Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4: Bruce Campbell as Mysterio theory


Spider-Man 4 directed by Sam Raimi never came to fruition; however, a You Tuber has a theory on how Bruce Campbell could have been Mysterio and it makes sense!

“Would I be cast as a major villain? Only minor cameos.” – Bruce Campbell

Only 9 Years Ago

Spider-Man 4 directed by Sam Raimi would have been glorious. But alas, that is a dream that will never happen. Sadder yet is thinking about what possible role his good friend and partner in crime, Bruce Campbell would have had.

In 2009, fans of the franchise were crossing their fingers and hoping for more than a cameo. Raimi and then screenwriter, Gary Ross were hard at work trying to figure out major plot points including what villain they might like to bring into the fourth installment.

This was right around the time that one name kept coming to the forefront. Quentin Beck a.k.a. Mysterio. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the comic book series, Beck is a stuntman and special FX master who has delusions of grandeur that he can be an actor.

When that career aspiration doesn’t work out for him, he ends up choosing to use his powers for evil thus becoming one of Spider-Man’s biggest foes. The theatricality of Beck seems tailor made for Campbell’s abilities to play larger than life characters.

At the time, it seemed that Sam Raimi might have had an idea of how he wanted to use Bruce. According to an interview with MTV’s Eric Ditzian, the director had this to say:

"“I promised him we would write something because I really love putting him in the pictures. I promised him a good, meaty role.”"

Later on, in an interview with Access Hollywood, Bruce Campbell confirmed that he had a major part but he didn’t know “anything about his character.”


Segue to the present day when just recently it was confirmed that Jake Gyllenhaal was in talks to be Mysterio in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far from Home. As of yet, the actor hasn’t committed to the role.

When the news broke that he was being considered for one of Spidey’s best villains, fans were again disappointed that Bruce Campbell wasn’t even in the running. Last year on Bruce’s book tour he was asked about the character yet again to which he retorted:

“So, you read, Jack! I never got a phone call from Sam Raimi saying, ‘Uh, you’re gonna be Mysterio.’”

Recently, with the overwhelming success of Marvel’s Spider-Man PS4 game, the topic of Campbell as Mysterio has resurfaced, this time in a video from Comic Books vs the World. They take a look at clues in all of Raimi’s Spider-Man movies to deduce that Bruce was actually set up to step into Mysterio’s shoes in the fourth installment.

The funny thing is on my podcast on the Nerdrotic Channel, my co-hosts Gary Buechler, Dennis Bithoulkas and I were discussing this very topic! We also came to the same conclusion as Comic Books vs the World.

The Theory That Bruce Was Mysterio All Along

As I mentioned above, Quentin Beck is an actor albeit not a good one but he does know something about disguises. That being said, Campbell has appeared in all three Spider-Man movies in different roles.

Besides the fact that Raimi and he are life-long chums and the director has gone on record stating that he really “loves putting him in the pictures,” could that decision have been conscious with an idea of perhaps sliding the actor into the role at a future date? Maybe but not likely. Although, Sam is a huge fan of the comics.

Comic Books vs the World does bring up a salient point. How is it that Mysterio would be stalking Peter Parker? Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man always wore his mask. However, as the You Tuber points out, in Campbell’s first appearance as the ring announcer at the wrestling event, he is the one that christens Spidey with his name.

Maybe he also had access to the sign-up sheets at the arena so he could find out Peter’s information. Also, the fact that Parker was wearing the rudimentary beginnings of his suit with the emblem. Another way he could have identified Peter is the fact that Spider-Man’s picture is always appearing all over the Daily Bugle under Parker’s byline. That could have tipped Beck off.

Go On…

They also go on to say that perhaps the actor denied being thought of as Mysterio because he wasn’t officially offered the part and nothing was “concrete at the time.” Also, a valid point to consider because truth be told the concept artwork from storyboard creator Jeffrey Henderson looks remarkably like Bruce.

Spider-Man 4 Bruce Campbell as Mysterio concept artwork by Jeffrey Henderson

If this would have happened, in a perfect world if Sam Raimi would have gotten to make Spider-Man 4 every villain has to have a raison d’être for obsessing over the hero. In the case of Beck, why would he be after Peter? What would his motive be?

Comic Books takes a look back at the wrestling event again. This could be the starting point for possible conflict. Remember when Peter fought Randy Savage and won? He was supposed to pick up a cool $3,000 for his efforts.

Well, since he dispatched “Macho Man” in less than the allotted time (in order to win the money, it had to be a 3-minute bout) the owner of the arena only gave him $100. Maybe the arena was just a front to take people’s money and have the challengers of Savage take dives.

Maybe the business isn’t booming and Beck gets laid off. Knowing the type of personality that he is and the fact that Parker could have saved his job, this could cause resentment on Beck’s part. Enough for him to vow revenge and go after Spider-Man as Mysterio.

Now, check out the video to see if you agree with the theory that Campbell was being set up to become Quentin Beck:

It would be nice to welcome Sam Raimi back into the Marvel fold again. Although now it would be too late for Bruce to play Mysterio and in recent interviews he has stated that he has no interest in joining superhero franchises.

And there you have it.

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