New Images Reveal John Malkovich’s Vulture Wings From Spider-Man 4

Before Michael Keaton brought the Vulture to life in Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017, the character had a few earlier brushes with live-action glory. In late 2009, John Malkovich was reportedly cast as Adrian Toomes in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4. Unfortunately, the film’s cancellation delayed the character’s theatrical debut by almost a full decade. And while storyboards featuring the Vulture have surfaced in the years since, longtime Marvel and DC writer/artist Ken Penders has offered something much more exciting.

Unless you count the original Spider-Man’s video game tie-in, Tobey Maguire’s webhead never tangled with the Vulture onscreen. But thanks to Penders, we have a better idea of what Malkovich’s take on the classic supervillain would have looked like. According to Penders, he got an early look at the character’s wings while visiting some friends in the sequel’s costume department. As luck would have it, he even snapped a few pictures with his cell phone that day. You can check out one of these shots below.

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Sony formally announced Spider-Man 4’s cancellation in early 2010. But although filming never started, Penders’ photos confirm that the sequel made quite a bit of headway during the pre-production stage. In fact, some of his other images show Malkovich’s body mold in the background. Penders also shared that the wings’ movements would have been remote-controlled, indicating that the filmmakers were going the practical-effects route (similar to Doc Ock’s tentacles in Spider-Man 2).

Malkovich wasn’t the first actor in line to play the Vulture in the original Spider-Man trilogy. Raimi and the producers also met with Ben Kingsley about taking on the part in Spider-Man 3, whose early drafts had Toomes joining forces with Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman. But once they decided to use Venom instead, the writers cut Vulture from the script.

More recently, Keaton reprised his Homecoming role in Morbius’ mid-credits scenes earlier this year. But given the scenes’ frosty reception (along with the film’s dismal financial performance), the character’s big-screen future remains unclear.

What do you think of this design for Vulture’s wings in Spider-Man 4? Let us know in the comment section below!

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