Here's some pretty stunning and potentially frustrating news. Nikki Finke and former Variety’s chief newshound Mike Fleming, have just found out a massive story. Appears that the upcoming Spiderman 4 movie directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and John Malkovich (as the Vulture) is dead, and not just Spidey 4, but Rami's and the rest of the casts involvement!!! Appears that studio execs want to move into a new direction with the Spiderman franchise and are looking to reboot the whole series sending Peter Parker back to highschool.
Here's some choice quotes from the recent studio press release:
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.
And lastly from Raimi himself...
“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.
So yeah, there you have it. Frankly I am floored. While I do understand Sony Pictures position on things, the best days of Spidey are when he's single and younger (even Marvel just totally did away with 30 years of continuity in their comics by making Peter single and young again), I'm scared of the whole "reboot" tag. I mean if I have to sit through another hour long origin story about how Peter's nerd is picked on then gets bit by a radioactive spider, I just may cry. And if I have to sit through another 3 movies where the main badguy is the Green Goblin, then well, I may have to stay away from the new movies. However, there is just such a wealth of material Sony can draw from that would be perfect for the movie (the Sinister Six, Kraven's Last Hunt, Rhino, the death of Gwen Stacy) that a fresh look at things may just be what the movie franchise needed. Also, if Sony does what Universal Pictures did wth their The Incredible Hulk reboot where the events took place after Bruce Banner became the Hulk and there were brief flashes on how he became the monster, then it would be perfect.
I would just like to say, thanks for the memories Sam Raimi. The film, the universe you crafted showed that comicbook movies could be done right, done interestingly, and be profitable, foreberring the wealth fo comicbook movies we have now. It's all because of you and your Spiderman vision. Comic fans everywhere thank you for that, thank Maguire and Dunst for that, and I can't wait to see what projects you do next.