Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire out as ‘Spider-Man 4’ falls into tangled web

Jan. 11, 2010 | 11:39 p.m.

Will the next “Spider-Man” film be based on the Marvel Comics series “Ultimate Spider-Man,” by Brian Michael Bendis, which has an especially young Peter Parker and lots of classroom angst? Sounds like it in this latest report from John Horn on Company Town, our sister blog.

Spider-Man 3 aerial


A few days after Sony Pictures said it was postponing production on “Spider-Man 4” because of creative concerns, the studio on Monday said it was sending the entire franchise in for a major overhaul without star Tobey Maguire or director Sam Raimi involved.

Sony said the next Peter Parker film will also be released a year later than originally scheduled, with the fourth installment in its blockbuster franchise (worldwide gross to date: nearly $2.5 billion) now set to premiere in the summer of 2012.

In a back story twist reminiscent of the evolution of “Superman” into “Smallville,” the studio said in a statement that the new web-slinger film will focus “on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.” The movie is being written by James Vanderbilt, whose credits include “Zodiac” and “The Rundown.” The new film, which does not yet have an announced star or director, will be produced by “Spider-Man” veterans Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad of Marvel Studios.

“This is a bittersweet moment for us because while it is hard to imagine Spider-Man in anyone else’s hands, I know that this was a day that was inevitable,” Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, said in a statement.

“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me,” Raimi said in a statement. “While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job.”

Added Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment: “We’re very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter’s roots.”

The last “Spider-Man” movie was released in May 2007. It’s not the only setback for the arachnid crime-fighter. A “Spider-Man” Broadway musical (in which Sony is an investor) has been delayed by creative and financial problems, and with a budget in excess of $50 million is the most expensive musical in theater history.

–John Horn


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Alan Cumming talks about the fate of the Spider-Man musical

Spider-Man musical hanging by a thin web?

Broadway-bound Bono: “I’m more of a Green Goblin”

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Pulitzer-winning playwright at work on fourth Spidey film?


6 Responses to Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire out as ‘Spider-Man 4’ falls into tangled web

  1. Max says:

    I kind of wanted closure on the story they already created. Or just redemption for Spiderman 3. But eh, I'll just accept the final scene in Spiderman 3 as acceptable closure. It was a good scene.
    I just hope they know what they are doing for the next one.

  2. Vince says:

    And the dumbing down of Hollywood to market only to 10-year-olds continues. How else can one explain a "reboot" of a movie series not even 10 years old itself?

  3. A reboot is a great idea if they can tie it in with the other movies. Is it too late to get whoever they got to play Spider-Man to cameo in Avengers? Now is definitely the time to start thinking about the X-Men reboot too. Casting Time!!
    Also: Dr. House as Dr. Strange!!

  4. Geoff Boucher says:

    Actually Spidey cannot appear in the Avengers movie because Sony has the license for the webslinger and the Avengers would be a Marvel Studios/Paramount release. X-Men is Fox so no crossovers there either.
    Essentially, Marvel's Hollywood branch can't use the biggest stars in the comics — Spider-Man, the X-Men or the Fantastic Four — as long as those properties are in use by the major studios that locked them in before Marvel Studios was created.

  5. Jeff says:

    Weird/sad timing- Elephant Larry (the sketch comedy group that made the CollegeHumor short "Minesweeper: The Movie") just shot a fake Behind The Scenes featurette for Spider-Man 4 as part of their faux entertainment show, The Wow.

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