James Vanderbilt’s draft of Spider-Man 4 has seen two subsequent rewrites into the story that will begin production early next year. He’s the last person you would expect Sony to give the keys to the franchise’s future.
Per Variety, whatever story Vanderbilt concocted for Spider-Man 4 that did not sit well with director Sam Raimi is being turned into a two-film arc for Spider-Man 5 and 6. The aggressive move is designed to shorten the time between Spider-Man films which has increased with each successive sequel thus far.
Vanderbilt’s involvement casts a shadow of doubt on the current Spider-Man cast and creative team. Variety claims Spider-Man 5 and 6 is a reboot of sorts, a description that does not jive well with Raimi not engaging Vanderbilt’s original idea. Neither Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are contracted beyond the fourth film.
Either as a reboot or a continuation with an all-new cast and director, a major change to Spider-Man’s dynamic would come across as odd considering Sony’s accelerated development schedule. Considering Sam Raimi recently signed on to direct World of Warcraft after Spider-Man 4, his future with the webslinger appears doubtful at best.