Spider-Man sequels gains writer
Spider-Man 5 and 6 are set to happen, even before Sam Raimi has started the fourth film as today a writer has been announced for the films and we're given a strong indication that the franchise is going to continue whoever is set to direct them.
The writer is none other than the writer of Basic, Zodiac, The Losers, and Spider-Man 4, James Vanderbilt, and that's another strong indication that the studios are set to push forward with high-end Spider-Man films.
However, if we consider that the real driving force of how well Spider-Man has performed in the box office is Sam Raimi, and that when he relaxed his control over the film and allowed the producers and studio to have their say in the third film, or rather he was pushed to allow them to have their way, and they introduced more bad guys to the film, Spider-Man 3 really did lose his way and become a lot more diluted.
Indeed the audience and Raimi himself agree that this film wasn't up to Spider-Man's normal standards and that Spider-Man 3 was heavily watered down by having too many villains and not enough concentration on character and story. That's something that Sam Raimi has said he intends to fix with the fourth film.
Then the Variety article that announces James Vanderbilt has signed up to the next two films after this one tells us that Raimi hasn't accepted all of his ideas for the fourth Spider-Man, but the studios have and that's why they've signed him up for the next two films.
Now considering all that you might be thinking that Vanderbilt is writing more of what the studio want, and what the studio wanted was more akin to Spider-Man 3, with the tired Hollywood adages of “more” and “bigger” not really working.
The word is that Vanderbilt has been set to write a storyline that connects through the fifth and sixth films, something that the studio wanted to do for the fourth and fifth films with them being filmed back to back, but this idea was scrapped. I suspect it was scrapped because Raimi and cast wouldn't sign up to another two at once and rather just wanted to sign up to one more film.
If that's the case, and it's looking very likely, then I think we'll be seeing an all change cast and director for the fifth Spider-Man.
Remember too that Raimi has a lot on his plate after Spider-Man, there's Jack the Giant Killer, World of Warcraft, and a ton of films that are on his production queue that could also lead to directing gigs, as well as the rumoured films.
I think it's clear that Raimi won't be returning for the fifth and sixth films, that's why the two back to back films weren't started with the fourth, so come the fifth we're seeing an all change director and cast. Now that's probably the best thing for the franchise, even if it means going downhill.