Spider-Man 4, what's going on?
Recently we heard that Spider-Man 4 set and premiere prizes were being auctioned for charity, and from Sony themselves, so you would be forgiven for believing that Spider-Man 4 was actually going ahead. Actually, let's be real here, they cannot auction that kind of thing for charity without the production going ahead.
So Spider-Man 4 is on, but who's on board? Well it seems a complete mixed bag of rumour and conjecture so far, and even Sam Raimi's latest words just the other day just seem to confuse even more.
Sam Raimi and Bryce Dallas Howard were commented over at MTV through Filmonic and from what they say you'd think that there were still doubts over whether the fourth film would happen. Here's what Bryce Dallas Howard said:
"You know, honestly, I would love to be apart of any continuation of the franchise. But, I also really understand that there's so many different story lines that the fans are really excited to see, and the studio, and the producers, and the filmmakers really need to appease everyone...Whether or not Gwen Stacy comes back, I mean, I wish it was up to me, but it's not. But yes, if they'd call me, I'd be there in a heart beat."
Meanwhile Sam Raimi is keeping things close to his chest, but far from being tired of talking about it he's rather jovial about it all:
"Oh, I love 'Spider-Man,' definitely. I would love to play a part in 'Spider-Man 4," he said chuckling. The part of director? Writer? Something else? "No, I mean play the part of 'Spider-Man 4.' Are you kidding me? I'll wear the suit,"
So although he's joking about it, who really knows. We do know he's producing, and we know that together with the other producers they were looking for a writer, a writer they had found in James Vanderbilt. However is he going to get on board as anything but a producer?
"I don't know if I'll just be a producer on it but if I can work with the writer in such a way so that directing would be right for me, I don't know."
Even before this he knew that there was going to be many more Spider-Man films, and he says that he'd still like the franchise to continue without him, and this was before he knew he was going to produce:
"Sony Pictures is going to be making many more 'Spider-Man' pictures...I just don't know what [my] future holds yet...If I can't find the right story that would work for me and that I could tell really well, I would like someone else to tell that story"
"Everybody has every intention of making a fourth, a fifth and a sixth and on and on."...There would be "as many as we can make good stories for", he pledged.
So Marvel, Sony and Raimi are sure it's happening, we should have a writer on board who may well have finished the script, the question is what now? Villains? Stars?
On the question of villains, the rumours were rife but nothing's concrete. Black Cat, Lizard and Carnage have all been mentioned after having their characters set-up in some way in the previous film. However there's nothing concrete just yet.
Stars then? Well no luck on that front either, and it's worse than knowing if there's a director signed on or not. At first Tobey Maguire was suggesting he was going:
"This might be a good place to stop - I am not tied contractually to any more Spider-Man movies. I am not completely closed to the idea of another one if it made sense but I would say the odds were in favor of this being the last one."
Then it seemed like he might be up for returning when other stars on the film suggested he would return if asked.
"Audiences aren't stupid. It'd be a big flop without me, Tobey or Sam,"
Ouch, nothing like arrogance there, and especially when your career has been going so well since!
Yet after all the speculation and rumour there are few facts. Sony and Marvel are going ahead with it, they really are auctioning off some huge prizes associated with the production, Raimi is producing, and they had a writer on board at the time of the Writers strike.
Other than that it's speculation. We still don't know if the stars are returning and what villains will be in the film. I wonder if the script is going to be drastically rewritten now we've seen The Dark Knight (Filmstalker review) take the whole superhero genre into darker and more realistic times?