to have Electro as the main villain with Doctor Octopus making an appearance as well.

The primary notes to take away from the project was that the narrative was meant to be a much darker version of events than we’ve seen before, with Cameron including mature themes and sexual content.

What happened to the project?

The primary reason why the project never came to fruition is down to a convoluted legal battle over Spider-Man’s distribution rights.

Cannon Films had the rights first but the studio was bought by Pathé Communications and the rights were later taken with Pathé producer, Menahem Golan, when he left the company to start up 21st Century Fox.

After failing to raise enough money, Golan was forced to sell the rights three ways to Carolco, Sony/Columbia, and Viacom.

Cameron’s script, along with 21st Century Fox’s catalog, ended up being sold to MGM, before Fox stated that it had exclusive rights to Cameron’s script because of an existing contract.

Fox, however, could not buy the rights to Spider-Man from the three heavyweights and Cameron was forced to abandon the project and move on to other films.

Below, artist ApexForm created a mock design of what Leonardo DiCaprio would look like as Spider-Man.

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What’s next for Spider-Man?

It’s probably a good thing that Cameron did not pursue his Spider-Man film further – making plenty of room for his Avatar sequel that’s over ten years in the making – as Peter Parker’s live-action future is alive with content.

With the conclusion of Jon Watts’ trilogy with No Way Home, Kevin Feige has already stated that Marvel is hard at work developing Spider-Man 4.

Feige even confirmed that Marvel would be working with Tom Holland again in the future, meaning that the English actor could be headlining the next wave of Spider-Man films.

There was also talk of a fourth Spider-Man film with Sam Raimi returning to helm the project and it’s possible Tobey Maguire could return as well.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

Spider-Man: No Way Home is now in theaters worldwide.

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What happened to Leonardo DiCaprio’s Spider-Man with James Cameron?

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