Sony announces Spider-reboot: trades Spider-Man 4 Spider-Boy

The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise ... will have a new cast and filmmaking team. Spider-Man 4 was to have been released in 2011, but had not yet gone into production. Hungry? Why wait?

“A decade ago we set out on this journey with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire and together we made three Spider-Man films that set a new bar for the genre. When we began, no one ever imagined that we would make history at the box-office and now we have a rare opportunity to make history once again with this franchise. $$$. Peter Parker as an ordinary young adult grappling with extraordinary powers has always been the foundation that has made this character so timeless and compelling for generations of fans. That's why, rather than continuing to evolve the character, we're giving you another origin story. We’re very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter's roots, how much less we can pay for actors and filmmakers, and we look forward to working once again with Marvel Studios, Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin on this new beginning,” said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment. $$$.[image-1]

The news come on the heels of a reported feud between director Sam Raimi and the Studio, not long after the initial announcement that the follow-up to 2007's Spider-Man 3 would hit theaters in 2011. I bet those posters are worth a lot more now.

Raimi reportedly had his eye on translating The Vulture for the film's fourth installment, an elderly character with mechanical wings and biochemical means of restoring his youth. Further rumors linked John Malkovich to the role, possibly alongside Anne Hathaway as Spider-favorite Felicia Hardy. The same reports stated Felicia Hardy would not make her debut to the franchise as the illustrious Black Cat, but rather a new character: Vulturess.

This instead of finally allowing Dylan Baker's Curt Connors to become The Lizard, thus linking all four films and possibly redeeming the third.

Which sounds like enough reason to reboot.

Whatever the reason: ego, salary, story, the next Spider-Man will feature a younger Peter Parker at the center, juggling high school and superheroics.

Fans can again rejoice at the prospect of seeing Uncle Ben die, again, teaching Peter, again, that with great power comes great responsibility. Again. It's a key element to Spider-Man mythos, true, but it was threaded through the first three films, uh, enough.

It's said that death comes in threes, and Marvel-outsourced properties seem to confirm the fact. Blade: Trinity (and maybe Ryan Reynolds) killed that franchise. X-Men: The Last Stand (thanks again, Brett) led to a prequel. Daredevil begat Elektra, and F4: Rise of the Silver Surfer never led to anything fantastic.

Spider-Man was the only hope for a fourth consecutive film, and while some Marvel properties deserved a reboot — there were Hulk poodles — the franchise was one of potential. One of substance. In spite of Topher Grace.

WAKE UP, MARVEL: Buy these companies out, get your characters back.

The Hulk warranted a remake, and was actually Incredible via Marvel Studios. Spider-Man does not. And while Maguire and Dunst have stated they'd never do another Spider-Man without Raimi, face the facts: money talks, and I'd wager Spider-Man 4 would pay more bills than Seabiscuit 2 or Marie Antionette-er.

Oh, and you have Disney money now. Remember them?

The politics of Hollywood are a tangled web, one which Spider-Man has clearly fallen victim to. Though I can't say I necessarily blame Sony.

Maybe they saw the third one.

First a musical, now this? Too bad Peter Parker used up all of his emo in Spider-Man 3.

Sorry, Tobey.

Sony has announced Spider-Man 4 as a no-go, opting instead for a reboot of their $2.4 billion franchise. The press release, with a few bolded liberties, reads like a supervillain monologue:

Culver City, CA (January 11, 2010) — Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012. Remember? Like the first Spider-Man. Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt (of Darkness Falls fame! The movie about the killer Tooth Fairy!) that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

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