Tuesday, 12 January 2010

The next Peter Parker

So Sony has finally pulled the plug on Spider-man 4 after the studio parted company with director Sam Raimi over various issues pertaining to script and schedule, and star Tobey Maguire followed him out the door.

The studio has already moved on and are planning to reboot the series with a new director and new cast, and with Peter Parker back at high school. The script for Spider-man 2.0 has already been written by Zodiac scribe James Vanderbilt who had been hired back in the day to pen Spidey parts 5 and 6 which were, apparently, a kind of contingency plan should this day ever arrive.

Moving on, the big question, other than who will replace Raimi, is who should play Peter Parker this time around? I read somewhere that Anton Yelchin, who co-starred in both Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation in the summer, would be a good fit, and I have to say, I think that's a great idea. He's got the acting chops, and certainly looks the part.

Incidentally, I remember interviewing Tobey Maguire for Ride With The Devil at the London Film Festival many years ago and saying to him that if they ever make a Spider-man movie, he should play Peter Parker. And Maguire looking at me like I was mad... Funny how things change.

The Sony press release follows:

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.

Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, 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.

“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. We’re very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter's roots 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.

“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job,” said Sam Raimi.

“We have had a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration and friendship with Sam and Tobey and they have given us their best for the better part of the last decade.This is a bittersweet moment for us because while it is hard to imagine Spider-Man in anyone else’s hands, I know that this was a day that was inevitable,” said Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, who has served as the studio’s chief production executive since the beginning of the franchise. “Now everything begins anew, and that’s got us all tremendously excited about what comes next. Under the continuing supervision of Avi and Laura, we have a clear vision for the future of Spider-Man and can’t wait to share this exciting new direction with audiences in 2012.”

"Spider-Man will always be an important franchise for Sony Pictures and a fresh start like this is a responsibility that we all take very seriously," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures. "We have always believed that story comes first and story guides the direction of these films and as we move onto the next chapter, we will stay true to that principle and will do so with the highest respect for the source material and the fans and moviegoers who deserve nothing but the best when it comes to bringing these stories and characters to life on the big screen."


J.D. said...

I'm glad to see that Raimi is no longer attached. It's time for him to move on and do something different. I really dug DRAG ME TO HELL and I know he's snatched up the rights to THE SHADOW. I would love to see him do that... even though he kinda sorta did already with DARKMAN.

Mark Salisbury said...

Raimi and the Shadow would make sweet noir together...

Matt J said...

It'll be Jake Gyllenhall . . .

Mark Salisbury said...

At one time I would have agreed with you, but I think he's too old for what they have in mind.