James Cameron Reportedly Wanted Spider-Man to Face 2 Different Marvel Villains Before Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire Took Over

James Cameron wanted Electro and Sandman to be the main villains of his unmade Spider-Man movie.

James Cameron, tobey-maguire
Credits: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore


  • Before Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, James Cameron was supposed to make the first live-action Spider-Man movie.
  • Extremely different than Tobey Maguire's films, Cameron wanted to have Electro and Sandman as the main villains.
  • Wanting to make it more grounded and gritty, Cameron called the film the greatest movie I never made.
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Years before Sam Raimi’s ground-breaking Spider-Man trilogy made it to the big screen and forever revolutionized the comic book superhero genre, there were several other iterations of the tale with several other filmmakers and actors associated with the project. One of them was James Cameron, who was eager to have a more mature and grounded take on the web-slinger’s live-action debut film.

James Cameron
James Cameron (Credits: Steve Jurvetson | Wikimedia Commons)

Associated and contacted by Carolco Pictures, Cameron originally wanted Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead before the studio went bankrupt. However, if the filmmaker’s version of the movie had made it through, we would have gotten Spider-Man fighting two different Marvel villains in his first film.

James Cameron’s Spider-Man Movie Would Have Featured Two Different Marvel Villains

Sandman and Electro would have been the main villains of Cameron's movie (Image: Marvel Comics)
Sandman and Electro would have been the main villains of Cameron’s movie (Image: Marvel Comics)

Years before Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire‘s epic Spider-Man movie was released in theatres, James Cameron was offered the movie. While financial issues and studio bankruptcy prevented the movie from ever being made, the Titanic director had two different versions of the script.


The script was focused on the origin story of how Peter Parker became the acclaimed web-slinger. Yet, this iteration of the film had Electro and Sandman as the main villains of the unmade movie.

Electro, named Carlton Strand, was supposed to be an extremely wealthy businessman who became the iconic Marvel villain in a lightning incident. Sandman, named Boyd, was just a maintenance man, who after getting in contact with a secret military project experiment ended up getting his sand powers.

Electro and Sandman, greatly differing from their comic book origins, would have made their live-action debut way earlier than The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, respectively. While it would have been interesting to see Camron’s take on the movie, it certainly differed from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man a great deal (via Screen Rant and Fandom Wiki).


How James Cameron’s Spider-Man Was Different Than Sam Raimi’s

Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man in the Sam Raimi trilogy
Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man in the Sam Raimi trilogy

It is hard to imagine a director who has made movies like TerminatorAvatar, and Aliens making a Spider-Man movie. Yet, that is what nearly happened, and the movie was way different than Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.

Cameron, in his book Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, shared in extensive detail how his Marvel flick was supposed to be and even referred to it as the greatest movie I never made. Furthermore, while speaking to Screen Crush about the movie, he remarked,

“I think it would’ve been very different… I wanted to make something that had a kind of gritty reality to it… I wanted to do something that would have been more in the vein of Terminator and Aliens, that you buy into the reality right away. So you’re in a real world, you’re not in some mythical Gotham City…  A guy gets bitten by a spider. He turns into this kid with these powers… I wanted to ground it in reality and ground it in universal human experience.”

States Cameron while exclaiming that his script was written with the blessings of Stan Lee and the story was set in New York. While Cameron tried several times to persuade studios to buy the movie, the rights, and other complexities prevented the movie from being made.


And now we can only wonder what the film would have looked like, reminiscing something that we almost had.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy can be streamed on Disney+.


Written by Maria Sultan

Articles Published: 1261

Maria Sultan is a News Content Writer at FandomWire. Having honed her skills are a Freelance and Professional content writer for more than 5 years (and counting), her expertise spans various genres and content type. A Political Science and History Graduate, her deep interest in the world around shapes her writing, blending her insights across diverse themes.

Outside the realm of writing, Maria can be often found buried in the world of books or pursuing art or engaged in fervent discussions about anything or everything, her passions balanced by binge watching Kdramas, Anime, Movies or Series during leisure hours.