The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Spider-Man (1)

We thought we had Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man trilogy all figured out. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that the introduction of certain new characters hinted at certain plot points to come, and it became possible to guess how the overarching plotline might play out through 2016.

Then Sony announced plans for a fourth Amazing Spider-Man coming in 2014, and suddenly it became less clear what would fit where. It also raised the question of just how the studio planned to keep the story fresh for four (or possibly even more) installments. There’s a reason trilogies are more common than quadrilogies, after all. It’s just tough to sustain interest in a single character for that long.

Now Webb has hinted at one possible way to keep the franchise moving: By making it “not just a Spider-Man movie,” and instead shifting the focus to some other characters. Hit the jump to read the comments.

Webb hinted at the franchise’s potential direction while talking to Crave Online.

Well, I think this was conceived of as a trilogy so there was a defined architecture to the story we were telling and we had sort of a rough outline of what was going to happen. I think [for] the fourth movie, what we’ve discovered is there are so many ancillary characters, that have enormous, cinematic potential that there may be other ways to exploit those characters, in a way that is exciting and fun and worthwhile. It might not just be a Spider-Man movie.

He continued:

You know, what was fun about the comics is that there’s an entire sort of encyclopedia of characters and stories and histories and nuances and idiosyncrasies and off-shoots. I think that that is something that seems to be really successful and has a lot of potential so it’s sort of, as yet, undefined, but intentionally so.

Webb’s statement shouldn’t be taken as an ironclad confirmation of anything. For one thing, it’s pretty vague anyway; for another, a lot could change between now and 2018 when The Amazing Spider-Man 4 is scheduled to open. We don’t even know for sure that Webb will still be involved at that point.

Still, the idea of opening up the Spider-Man universe and pushing other characters to the forefront is an intriguing one. It seems unlikely that any of them will replace Spidey as the series’ central character, since he’s the marquee name, but if Webb’s suggestions come true 4 could be more of an ensemble piece than we’ve seen from the franchise in the past.

Or Webb could just be referring to the Sinister Six, who are rumored to play a large role in The Amazing Spider-Man 4. They certainly qualify as “ancillary characters” with “enormous cinematic potential.” How do you think The Amazing Spider-Man 4 will play out?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens May 2.

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