Studio drops Spider-Man 4, Raimi and Maguire
The news is everywhere, while I slept it seems that Sony and Columbia decided enough was enough on the script wrangling and have dropped the idea of Spider-Man 4. Not only have they done that but they've dropped the idea of making another Spider-Man with Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and the rest of the cast.
Instead, in their infinite wisdom, they're going to reboot the franchise and apparently follow the Batman model. Go back to the origins, and wait for this, not only recast but make it darker and grittier.
Now that's something that doesn't suit Spider-Man if you ask me, we're almost talking about a different superhero now, I mean going down the darker route as Sam Raimi's film did with Venom is a good idea, but anything else will just make it not Spider-Man any more.
Mind you there's the fact that they've dropped Raimi and his team and decided to go for a reboot, that in itself is a strange decision. Not just doing that but the fact that Sony and Columbia had planned this for some time, this isn't an overnight decision because the studio and director couldn't agree on villains, this is something that has been brewing and being planned for a long time.
It seems that, according to Entertainment Weekly's insiders, when James Vanderbilt was writing the scripts for Spider-Man 4 and 5, one of the many writers we thought was just having another stab at the latest films, he was actually writing the fourth film and an origin story. It seems the plan was to get Raimi and the team back for the fourth outing and then fire back to the reboot of the franchise, and with a script from the man who wrote Zodiac, it would be a darker, contemporary and grittier version of the story and character.
Of course those words can really mean anything depending on their context, and we really don't know their context. The problem is that it sounds like a Batman Begins (Filmstalker review) reinvention, and that just sounds out of place for Spider-Man. Remember if they are going to be having a crack at reinventing the character they aren't just reinventing the film character they've created, but years of comic book and cartoon series versions of the character. A tall order indeed. At least with Batman he was darker before the film version lightened him up.
Already director's are being banded around to replace Raimi, and none are sounding plausible yet, people are even discussing Michael Bay would you believe it.
So this new story will see the teenage Spider-Man struggling with his powers and being a teenager at the same time - expect lot's of angst and trying to get a girl while his hormones go crazy and cause his web to shoot off in all manner of directions, but all in a darker, more contemporary tone.
I have to admit that right now I just don't see it working, and while everyone is speaking amicably about the split, I'm sure Raimi and Maguire are thinking the same thing. Of course now it's cheaper for the studio to make the next Spider-Man film, and potentially the next few after that, but I think a reboot of this series is going to be tricky, especially since there's not much ground since the previous film.
What do you think? Is this really going to work? A teen angst Spider-man, darker and modern?