Monday, January 11, 2010

Webbed Up

For the past week or so, the ominous chords had begun to sound, first with word that the script wasn't coming together, then a release date change --never a good sign. As of this afternoon it's been made official by both studio and director: Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire have exited the Spider-Man movie franchise after three hugely successful entries just as a planned fourth installment has run aground thanks to those dreaded "creative differences." This leaves Sony Pictures with plans to reboot the movie mega-franchise from the ground up in '012.

I'm of mixed opinion on this, as I have a feeling many will be. Having just begun in '02, the Spider-series is still relatively new enough that I'm not sure how necessary a reboot is. I also really would have loved for Raimi to get a chance to come back from the less-than-optimum situation that resulted in 2007's overstuffed Spider-Man 3, where the seams between directorial vision and studio mandate became a little bit too obvious. Still, I applaud Raimi's willingness to walk away rather than put his name on a product he wasn't 100% behind.

Obviously, we'll have a clearer sense of where things go from here once above-the-line talent has been brought onboard, but right now this franchise could either make like the post-Singer X-Men or the post-Schumacher Batman. Guess which way I'm hoping.

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