Sony loses Raimi and Maguire for Spider-Man 4

“Spider-Man” Director Sam Raimi has pulled out of the Spider-Man 4 project and with him goes Tobey Maquire. According to, Sony Pictures has decided to push Spider-Man 4 to a summer 2012 release with a new script and cast centered on Peter Parker back in high school “grappling with extraordinary powers” as a young adult.

Here’s Sony’s press release:

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.”

The studio will have more news about Spider-Man in 2012 in the coming weeks as it prepares for production of the film.

26 thoughts on “Sony loses Raimi and Maguire for Spider-Man 4

  1. now that marvel is in the clutches of walt disney, i won’t be overly surprised if spiderman 4 turns into a weird version of high school musical…with webbing…

  2. That’s a shame. Hard to imagine re-doing the high school, young guy thing when they did that in the first one just seven years ago, in 2002.

    Are we so far along that ‘7 years ago’ is now considered retro?

    “i wonâ??t be overly surprised if spiderman 4 turns into a weird version of high school musical” – they pretty much did that with that awful ‘Star Trek’ reboot…

  3. wow I didn’t think it could get any more horrible than spiderman 3, but there it is, sounds much worse.

    Spidertween 4 – starring Hanna Montana and one of the Jonas brothers.

  4. I thought there was something fishy about the delay being due to uncertainty over who the villain was. That’s almost like a studio saying “we can’t decide if the Hulk or Thor is stronger.” But with Disney behind it, you can bet we’re looking at a merchandising onslaught the likes of which we’ve rarely seen. A Kingpin-Uncle Scrooge piggy bank?

  5. They oughta just do the whole thing with CGI. If the story is decent and it looks as good as the Universal Islands of Adventure ride, it’d be better than the third movie! And they wouldn’t have to deal with a pesky name director and high-dollar actors.

  6. and like on Smallville, they will make Uncle Ben and Aunt May 30 years younger so the hip parents can feel like they are part of the action.

    this is gonna be an epic suckfest

  7. Seriously, now that I consider it more, wouldn’t it be great to see motion-capture used for a superhero adventure, rather than a tired Christmas story?

  8. “now that marvel is in the clutches of walt disney, i wonâ??t be overly surprised if spiderman 4 turns into a weird version of high school musicalâ?¦with webbingâ?¦”

    You are soooo right!

  9. Considering what’s been made from comics in recent years, I can’t help but wonder if superheroes aren’t what motion capture SHOULD be used for. Of course, a good script always helps. Having said that, KICK-ASS looks like it might be pretty good, based on the trailer I’ve seen.

  10. The problem so far with motion capture is the eyes, those dead eyes. It puts the character into the uncanny valley and creeps out the audience. ‘The Polar Express’ being a recent example.

  11. @Tom,
    I agree about the eyes but for me it’s also the mouths. They are just not quite fluid enough. Maybe facial muscles are to small and intricate for a good capture. The new Scrooge movie was a huge improvement on Polar Express – especially the hands. I haven’t seen Avatar yet – I’ll be curious to watch the faces.

  12. @Anne – I haven’t seen ‘Avatar’ yet either, but I’ve read some of the ‘making of’ articles. According to those articles, Cameron invented a wearable camera system pointed at the actor’s face during motion capture. It’s supposed to have fixed that face problem.

    Re-reading the article regarding S-M4, I’m disappointed that they opt for yet another origins story. They keep doing that for these superheroes because that’s really the only interesting part about them. How many people would react the the murder of their parents by turning themselves into a bat?

    If they keep Peter Parker in high school and make him more like the smart mouth in the comic books, it might be okay. I got *really* tired of the woe-is-me piling on in these last versions.

  13. I agree…it would be strange, but at least interesting to see Peter Parker moving into midlife and still wearing that outfit.

    Maybe it’s because I’m getting old and fat in midlife, but I’d rather see Parker struggling a bit as a 39-40 yr. old than another teeny bop theme.

  14. Will they let Peter be more of a science geek and create the web shooters?!? I hope so.

  15. Do we really need another origin story?
    By now everyone knows who Spider-Man is and how he got his powers. It would be nice to see them just jump into the action like that last Hulk movie.

  16. Yet another example of Hollywood eating its young. A seven year window and they’re already going back to the beginning? At this rate, when “Thor” comes out, the following year they’ll have a different version w/ a younger cast.

  17. The Spidey franchise is over for now, methinks. No. 3 buried it in a shallow grave in Stan Lee’s backyard.

    That said, isn’t there a Kamandi flick in the works. And how about Plastic Man? A smart director and screenwriter could have a ball translating Jack Cole’s offbeat stories and characters into an action-comedy.

  18. How about a Catwoman sequel with Ghost Rider and Spiderman fighting Judge Dredd.

    If you’re gonna blow it up anyway, use a nuke.

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