Spider-Man 2: Tobey Maguire Could’ve Had Marvel’s First Superhero Crossover With Another Actor 4 Years Before MCU

While crossovers and cameos are a dime a dozen now, 2004 was a different time for superhero films.

tobey maguire spiderman 2 marvel


  • Thomas Jane's Punisher almost appeared in a cameo in Spider-Man 2 in 2004, 4 years before Iron Man kicked off the MCU.
  • The actor was set to appear in a cameo when Mary Jane leaves her finace at the alter towards the end of the film.
  • The Punisher can cross paths with Spider-Man in the MCU, but it will not be as significant as it would have been in 2004.
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Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the main cast of one film seldom appeared in another’s story, unless the characters were in some sort of a spin-off situation. So when fans and audiences become privy to all the potential crossovers that they could have seen over the years, it is quite a frustrating situation, given that these stories were not over-saturated with easter eggs and corporate product placement.

Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man in Sam Raimi's trilogy
Tobey Maguire played Spider-Man in Sam Raimi’s trilogy || Sony Pictures

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, which is hailed as one of the best superhero films of the decade, supposedly had a cameo waiting in the wings, from a film that was due to release in the same year. The character was, of course, from Marvel, but had his film released by a different distributor.

Spider-Man 2 almost had a Punisher cameo

The Punisher
Thomas Jane in The Punisher || Lionsgate

The Punisher was a film that was released in 2004 as well, produced and put forward by Lionsgate. The film featured Thomas Jane as Frank Castle and was released approximately 6 weeks before Spider-Man 2 did. While it has not been made public why this cameo did not go through, the fact that the rights of the characters were with different studios could serve as a plausible explanation.


This was revealed in the DVD commentary for Spider-Man 2. Thomas Jane was supposed to appear in a scene where Mary Jane leaves J. Jonah Jameson’s son at the altar. The scene in its current form features another person entirely but was supposed to feature Jane’s version of the Punisher. The actor would not play the character ever again, as the sequel Punisher: War Zone will have Thomas Jane exit the role, as it wasn’t a project he ‘believed in’.

Spider-Man could cross paths with the MCU’s Punisher, now that he is more of a street-level villain

Tom Holland
Tom Holland as Spider-Man (image credit: Marvel)

Given that the MCU’s Spider-Man has been stripped of all his high-tech support items, the character is set to be a more street-level vigilante than an Avengers-level superhero. Given that it has been confirmed that Frank Castle will be making an appearance in Daredevil: Born Again, Matt Murdock might be able to bridge the gap between the two characters and have them share screen space in the MCU, something that was a missed opportunity in Spider-Man 2.

However, the chances of them sharing the screen together now have increased, given that the MCU has made crossovers, team-ups, and cameos the norm of any superhero property. While a street-level hero-assembling story, something like The Defenders, might be something fans might be interested in, these characters seemingly have little chance of being acknowledged in the mainline MCU.


Written by Anuraag Chatterjee

Articles Published: 767

Anuraag Chatterjee, Web Content Writer
With a passion for writing fiction and non fiction content, Anuraag is a Media Science graduate with 2 year's experience with Marketing and Content, with 3 published poetry anthologies. Anuraag holds a Bacherlor's degree in Arts with a focus on Communication and Media Studies.