Sony Pictures and director Sam Raimi have parted ways after the studio pulled the plug today on Spider-Man 4 and ordered up a reboot of the franchise set for release in 2012. The film was to be Raimi’s shot at redemption after losing a creative battle with Sony during the production of Spider-Man 3.
The big news broke earlier today at Deadline Hollywood just a week after Sony delayed production due to Raimi and the studio not seeing eye to eye on which and how many villains to use. Raimi wanted less, Sony more, and finally Raimi said he could not get the film done in time for 2011 due to the creative differences holding up production.
Rather than replace Raimi, Sony and Columbia have chosen instead to reboot the franchise and send Peter Parker back to high school. The old cast of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are out and newcomers will be asked to fill some pretty big and iconic shoes.
With the next Spider-Man film now moved back a year, Sony will have the necessary time to possibly shoot it in 3D and take advantage of the post-Avatar marketplace in which the new “it” technology can significantly boost box office profits.
The Spider-Man reboot will be based on a completed script by Jamie Vanderbilt (The Rundown, Zodiac) who back in August was reported to be working on multiple Spider-Man screenplays. Whether this multi-film arc he was working on will be used in the reboot film remains to be seen.
By cutting ties with Spider-Man 4, Raimi has freed up his schedule to hopefully move full steam ahead on his World of Warcraft project.
Sony promises more Spider-Man reboot news in the coming weeks as the hunt for a director and cast ramps up.