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Bomb Dropped: Sony Kills ‘Spider-Man 4’ Off, Plans To Reboot Franchise
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Spider-Man

Well now, this is one thing that no one saw coming.

Let’s recap: last week, we discovered that Sony was halting production on Spider-Man 4 due to creative differences between studio executives and director Sam Raimi. This was taken as a very bad sign, but star Tobey Maguire assured all that this was only “part of the process” and the movie was still going to happen.

Now, out of nowhere, Deadline Hollywood is reporting exclusively that Sony has actually decided to completely CANCEL Spider-Man 4, and reboot the entire franchise. This means that Raimi, Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, J.K. Simmons, Bruce Campbell, and everyone else involved in the previous movies are no longer involved in any way. This also means that Sony will use a script from James Vanderbilt, who was hired to begin working on drafts for fifth and sixth Spider-Man, to start over with a brand new cast, crew, and look.

Click over to the other side to read the full press release from Sony!

If you’ll recall, Vanderbilt wrote a draft for Spidey 4, but Raimi went out to multiple different writers to rewrite from there. It appears that Sony preferred Vanderbilt’s vision, but didn’t like where Raimi was going. With rumors of the two disputing sides wanting different villains, you can see where this has gone nutty.

Here’s what Sony released:

Culver City, CA (January 11, 2010) — 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.

The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will have a new cast and filmmaking team. Spider-Man 4 was to have been released in 2011, but had not yet gone into production.

“A decade ago we set out on this journey with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire and together we made three Spider-Man films that set a new bar for the genre. When we began, no one ever imagined that we would make history at the box-office and now we have a rare opportunity to make history once again with this franchise. Peter Parker as an ordinary young adult grappling with extraordinary powers has always been the foundation that has made this character so timeless and compelling for generations of fans. We’re very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter’s roots and we look forward to working once again with Marvel Studios, Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin on this new beginning,” said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. 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,” said Sam Raimi.

“We have had a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration and friendship with Sam and Tobey and they have given us their best for the better part of the last decade.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,” said Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, who has served as the studio’s chief production executive since the beginning of the franchise. “Now everything begins anew, and that’s got us all tremendously excited about what comes next. Under the continuing supervision of Avi and Laura, we have a clear vision for the future of Spider-Man and can’t wait to share this exciting new direction with audiences in 2012.”

“Spider-Man will always be an important franchise for Sony Pictures and a fresh start like this is a responsibility that we all take very seriously,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures. “We have always believed that story comes first and story guides the direction of these films and as we move onto the next chapter, we will stay true to that principle and will do so with the highest respect for the source material and the fans and moviegoers who deserve nothing but the best when it comes to bringing these stories and characters to life on the big screen.”

The studio will have more news about Spider-Man in 2012 in the coming weeks as it prepares for production of the film.

While this is shocking news, the question is: is this the best thing to do? We all loved the first two movies, but the third was hated. Had Raimi simply lost control of his creative hold on the characters? Does a reboot this soon make sense and will it translate into an even better Spider-Man adventure? Madness, folks. Cinematic madness!

This is, however, good news for fans of World of Warcraft. While it is not confirmed, I would say that there’s a good chance that that will be Raimi’s next project.

15 Comments »

  1. wow….were now rebooting movies not even a decade old….moronic. i hope it fails epically

    Comment by Jon — January 11, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  2. Reboot the movies that deserve it. Of course, a Spider-Man 4 might have turned out as badly (if not worse) than 3.

    Does Spider-Man have a shelf-life of 3 movies before people can’t figure out where to go with him next?

    Comment by Sean — January 11, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  3. /picardfacepalm x infinity

    Comment by Slipstream — January 11, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

  4. This is pathetic.
    Just really sad.

    Comment by Jerry — January 11, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

  5. Sad that Raimi will never get a chance to redeem himself. He ‘s got the potential to have really made the fourth one great and erase the 3rd movie from our memory. And I agree with Jon. You can’t reboot a movie that just came out less than a decade ago. I mean if you want to consider the Punisher sequel/reboot a success, sure go ahead then.

    Comment by Schindler — January 11, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

  6. In four were facing vulturets in 3-d, yes a lady vulture sqaud. Bonus no Dunst as MJ!maybe now we can get the Lizard or Mysterio…but chances are well get the beetle or leap frog.

    Comment by korollocke — January 11, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

  7. I was tired of this franchise, but I wanted it to just go away for a while, not be rebooted. Look what happened with The Hulk. They rebooted so soon and now no one can really get on board with the franchise.

    I wonder who they’ll get to be Peter Parker/Spider-Man. If it’s someone established, then maybe it’d have a chance; I feel like any newcomer will get shot down like Brandon Routh did.

    ANd please, please please no John Malkevich in the next movie. And NOOOOOO Jake Gyllenhaal.

    Comment by Empress Eve — January 11, 2010 @ 8:27 pm

  8. Whatever happens, they need to find a way to get JK Simmons back as JJ Jameson. I can’t see anyone else in that role.

    Beyond that, I’ll reserve judgment until I hear who the new director is, who the new cast is and what not. It could be worthwhile to bring some new blood into the series.

    Comment by Henchman21 — January 11, 2010 @ 11:30 pm

  9. HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY :D

    Raimi had 2 chances to redeem himself and failed. 3 strikes and your out of there. Maybe now we’ll get the Spidey Vs Venom movie we expected to see and not whatever the hell that was in Spidey 3.

    I’m wondering how long Sony have the franchise for though.
    I would have liked to have seen the Marvel studios do this one themselves rather than loan it out to others. Spiderman is like the figurehead of the Marvel company.

    Comment by Ttandc — January 12, 2010 @ 9:22 am

  10. I love love love the genre – looked forward to the first spidey movie – then had to work hard to stay awake. I never bought Tobey McGuire as spidey, Dunst was boring and everything always felt forced. I know it made tons of money – but yech it was just bad.

    Comment by SpideyNOT — January 12, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  11. I am pretty worn out on Spider-Man. His mythology is so ingrained in my brain at this point that I don’t think I could get excited about a reboot. Hopefully Raimi will devote more attention to that which he is best at. Drag Me To Hell sort of films.

    Comment by Joseph — January 12, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  12. @slipstream +1 x infinity

    Comment by Tom Cheredar — January 12, 2010 @ 12:46 pm

  13. All i can say is …. i can never get tired of Spiderman. Unless its part 3 or something like it. The first 2 films were awesome (just my opinion). I’ll wait til i hear more about the reboot before i pass judgment.
    @ Henchman21: i agree JK Simmons owns that role.
    @ Empress Eve: I feel Routh did well and that some of the other cast members + story plot made Superman Returns seem failish.
    @ Tom Cheredar & Slipstream: /picardfacepalm +1 x infinity squared. LoL

    Comment by J — January 12, 2010 @ 6:50 pm

  14. The third film in every franchise is hated. Star Trek 3. Hated (not by me, but by many). But that franchise rebounded with the fourth. It seems like it would have been a much safer bet by the studio if they just continued the existing machine.

    Comment by Will — January 14, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

  15. The “reboot” seems to be a cheap way to make bucks off telling the same old story again and again with cheaper actors. How many “origins of blah” movies do we have to get and how few “hero vs great bad guy we’ve all been waiting for” do we have to wait for? The studios are failing these franchises.

    Comment by tumulus — June 16, 2010 @ 3:33 am

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