Now that Jake Gyllenhaal has officially signed to star in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, that basically means we can take his name off the table with regards to all future comic properties (at least until after Persia comes out, because that may turn into a franchise if the first makes loads of duckets). While we still have no idea whether Tobey Maguire will return to play Spidey in a Spider-Man 4, we do know that Sony is prepping something. They just re-upped their deal for a fourth installment (fact) and they may be looking to get more bang for their buck by shooting two sequels at the same time with a story arc that stretches across both films. However, it all comes down to negotiations -- and if parties (be them studios, actors, writers or directors) can't decide on a fair enough deal, things could potentially fall apart rather quickly and go in a completely different direction.
Here's the question: Has enough time passed for Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst? Do they miss the roles? The characters? How much would it take to get them back? And do we want them back? I think it's pretty clear we all still want Spider-Man in our big-screen lives, even though the third film was what it was. But are Maguire and Dunst still the right actors for the job? Or would some new blood do an old franchise some good?
For awhile, lots of people were looking at Jake Gyllenhaal to replace Maguire if a decision like that had to be made. With Jake G. out of the picture, who else could you see filling Maguire's Spidey tights?