"Spider-Man 4" Already on the Horizon

It's only been a few weeks since "Spider-Man 3" hit theaters (the chorus of critical "meh"'s is still ringing in our ears), but does that mean it's too early to talk more Spidey sequels? If you're the folks at the relatively franchise-starved Sony, the answer is "of course not" -- which is why we're here to report on the first distant rumblings of "Spider-Man 4."

The Hollywood Reporter says that the next two weeks will be an early turning point for the next step in the "Spider-Man" series -- there's a meeting scheduled between producer Laura Ziskin and the top muckety-mucks at Sony. Oh, and also in attendance? Trilogy director Sam Raimi, whose participation in future installments can rightly be said to fall somewhere between "crucial" and "very important."

Raimi's emotional investment in the first three "Spider-Man" films has been well publicized, and he's been understandably ambivalent about publicly committing to any more sequels, but this is Hollywood -- if there's a deal to be done, nothing's impossible. Ziskin, in an early bit of gamesmanship, has been explicit about her future plans. From the article:

The upcoming meeting "will be the first step in a process," Ziskin adds. "'Spider-Man' will continue; I can't tell you every person who will be involved."

In other words: "Raimi, sign on the dotted line, before we hire Brett Ratner."

Also up in the air? The cast. In the weeks leading up to the release of "Spider-Man 3," Tobey Maguire said he was "up for it" if Raimi and Kirsten Dunst were along for the ride, and Dunst was quoted as saying she'd be back if Maguire and Raimi came too. It all sounds complicated -- and it is -- but as the Hollywood Reporter article lays out in detail, a lot of current megabucks franchises are at or near their conclusions, and Sony will do whatever it can to protect (and continue) "Spider-Man."

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter

Comments

I Am Remote

Robert Pilkington

Riveting.

Let Raimi go. Let them all go. Please. Lay the series to rest, there's a spot next to Burton's Batman. I'm sure there's an "army of darkness 7" script out there or something Raimi can nail to the wall.

If not, then he should def cast himself as the villain. Give him another obligatory and unnecessary back story. Dead wife. Sick child. Something. I smell more broken records.

Jul 12 - 04:15 PM

uhhuhnads

Joey Kindergan

The Spider-Man series should end at 3 not because 3 was bad, but because he just climaxed it too much. Raimi was smart. You can't really do a great follow up story to 3 since venom was the most popular villain, and if you bring venom back then you are stupid. If they do make more Spider-Man movies, which they will, and Raimi directs them with the same cast then I'd be relieved that someone like Ratner could not come in and just trash the name.

Jul 12 - 05:56 PM

Herberbaly

Greg White

New director, new cast... They should give Batman Begins treatment to the whole Spider-Man machine. Tobey Maguire is simply getting too old for the role, Dunst is not nearly hot enough to be the wet dream Mary Jane should be, and Raimi is an arrogant prick who tacked on the most popular villain in Spider-Man lore because the studio made him... If they don't redo the franchise, then at least bring in some fresh blood, and give Venom an entire film, not a lousy 1/3 that he had to share with Sandman, a villain who was incredibly boring (he spent the entire time staring at a goddamn locket), and didn't even do anything to contribute to the story. I understand lots of people enjoyed these films, but I think that it's time to turn it over to another director who loves Spider-Man as well, and is willing to give another group of fans what they want: kickass action, less family friendly fare, badass villains, and, most importantly a less whiney hero who doesn't cry every three minutes. Raimi used to kick ass, but he appears to have lost it. Got back to Evil Dead, Sam. Let someone else handle Spidey from here on in.

Jul 12 - 06:16 PM

the train

Vinnie Oliveri

the essence of spider man is his humanity, which you refer to as being whiny. nice. and i would much rather have dunst, who may not be a "wet dream" but at least can act. the whole point of the first trilogy is pairing emotional/psychological conflicts with supernatural conflicts, and the psychological depth of the films would be compromised if you had a hero that wasn't quote-whiny-unquote (a claim i disagree with, btw). granted, i would like to see SM cracking more jokes, like he does in the comics, but i think audiences get pretty tired of smug heroes who are never shaken by their opponents. i like raimi and i think SM 3 was a misstep, but i don't think that means he needs to leave the franchise. i think we will see the symbiote again and i hope that next time around he'll learn from SM 3 and give the audience the mother of all battles. perhaps in SM 6.

Jul 12 - 06:28 PM

Herberbaly

Greg White

You can maintain a character's humanity without him crying all the time. I like my heros to be heroic... Spidey in the last two films especially has been anything but. Remember, in S-M2, he didn't actually defeat Doc. Ock, and in 3, Harry saved his ass. If you're going to give us a superhero, make sure said superhero is actually defeating his foes. It's hard to find Spidey inspiring when he "lucks" out against his enemies all the time. Once I might understand, if, say, he outsmarted them, but that isn't the case. He gets his ass kicked every time. And there are a lot of talented actresses who just so happen to be hot - i.e. Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel (based only on the Illusionist, noithing else), Isla Fischer, etc. And I will bet that we will not see the symbiote in future Spider-Man's so long as Raimi is at the helm. He has openly stated that he doesn't even care for that storyline. Then give it to somebody who does, because a lot of fans sure as hell do... And Spidey can be a wiseass without being smug and retain some humanity. You can flesh out a character so that they can be wiseasses sometimes, sensitive sometimes, or any emotion whatsoever. Bale from Batman Begins is a perfect example - he puts on an act like he's an a-hole socialite, but is something else underneath the exterior - he even has conflicting views about battling evil. I know three-dimensional characters are a hard pill for Hollywood to swallow, but they are attainable in blockbuster films. The three previous movies worked on certain levels, but they should have been called "The Peter Parker Chronicles" because Spidey was not in it enough, but Parker sure as hell was. There were, in my opinion, too many subplots surrounding Parker, not his alter ego. I guess all I really want out of a Spider-Man movie is a lot of Spider-Man. But that seems like a hard request to be met.

Jul 12 - 09:17 PM

oldnoakes

Tristan Green

I don't think a lot of people would say that Dunst can act. The last good acting job I saw her in was Interview with a Vampire. She has always been a week link in the Spider-man cast. There are plenty of actresses out there more beautiful and probably more talented. Maybe even an unknown would be great in this role. Actors and Actresses are dime a dozen, so they don't need to settle on the same old. I will give Dunst this, Dunst and Maguire seeem to have some chemistry so that's something.

My other least favorite actor in the series has to be James Franco. Can't act out of wet paper bag. He almost ruins the second film. I'm pretty glad that his character is dead. He does have some good moments, but another actor could have brought so much more to this role.

The best casted characters in the series were: J Jonah Jameson, Aunt May, Doc Oc, Green Goblin (Sr.), and to a lesser extent Sandman. Not only are these actors good in their own right, the actually fit with the vision of the character in the comics. No of these characters (that aren't dead) should EVER be recast.

I also think that aknddon3 is right. Spider-man never really kicks ass in the comics, unless he gets a power-up: symbiote, cosmic power, iron spider armor. Spider-man does get lucky a lot of time, but he does use his wits to outsmart his opponet or take advantage of their weaknesses.

Jul 13 - 06:32 AM

the train

Vinnie Oliveri

uhhuhnads, keep in mind that there is still a piece of the symbiote left. agreed, killing venom was dumb, but they've always been very careful to leave loose ends untied. hopefully, if raimi is still attached, he'll give that villain his due, as SM 3 deprived all of us webheads everywhere with the showdown we were craving.

though, and i know this is a minority opinion, sandman and harry would have been satisfying for SM 3, despite the fact that many fans are underwhelmed by sandman.

Jul 12 - 06:21 PM

the train

Vinnie Oliveri

the essence of spider man is his humanity, which you refer to as being whiny. nice. and i would much rather have dunst, who may not be a "wet dream" but at least can act. the whole point of the first trilogy is pairing emotional/psychological conflicts with supernatural conflicts, and the psychological depth of the films would be compromised if you had a hero that wasn't quote-whiny-unquote (a claim i disagree with, btw). granted, i would like to see SM cracking more jokes, like he does in the comics, but i think audiences get pretty tired of smug heroes who are never shaken by their opponents. i like raimi and i think SM 3 was a misstep, but i don't think that means he needs to leave the franchise. i think we will see the symbiote again and i hope that next time around he'll learn from SM 3 and give the audience the mother of all battles. perhaps in SM 6.

Jul 12 - 06:28 PM

Herberbaly

Greg White

You can maintain a character's humanity without him crying all the time. I like my heros to be heroic... Spidey in the last two films especially has been anything but. Remember, in S-M2, he didn't actually defeat Doc. Ock, and in 3, Harry saved his ass. If you're going to give us a superhero, make sure said superhero is actually defeating his foes. It's hard to find Spidey inspiring when he "lucks" out against his enemies all the time. Once I might understand, if, say, he outsmarted them, but that isn't the case. He gets his ass kicked every time. And there are a lot of talented actresses who just so happen to be hot - i.e. Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel (based only on the Illusionist, noithing else), Isla Fischer, etc. And I will bet that we will not see the symbiote in future Spider-Man's so long as Raimi is at the helm. He has openly stated that he doesn't even care for that storyline. Then give it to somebody who does, because a lot of fans sure as hell do... And Spidey can be a wiseass without being smug and retain some humanity. You can flesh out a character so that they can be wiseasses sometimes, sensitive sometimes, or any emotion whatsoever. Bale from Batman Begins is a perfect example - he puts on an act like he's an a-hole socialite, but is something else underneath the exterior - he even has conflicting views about battling evil. I know three-dimensional characters are a hard pill for Hollywood to swallow, but they are attainable in blockbuster films. The three previous movies worked on certain levels, but they should have been called "The Peter Parker Chronicles" because Spidey was not in it enough, but Parker sure as hell was. There were, in my opinion, too many subplots surrounding Parker, not his alter ego. I guess all I really want out of a Spider-Man movie is a lot of Spider-Man. But that seems like a hard request to be met.

Jul 12 - 09:17 PM

oldnoakes

Tristan Green

I don't think a lot of people would say that Dunst can act. The last good acting job I saw her in was Interview with a Vampire. She has always been a week link in the Spider-man cast. There are plenty of actresses out there more beautiful and probably more talented. Maybe even an unknown would be great in this role. Actors and Actresses are dime a dozen, so they don't need to settle on the same old. I will give Dunst this, Dunst and Maguire seeem to have some chemistry so that's something.

My other least favorite actor in the series has to be James Franco. Can't act out of wet paper bag. He almost ruins the second film. I'm pretty glad that his character is dead. He does have some good moments, but another actor could have brought so much more to this role.

The best casted characters in the series were: J Jonah Jameson, Aunt May, Doc Oc, Green Goblin (Sr.), and to a lesser extent Sandman. Not only are these actors good in their own right, the actually fit with the vision of the character in the comics. No of these characters (that aren't dead) should EVER be recast.

I also think that aknddon3 is right. Spider-man never really kicks ass in the comics, unless he gets a power-up: symbiote, cosmic power, iron spider armor. Spider-man does get lucky a lot of time, but he does use his wits to outsmart his opponet or take advantage of their weaknesses.

Jul 13 - 06:32 AM

lockdicer

First Last

[b]can't wait for spiderman 4[/b]
based on the 3rd i hope mary jane gets even more songs, more crying from everyone, and maybe 5 min of carnage - that seems about right

Jul 12 - 06:58 PM

Defshep

Vance Shepherd

[b]It's Time![/b]
Yes, Raimi has done an admirable job with the Spidey flicks. But, 3 is where he should end his involvement, as director anyway. The series would benefit from the exits of McGuire and Dunst as well. There's too much of a "been there, done that" feeling in the movies now.

The last installment wasn't terrible. It did seem stale, though. Maybe fresh perspectives all the way around are in order. As long as the new crew respects the feel of the comics (which I think Raimi got right), then the franchise will continue to flourish.

Jul 12 - 06:59 PM

ck100

Chris Kubat

Even if it's done you know it's only being done for the money. It will just end up uninspired.

Jul 12 - 07:24 PM

darrinsgoodman

DARRIN GOODMAN

[b]spidey 4[/b]
well while they still have a handful of villians to choose from and who they will i nclude in the fourth installment remains to be seen, hopefully they won't overcrowd it with so many but one thing you know is going to happen - a wedding and that would be a very good way to end the raimi/maguire/dunst version of this series...i think

Jul 12 - 07:33 PM

EmmG389

First Last

Get Sam Rockwell if you do Carnage and I'll buy tickets right now. For my whole family.

Maybe my church.

Jul 12 - 07:43 PM

Herberbaly

Greg White

You can maintain a character's humanity without him crying all the time. I like my heros to be heroic... Spidey in the last two films especially has been anything but. Remember, in S-M2, he didn't actually defeat Doc. Ock, and in 3, Harry saved his ass. If you're going to give us a superhero, make sure said superhero is actually defeating his foes. It's hard to find Spidey inspiring when he "lucks" out against his enemies all the time. Once I might understand, if, say, he outsmarted them, but that isn't the case. He gets his ass kicked every time. And there are a lot of talented actresses who just so happen to be hot - i.e. Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel (based only on the Illusionist, noithing else), Isla Fischer, etc. And I will bet that we will not see the symbiote in future Spider-Man's so long as Raimi is at the helm. He has openly stated that he doesn't even care for that storyline. Then give it to somebody who does, because a lot of fans sure as hell do... And Spidey can be a wiseass without being smug and retain some humanity. You can flesh out a character so that they can be wiseasses sometimes, sensitive sometimes, or any emotion whatsoever. Bale from Batman Begins is a perfect example - he puts on an act like he's an a-hole socialite, but is something else underneath the exterior - he even has conflicting views about battling evil. I know three-dimensional characters are a hard pill for Hollywood to swallow, but they are attainable in blockbuster films. The three previous movies worked on certain levels, but they should have been called "The Peter Parker Chronicles" because Spidey was not in it enough, but Parker sure as hell was. There were, in my opinion, too many subplots surrounding Parker, not his alter ego. I guess all I really want out of a Spider-Man movie is a lot of Spider-Man. But that seems like a hard request to be met.

Jul 12 - 09:17 PM

Product_of_You

Steven Edwards

Enough with all of this laying it on the backburner stuff by people responding. I want more Spider-Man films; there are many great storylines with him to tell. Just because the third film messed up doesn't mean that the fourth can't improve and go back to the quality of the first two, they just need a better script, and from what I've heard the guy that wrote the first one is writing this one which gives me hope. Raimi is a great director, I hope he doesn't leave. I am very afraid of who they might get in his place. Also if they are going to replace the whole cast then just screw another Spider-Man movie, I don't want one without some continuity.

Jul 12 - 09:41 PM

screwhead100

Ben Wellick

i would have to agree with Herberbaly on this one............

Jul 13 - 12:03 AM

aknddon3

andrew kruzel

Except that Herberbaly has never read the comics and does not understand that in the comics he is a whiner, he gets lucky all the time, and he really never kicks ass. Read the comics then talk.

Jul 13 - 01:51 AM

cgcbooks

Robert Kimberlin

This is a film, not a comic book.

Jul 13 - 10:38 AM

oldnoakes

Tristan Green

I don't think a lot of people would say that Dunst can act. The last good acting job I saw her in was Interview with a Vampire. She has always been a week link in the Spider-man cast. There are plenty of actresses out there more beautiful and probably more talented. Maybe even an unknown would be great in this role. Actors and Actresses are dime a dozen, so they don't need to settle on the same old. I will give Dunst this, Dunst and Maguire seeem to have some chemistry so that's something.

My other least favorite actor in the series has to be James Franco. Can't act out of wet paper bag. He almost ruins the second film. I'm pretty glad that his character is dead. He does have some good moments, but another actor could have brought so much more to this role.

The best casted characters in the series were: J Jonah Jameson, Aunt May, Doc Oc, Green Goblin (Sr.), and to a lesser extent Sandman. Not only are these actors good in their own right, the actually fit with the vision of the character in the comics. No of these characters (that aren't dead) should EVER be recast.

I also think that aknddon3 is right. Spider-man never really kicks ass in the comics, unless he gets a power-up: symbiote, cosmic power, iron spider armor. Spider-man does get lucky a lot of time, but he does use his wits to outsmart his opponet or take advantage of their weaknesses.

Jul 13 - 06:32 AM

I Am Remote

Robert Pilkington

All of the rogues have been underwhelming (although, to Defoe's credit, in costume only) because of the "backstory" Raimi instilled in two of his major baddies: Ock and Sandman. C'mon, do we care that Ock had a wife? Or gave Peter dating advice? Are you kidding me? This villains work in the book because they were these vicious monsters with powers greater than Spider-Man. I hate to bring up another "Begins" comparison, but look at Neeson and Murphy in that film. Fantastic villains. Ideology. Menace. Action. They chewed up every scene they were in and we couldn't wait until Bats meet up with them. Instead Raimi poorly pulls his villains into this gray area, like we're supposed to relate to them. Or something? Way lame.

"I'm not a bad person." No, you're just in a bad movie. Very. Very bad.

Jul 13 - 08:31 AM

Herberbaly

Greg White

All of the rogues have been underwhelming (although, to Defoe's credit, in costume only) because of the "backstory" Raimi instilled in two of his major baddies: Ock and Sandman. C'mon, do we care that Ock had a wife? Or gave Peter dating advice? Are you kidding me? This villains work in the book because they were these vicious monsters with powers greater than Spider-Man. I hate to bring up another "Begins" comparison, but look at Neeson and Murphy in that film. Fantastic villains. Ideology. Menace. Action. They chewed up every scene they were in and we couldn't wait until Bats meet up with them. Instead Raimi poorly pulls his villains into this gray area, like we're supposed to relate to them. Or something? Way lame.

"I'm not a bad person." No, you're just in a bad movie. Very. Very bad.

Posted 07/13/07 08:31:08 AM by I Am Remote

Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

Jul 13 - 11:21 AM

cgcbooks

Robert Kimberlin

This is a film, not a comic book.

Jul 13 - 10:38 AM

Herberbaly

Greg White

All of the rogues have been underwhelming (although, to Defoe's credit, in costume only) because of the "backstory" Raimi instilled in two of his major baddies: Ock and Sandman. C'mon, do we care that Ock had a wife? Or gave Peter dating advice? Are you kidding me? This villains work in the book because they were these vicious monsters with powers greater than Spider-Man. I hate to bring up another "Begins" comparison, but look at Neeson and Murphy in that film. Fantastic villains. Ideology. Menace. Action. They chewed up every scene they were in and we couldn't wait until Bats meet up with them. Instead Raimi poorly pulls his villains into this gray area, like we're supposed to relate to them. Or something? Way lame.

"I'm not a bad person." No, you're just in a bad movie. Very. Very bad.

Posted 07/13/07 08:31:08 AM by I Am Remote

Yeah, I couldn't agree more.

Jul 13 - 11:21 AM

Mr. Kong

Sam jacobs

I personally can't wait. I just hope there's a stronger connection to the third, rather than just clearing the plate for a new villain. I don't really want to see any other villain than either Carnage or Lizard, since there is connection to them in 3.

Hell, I wouldn't mind if they brought Doc Ock back (I still keep hoping he's alive...)

Jul 13 - 01:54 PM

hartroforte

Andrew Harto

i thought spidy 3 was good up until the ending! i do agree i would of loved to have seen more of Venom. Thats the thing though u can always bring back dead villians in comic books. I think spidy should hook up with another hero for the 4th like punisher, wovlerine or the hulk. not the cheesy hulk either. they made a good team in the comics. the villians i would like to see would be doc oc again maybe teaming up with venom. now that would be good!! more action though!!!!!!!!!!

Jul 16 - 07:44 PM

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