Don’t count director Sam Raimi out just yet. The Spider-Man series director is waiting to read James Vanderbilt‘s (Zodiac) latest draft, which he says is due in a few months, before he decides if he will helm the project or not.
“I’m excited to read it,” Raimi told SciFi. “I’m hoping it’s as great as our discussions were about it and hoping it feels right for me, because I love Spider-Man, and I’m hoping I’m well-enough rested to, like, really embrace it and hoping that Sony wants me at that time to direct it. So if all those things come together, I would love, love to do it. But this is a lot of unknowns about the future.”
Raimi also reiterated that he would “hate to recast anybody” new in the key roles, and “can’t imagine that” actually happening. I have the feeling that Raimi was a little less excited to do a fourth film six months ago. It’s funny how time changes everything. I just hope that Sony gave Raimi room to develop a story with Vanderbilt that he is comfortable with. It seemed clear that Raimi wasn’t interested in including Venom in the third film, but was forced to by the studio. The overcrowding of characters was one of the main reasons the film failed with audiences. Oh yeah, and the Jazz bar sequence, which Raimi has no excuse for.
Will the original squad be back, or will Sony recruit new talent? A week ago we reported on the rumor that Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5 will be filmed back-to-back, Back to the Future styles. Today, a quote from Marvel’s Vice Chairman, Peter Cuneo, hit the Net via IESB regarding Sony‘s stirring plans for a third sequel…
“As far as Spider-man 4, it’s really up to Sony, it’s up to them, most likely scenario is 2010 or 2011 but we can’t speak for them and I think, that we don’t know. They have given us their re-up payment for that film so you know they’re going to make it within a reasonable time frame. Sony may be looking at some issues with the cast and so on, I think they have to make some decisions.”
Maybe it’s me, but all of these recent quotes from Marvel honchos have a newfound tone of “We’re kicking ass and taking names, and, of course, we have outside properties as well. No big deal.” So, screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) has apparently turned in a script for Spidey 4 that inherently ties to a fifth film; if this is how the franchise plays out, I’d imagine (rather predictably, yes) that an unprecedented bag of cash the size of a Dubai island would need to be exchanged to bring back Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. And if I had to place a blind bet, I’d say a new A-list director (and, if so, probably a new star) is in store to bring Peter Parker into the next decade. Dunst is the cigarettes to the keys and wallet, here. What does your Magic 8ball tell you?
Sony Pictures has hired Zodiac scribe James Vanderbilt to write Spider-Man 4. Thank god Sam Raimi is not writing this one: He’s a great director, but the screenplay for Spider-Man 3 was a mess. Vanderbilt’s scriptology includes The Rundown, Basic and Darkness Falls. James also did a polish on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and wrote the screenplay for the upcoming adaptation of the Vertigo comic book The Losers.
However, I’m not sure if Vanderbilt will be able to start writing anytime soon, with the writers Strike set to begin within hours. The fourth Spider-Man film is set to hit theaters in 2009 (presumably Summer). Sam Raimi has yet to commit to the project, and has recently said that he wants to see how the script turns out first. Industry insiders say that Raimi is waiting on The Hobbit before committing to any big projects. Raimi has said that he will only do the Lord of the Rings prequel if Peter Jackson settles his feud/lawsuit with New Line, and come on board the project as producer.