The comic book movie niche in Hollywood is a bit of an incestuous business, with actors and directors being recycled from franchise to franchise or bouncing back and forth between the Marvel and DC universes. That trend almost continued with actress , whom directors apparently think is the go-to girl for any superheroine with "cat" in the name.
Director recently confirmed to Vulture that the actress was his number one choice for the role of Felicia Hardy/Black Cat as a potential foil/love interest for Spider-Man. Obviously, that didn't happen, with Raimi amicably walking away from the Spider-Man 4 project and Hathaway going on to portray Selina Kyle/Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. Said the always-effusive Raimi:
I loved what she was doing with the auditions for Spider-Man 4...I didn't get to see Batman yet, because I've been working nonstop on Oz, but I hear she's great in it.
What else was a sliding doors moment for Raimi? How about the upcoming Warcraft movie? Raimi was initially set to direct the ambitious project, but had to walk away from it due to creative differences with Blizzard:
First, they asked me if I wanted to make it, and I said, "Yes, I love World of Warcraft, and I think it would make a great picture." So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at Blizzard, and it didn't quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert, so we pitched it to Legendary and they accepted it, and then we pitched it to Blizzard, and they had reservations, but they accepted it. Then Robert wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn't know that. And they had never quite approved the original story we pitched them. Those reservations were their way of saying, "We don't approve this story, and we want to go a different way," so after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over.
A Warcraft movie is still on the way, with director attached to helm the action. And, of course, we all know that The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises went on to make massive bank at the box office. Still, it's interesting to speculate on what might have been and where the Spider-Man storyline might have gone had Raimi been given more time with the fourth installment in his franchise.