Spider-Man 4 No More!
We got the news yesterday, via Nikki Finke's site, that Sam Raimi walked away from “Spider-Man 4” because he couldn't deliver on the summer 2011 release date and didn't want to compromise the series' “creative integrity.” (Yeah, we know: “Spider-Man 3.”) With him went everything, including Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, and now Sony's planning a reboot with a new director and a new Peter Parker/Spider-Man. And 3-D. The fall-out from the success of “Avatar,” I guess. Now every studio will be pushing 3-D the way that, after the success of Cameron's “Titanic,” every studio pushed movies with water. Because that was the obvious lesson of “Titanic” to them: People like water. So with “Avatar”: People like 3-D. They do, but within limits. “X Games 3D—The Movie” was hardly a hit in August, for example. “A Christmas Carol” did OK in November, $137 million, but 16 non-3-D films did better for the year. You need more than 3-D.
More to the point: A reboot? Of Spider-Man? The original wasn't even 8 years ago! Is that by how much we're speeding things up? By the time Warner Bros. rebooted the Batman franchise, four movies and 16 years had passed. By the time Sony reboots Spider-Man, three movies and 10 years will have passed. Do I hear two movies and 6 years? One movie and 3 years? Hey, let's keep telling the same story over and over and over again.
Oh wait, please don't tell me: Shia LeBeouf? No, can't be.
And this was a successful franchise—one of the most successful franchises of the '00s. The first movie had the highest domestic gross of 2002. The second had the second-highest domestic gross of 2004. The third had the highest domestic gross of 2007. Can't get much better than that.
One wonders what the creative conflict was—and how creative that conflict was. Or was the problem financial? Raimi supposedly wanted a $230 million budget. The L.A. Times also adds:
The studio said it would hire a new star and director and re-boot the movie as a story about Parker's early life as a “teenager grappling with contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.” Because Sony is essentially starting from scratch, the studio has pushed the picture's release to 2012.
“Contemporary” human problems? As opposed to the outdated problems he grappled with originally? Like love, death, guilt, shame?
Somewhere, Electro, the Scorpion, and Kraven the Hunter are sitting back down.