As Sony Pictures Entertainment preps a fourth installment of "Spider-Man" to begin production early next year, the studio has quietly engaged screenwriter James Vanderbilt to pen "Spider-Man 5" and "Spider-Man 6."
Vanderbilt was the first writer on "Spider-Man 4." Director Sam Raimi brought on David Lindsay-Abaire to rewrite the script, and Gary Ross is now rewriting that script. The studio is enthusiastic about where it stands as the picture begins prepping for an early 2010 production start for a May 2011 release.
Raimi didn't embrace all of Vanderbilt's ideas, but execs at Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios have. Vanderbilt has been hired to pen the fifth and sixth movies, which have an interconnected storyline. That's what was originally discussed when Vanderbilt signed on to write "Spider-Man 4," but the idea of shooting a fourth and fifth film back to back with the original cast was scrapped.
Sources said it was unclear whether Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst will be back. If they aren't, Vanderbilt's script would be the blueprint for a franchise reboot. After committing to his fourth "Spider-Man" film, Raimi signed on to direct a new franchise based on the massively multiplayer role-playing online computer game "World of Warcraft" for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. Maguire and Dunst were locked into the first three pictures and made a new deal for "Spider-Man 4." It's unclear how long they want to continue with the series.
I'm still trying to figure out if Spider-Man 4 will deliver. Spider-Man 3 left a bad taste and I know it wasn't director Sam Raimi's fault. Here's hoping the villain for Spidey 4 will actually have alot more screen time and actually gives Spider-Man a fight for his life. I really hope that we get an "R" rated movie with Carnage as the main villain in either Spider-Man 5 or 6.