The Iconic Spider-Man Villain John Malkovich Nearly Played Before Being Cast in Pedro Pascal’s Fantastic Four

John Malkovich proves destiny can always come calling, even 13 years into the future.

john malkovich, spider-man, pedro pascal’s fantastic four

The idyllic countryside in the South of France is all that the veteran Oscar-nominee John Malkovich needs to be content in life. But Hollywood has other plans for the eccentric star, especially when it comes to Sony, Marvel, and Spider-Man. The interlinked fate of these 3 problematic entities has not only become a troublesome hurdle for the studios but poses a great risk to the future of the IP.

However, with the arrival of billion-dollar contracts and deafening audience excitement, Sony and Marvel signed a treatise to secure and exploit Spider-Man to their mutual benefit. MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy, Sony’s rebooted Spider-Man universe with Venom, Morbius, and Madame Web, and its animated Spider-Verse trilogy are a product of this shared dream.

The multiverse of Spider-Men in No Way HomeThe multiverse of Spider-Men in No Way Home

But long before the iconic IP became the official peacekeeper between the two studios, John Malkovich was sought out for a role that, in hindsight, connects the 3 entities in a fascinating manner. Even though that connection between Malkovich, Sony, Marvel, and Spider-Man never came to pass, it does make for a good story that adds to the charm of the web-slinger.

John Malkovichʼs Arc From Sony’s Spider-Man to the MCU

Spider-Man has always been a child of divorce between Sony and Marvel. As such, when Sam Raimi’s trilogy starring Tobey Maguire took off, the obvious next step for Sony to keep up with the audience’s expectations was to prepare for Spider-Man 4. The scripts, costumes, plot, drama, and villains were all laid out, prepped, and ready for action.

However, Raimi’s doubts over a good storyline for the sequel as well as his apprehension over the reception of Spider-Man 3 ultimately led him to cop out of the franchise.

Michael Keaton as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming [Credit: Marvel Studios]Michael Keaton as Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming

It was posthumously revealed that Tobey Maguire’s fourth leg as the iconic friendly neighborhood superhero was fated to go up against one of Raimi’s favorite childhood characters, the Vulture. Portrayed in live-action by Michael Keaton opposite Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, it was John Malkovich who was first supposed to breathe life into the villain on the big screen in a dark rendition of Spider-Man’s arc.

The lost opportunity to portray an iconic villain in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe 13 years ago has now returned in the form of a blessing for the Oscar-nominated actor. Despite having to leave the French countryside behind, John Malkovich has returned to Marvel in a companion film to the Spider-Man IP.

The Fantastic Four, who are famously linked to the web-slinger due to his enviable friendship with the Human Torch, will now witness the star of Being John Malkovich deliver a legendary performance.

John Malkovich’s Future in the MCU Brings a Wave of Hope

John Malkovich at the 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival [Photo Petr Novák]

John Malkovich at the 44th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Despite not being able to play the Vulture in Sony’s Spider-Man sequel, nothing will stop John Malkovich from grabbing onto the opportunity posed by Marvel to star in one of their most iconic IPs. With Fantastic Four ushering in a new era, Marvel’s first family will also launch yet another Academy Award-nominated star into the MCU.

Malkovich’s arrival in an undisclosed role brings with it the promise of a great storyline, an eccentric new direction for the Marvel universe, and a shift in the generic direction of the MCU toward a better future.

The updated Fantastic Four line-up now comprises Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards/Mister Fantastic, Vanessa Kirby as Sue Storm/Invisible Woman, Joseph Quinn as Johnny Storm/Human Torch, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Ben Grimm/Thing, and Julia Garner as the Silver Surfer. Paul Walter Hauser and John Malkovich’s roles have not been disclosed yet.

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