In what comes as surprising, but not totally unexpected news Deadline Hollywood has confirmed that Sony has scrapped Spider-Man 4. For months the film has been plagued by script problems, production delays and a May 2011 release date which was starting to look increasingly unrealistic. Sources report that director Sam Raimi told Sony Pictures that he could not “go forward creatively” with such a rushed production schedule. With Raimi’s departure Sony decided that they would rather scrap Spider-Man 4, replace Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst and start fresh.
So how does Sony plan to revive the franchise? By putting Peter Parker in high school naturally. That’s how you make things young and fresh, right? From the sounds of the press release Sony’s new Spider-Man film can be likened to Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man line in which the hero was literally a 15 year old high school kid. No director or actors are currently attached. Though Anton Yelchin and Michael Cera (Jesus Christ, WHY!?) have already been mentioned as potential replacements. The Spider-Man reboot is set for a 2012 release date.
This is probably a good thing for both the Spider-Man franchise and Sam Raimi. Spider-Man 3 was awful; the studio interfered too much and Raimi lost creative control, the result was a bloated, mess of a movie. Spider-Man 4 seemed to be heading in the same direction: too many villains (Black Cat, The Vulture and The Vulturess(!?) too much going on and too many story threads needing resolution. A fresh start with a younger Peter Parker (Maguire will be 36 in June) will be a good thing. Plus now Raimi is free to work on other projects like his new Evil Dead movie… and the World of Warcraft film. On second thought, maybe Sony should reconsider Raimi and spare us all what is sure to be an awful, awful Warcraft film.