The Spider-Man franchise might just be heading down the road for a divorce from Sam Raimi and all his players, if I'm interpreting Variety and its sources right. Sony has "quietly" hired screenwriter James Vanderbilt to pen the fifth and sixth installments of the web-slinger franchise. Nothing wrong with that at all, of course. Vanderbilt has good work to his name, and a superhero franchise could do a lot worse than hiring the Zodiac screenwriter. However, Raimi didn't care for Vanderbilt's take and replaced him with David Lindsay-Abaire. He's currently having Gary Ross rewrite that script. However, Sony / Columbia and Marvel Studios loved Vanderbilt's ideas, in part because they form a big, interconnected storyline. (I can see Marvel all over that, can't you?) In fact, that was the original plan for Spidey films 4 and 5 which were to be shot back to back, but the idea was scrapped.

But here's where things could get really ugly. Raimi, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst are reportedly not signed to installments 5 and 6, and with Raimi boarding World of Warcraft, the studio is even more uncertain that he'll return. So Vanderbilt's scripts are being eyed not as sequels but as a blueprint for a franchise "reboot." Obviously, there's no further details on what that would mean beyond a new cast and crew.

But Sony is that anxious for more Spider-Man, and they feel the franchise is moving too slowly. Now, I'm sure a lot of fans feel the same way, but at what cost do we want more Spider-Man? I'm cool with them bringing another director on board, as it could breathe some fresh life into the series, but new actors? If Spidey was a character that had numerous incarnations, that'd be one thing, but he's only ever been Peter Parker, and Parker and Maguire are one and the same in my mind. This is going to be one web that'll be very interesting (and possibly very disappointing) to see Sony weave ...
categories Movies, Cinematical