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Spider-Man 4 Ditched; Readying Reboot for 2012

11 Jan 2010

UPDATE: Reportedly, director Marc Webb is on the top of the list of filmmakers being considered by Sony to take over the Spider-Man franchise, their interest in him directly a result of (500) Days of Summer. Does this mean (500) star Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also being considered as a Peter Parker? That would’ve been a great choice Manic or Brick-era, but he’s 28 now. I know Hollywood has the tendency to cast old people as young people anyway. Remember Carla Gugino‘s terrible makeup in Watchmen? Well, I do, so fuck you!

Wow. In a stunning newsflash from Deadline.com’s newly-hired Mike Fleming, the comic movie Spider-Man 4 — which just last week was rumoured to have cast John Malkovich as the wretched but frightening Vulture — is being scrapped by Sony after director Sam Raimi‘s exit over creative and scheduling concerns.

This means no more Raimi, no more Tobey Maguire, no more Kirsten Dunst (no more wet t-shirt scene). In the film’s place, the studio plans to reboot the series as a new franchise, complete with new cast and director.

According to Fleming’s sources, Raimi felt he could not maintain creative integrity (there were constant rumours about script re-writes and problems) and meet the Summer 2011 deadline. The studio will now aim for a Summer 2012 release of the rebooted series’ first, scripted by Jamie Vanderbilt (Zodiac), whom had written an earlier version of 4 and was hired to pen the planned sequels of 5 and 6.

The reboot will position Peter Parker in a grittier, more contemporary setting. Sony’s press release provides this little tidbit:

Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012. Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

Anyway, I’m stoked. After the disaster that was Spider-Man 3 (I cite Emo Musical, which almost single-handedly had me leave the theater for the first time in my life), any empathy for the characters fell flat, the characters themselves becoming flat, caricaturized versions of their previous selves. Just look at this:

So, this is a great opportunity to make a comic film that’s not only reinvigorating, but a visit of themes more profound and relevant to our times, just as The Dark Knight did with security and vigilantism. The power/responsibility is definitely still a ripe theme for mining. The high-school angle could potentially be a great way in as well; recent films like The Wackness or Brick have really made use of the setting to explore teenage loneliness and disillusion.

Or maybe we’re looking for something more epic.

But god forbid if we received some Twilight-esque bullshit.

Hollywood Insider named directors as diverse as Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer), Michael Bay (Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, Armageddon), and Gary Ross (Seabiscut) as potential names to take over the series. However, it’s best to treat this as simply speculation. I, for one, hope Bay sticks to his Megan Fox debate and Transformers–they’re entertaining enough and I would hate to see Spider-Man ruined because of him. Webb is an interesting name; I liked 500 Days and he definitely has a sense of pacing and story, but whether he can helm a comic action film is an unanswered question.

Let’s just get Christopher Nolan. Think big, guys. The Dark Spider, anybody?

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 Jan 2010 7:22 PM

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