In a meeting this afternoon on the Sony Pictures lot, executives met with director Sam Raimi to discuss indefinite delays on Spider-Man 4 and the feasibility of meeting a Summer 2011 release date. Raimi was reportedly unhappy with the recent draft and disputes over which villain(s) to include in the sequel halted pre-production just before the holidays.
According to former Variety writer Mike Fleming, in his brand new position at Deadline.com, Raimi told Sony, “I can’t make your date. I can’t go forward creatively.” He’s now off the project entirely. As is Tobey Maguire, who was notified in a phone call with Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal.
Sony decided they did not want to replace Raimi and will instead reboot the franchise with a new director and cast. James Vanderbilt, who wrote an early draft for Raimi, was already working on a fifth and sixth installment. His reboot script will become the focus of the comic book character’s new direction.
The restart was almost immediately confirmed by Sony and Raimi in joint statements Monday afternoon. The official studio Twitter profile, SonyPictures, posted this just minutes after the news broke: “Spider-Man: Summer 2012: Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012.”<
Wow, they’re already targeting 2012 and a total redo. I guess someone needs to tell John Malkovich, who just recently said he’s waiting to hear back about playing the Vulture. No winged man-bird it seems, but does this mean a proper look at Venom? Robert Pattinson as Peter Parker? James Cameron directs Spider-Man?
The departure leaves Raimi open to focus on Warner Bros’ Warcraft movie or switch gears to his previously announced adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s “The Given Day.” He may even have the option of returning to Paramount’s reboot of the Jack Ryan character with so-hot-right-now Chris Pine.
Maguire was rumored for the lead in MGM’s two Hobbit movies, and now his schedule has suddenly cleared up.
Marvel’s Thor already took over Spider-Man 4′s release date and is now set for theaters May 6, 2011. Once Thor moved, Disney positioned Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at May 20.