Sony Pulls The Plug On ‘Spiderman 4′: Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire Exit For Good, Reboot Planned For 2012
Sony has decided to put the brakes on Spider-Man 4, which was supposed to start shooting early this year. The news comes after the studio had already spent millions on pre-production special effects and after several writers labored through multiple drafts of the screenplay. Since the decision was made, both Sam Rami and lead actor Tobey Maquire have announced that they will be leaving the project and the franchise for good. The decision to pull the plug was mutual and, reportedly, based on both parties unhappiness with the script after contributions from three different screenwriters including James Vanderbilt, Gary Ross and David Lindsay-Abaire.
The disagreements didn’t stop with there. Raimi also differed with Sony over which villains should be included in the fourth installment and over the May 6, 2011 release date, which Raimi wanted extended to 2012. When Sony refused to budge on the schedule, Raimi made the decision to exit the franchise. The director released a statement Monday that said:
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.
Tobey Maguire also issued a statement Monday, that echoed Raimi’s sentiments:
I am so proud of what we accomplished with the Spider-Man franchise over the last decade. Beyond the films themselves, I have formed some deep and lasting friendships. I am excited to see the next chapter unfold in this incredible story.
Sony has announced plans to launch a reboot of the billion dollar franchise in 2012. This probably works out the best for all involved. If Raimi had decided to continue and work around the script issues, it most likely would have been a repeat of what ailed the overstuffed third installment, which showed major signs of a franchise on the decline. In any case, the reboot couldn’t turn out any worse than the deadly serious, clunker that was Superman Returns. Talk about how not to reboot a franchise!