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Steve (from Collider) and I had a plan. Over the weekend we came up with a bunch of subjects we wanted to talk about and we had every intention of recording a video blog Monday afternoon. But…Disney and Marvel made us alter our plans. Due to their $4 Billion dollar merger, we spent Monday talking about what the merger meant and what cool stuff might happen as a result of it.

But now we’re back on point and it’s time for our new video blog that covers a lot of subjects. In part one of our two part conversation, Steve and I talk about whether or not director Neill Blomkamp should do a sequel to Distrcit 9 or make a new, original movie. We then debate if Pixar/Disney releasing the Toy Story as a double feature is a mistake, or if it’s still going to make a ton of money despite the 3 hour running time. Finally, we talk about Spider-Man 4,5, and 6 and what we think Sony is going to do with the franchise. Take a look after the jump.

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James Vanderbilt To Write Spider-Man 5 and 6

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Last month Sam Raimi hired Gary Ross to rewrite Rabbit Hole playwright David Lindsay-Abaire‘s draft of Spider-Man 4, original draft penned by James Vanderbilt. Tonight it has been revealed that Sony has hired another screenwriter to take on the webbed Marvel superhero. But not for the fourth film… Sony has hired Vanderbilt to pen the next two films in the Spider-Man franchise, Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6.

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Sam Raimi is at SXSW showing off an early cut of his new horror film Drag Me To Hell. While doing press, Raimi gave updates on Spider-Man 4 and the future of the Evil Dead franchise.

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Kirsten Dunst Says She’s “In” For Spider-Man 4

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When MTV asked Kirsten Dunst if she would be returning for Spider-Man 4, the actress responded “I’m in.” Which sounds like a done deal if you ask me. But when pressed if she officially signed on to return, the actress changed her tone, “I’m not saying anything, I know there’s rumors…”

This is certainly a change in tone from last year when Dunst was expressing disinterest in returning for more sequels, insisting she wouldn’t even consider the possibility if Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire weren’t involved. “Audiences aren’t stupid. It’d be a big flop without me, Tobey, or Sam,” Dunst told EW. But I guess its now sounding more and more like both Tobey and Sam will also return, and that two sequels will be shot back to back. If I were Raimi, I would kill Mary Jane off in a Empire Strikes Back type cliffhanger.

Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Sequel Deal?

Tobey Maguire is that much closer to signing a deal for the next two Spider-Man films. According to The Times Online, Maguire is willing to shoot Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5 back-to-back over six months next year for a record $50 million in salary and profit shares.

The story makes a big deal of a supposed clause in the contract which would give Maguire unprecedented early mornings and evenings off for “family time”. The idea is that shooting two films back to back is an exhausting task, and the clause would build in time off for Maguire to spend time with his 22 month old daughter. As CinemaBlend puts it, “Tobey Maguire is being paid $50 million to put in half-days at work.” But the gossipy details don’t mean much to me. Pay Maguire $100 million for all I care. As long as he’s back and there is a good screenplay and director behind the production, I will be happy.

Nikki Finke reports that Sony has locked in both Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire for Spider-Man 4. Kirsten Dunst‘s Mary Jane character is said to be included in the sequel(s), so the actress is rumored to be returning as well. And in the execs’ best case scenario, Raimi and Maguire would shoot Spider-Man 5 back-to-back. This would confirm what we reported this May: Screenwriter James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Rundown) turned in a script for the third sequel that, much to Sony’s liking, segued smoothly into an arc for a fifth film. Specific details on what it took to bring back the original star and director are not yet available. Spider-Man 4 remains set for a May 2011 release.

Per villains for a fourth film, Finke’s source hints, “once you find out who the villain is, you’ll know who’s playing it,” leading everyone to speculate that actor Dylan Baker, who played Dr. Curt Connors in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, will fight Spidey as The Lizard. Last year, Slashfilm gave 95% odds that The Lizard would be the main villain in the third sequel. Next time, call your bookie and send us 20% of the Euros.

Our reasoning was the dynamic relationship involved a la Harry Osbourne’s Goblin: “Connors developed an experimental serum taken from reptilian DNA, which he tested on himself and was subsequently transformed into a reptilian humanoid monster. Peter Parker worked as a teaching assistant to Dr. Connors at Empire State University, although Connors had no idea that Peter was actually Spider-Man.”

Included in Finke’s report is an update on the status of the Venom spin-off, a project that has divided fans and our readers, just like the jock-like character, for years. In what would be Marvel’s first feature headlined by a villain, Finke’s sources say that Topher Grace, who played the character in the much maligned Spider-Man 3, is still the front-runner due to, and I paraphrase, a sympathetic boy-next-door appearance. ;)

Discuss: Good news? Personally, I think Spider-Man should fight a new villain made out of hundred dollar bills. Do you think speculation about The Lizard is correct? Venom or bust? Where does this leave Raimi’s Evil Dead sequel and Maguire’s RoboTech?

Wow, Calm Down, Ha: Early word is that they are not going in a “gloomy Dark Knight direction.”

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Two days ago, we delved into rumors that the next Peter Parker could be played by the Macguire-esque Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous, Wristcutters) or the younger, spunkish Michael Angarano (Sky High). Well, Sony wants to put some Internet skywriting out there and fast. Their message is: “Tobey Maguire you’re the best, you’re our Spider-Man!…right?” Sony’s head of media relations tells IESB

“No one is being considered for the role but Tobey. Period.”

IESB adds that numerous inside sources and agencies have confirmed that no actor in Hollywood or Bollywood has been contacted for Peter Parker. Prior to this, CHUD caught word from a producer on Fugit’s latest film who said the rumor was totally bunk. Let’s all electric slide back to square one, okay?

This premature casting drama went supernova because a higher-up at Marvel speculated that Sony will have Spider-Man 4 in theaters in 2010, which supported rumors that Sony wants to shoot Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5 back-to-back. Whatever Sony says, there is movement happening with the franchise, so a little interwebs madness is expected, healthier than eating bacon even.

I don’t think Fugit would be (have been) an unwise choice, he’s talented, but he shares Macguire’s sleepy, melancholy style to a fault. Peter wonders why Shia Labeouf is not in the mix—he’s probably my first choice for Parker, and I really hope they bring in a new director as well. What’s interesting is that the fan outrage at these Macguire replacement rumors is not really there, which is odd. And fanboy hindsight on Spider-Man 3 seems to grow dimmer as time passes. More on the next Spidey flick(s) as it develops.

Discuss: Will Tobey Maguire be back you think? Do you think the word is out to other actors? Ideally, what do you want to see happen?

The Next Peter Parker

Patrick FugitIn the past few weeks we’ve heard mumblings that Sony had renewed their option to make Spider-Man movies, and internet rumors of preliminary plans to shoot Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5, back-to-back.

Now comes word via LatinoReview that Patrick Fugit is the top name in the running to replace Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker. Now of course, no contracts have been signed, and the films have not even been officially greenlit (at least from a public perspective), so in other words – nothing is final. You probably recognize Fugit from his breakout performance in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, or some of his indie work which has included Saved, Spun, and Wristcutters.

And if Fugit doesn’t work out, Michael Angarano is also said to be on the list of candidates. Angarano was most recently seen in Forbidden Kingdom, Michael Angaranowas in the superhero film Sky High, and even tried out for the now defunct Justice League movie. And while I’m not against the idea of going younger for the role, I just don’t see Angarano as Peter Parker.

I’m kinda surprised Shia LaBeouf’s name isn’t being mentioned. Some of you might also be wondering: if you’re going to go older, why not just go with Jake Gyllenhaal? Unfortunately Jake will be tied up for the foreseeable future with the big screen adaptation of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.

Discuss: Who should replace Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker?

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