'Spider-Man 4’ Claims Its First Casualty?

Is the story for "Spider-Man 4” already planned? With the well-received appearance of Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) in "Spider-Man 3," comic purists once again bemoaned what they felt was missed opportunity, railing against the filmmakers for replacing Spidey's first real love with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). But never fear comic fans, the Stacy family will have a much bigger role to play in future installments, veteran actor James Cromwell told MTV News. Asked if his character, Captain George Stacy, meets the same grisly end in "Spider-Man 3” that he does in the comics, Cromwell playfully replied, "They haven't shot that [scene] yet. That's the next one."

Is Cromwell to be believed? In "The Amazing Spider-Man" #90, Captain Stacy is crushed and killed by falling debris during a fight between Spider-Man and Doc Ock. While Captain Stacy's death might not have the same resonance in the films as it does in the comics, it does make some sense from a story perspective. His end could serve to both re-introduce Gwen into Spider-Man's life and provide yet another turning point in Peter's ultimate journey — galvanizing the superhero with a failure of real consequence.

What are your thoughts on this possible direction for "Spider-Man 4?" Make your voice heard in our comments below.