Sony Pictures has recently dropped one of the superhero genre’s most lucrative film franchises, Spider-Man.
Sony Pictures officially announced on Jan. 11, that the studio was pulling out of its plans to make “Spider-Man 4,” along with firing most of the original cast and crew from the previous films.
According to Sony, audiences will see Spider-Man as he is in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics: deep in high school angst.
The main reasons behind the film’s cancellation were director Sam Raimi’s dislike of the idea for the screenplay and his inability to come up with a decent story by the film’s release deadline of May 2011.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Raimi was “very vocal inside Sony that he hated [the screenplay].” Raimi then told Sony he couldn’t meet their date of release. “I can’t go forward creatively,” he said.
Once he gave the word, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios decided to start the whole franchise over instead of trying to hire a new director. The new film, to be released
in the summer of 2012, is set to be written by Jamie Vanderbilt (screenwriter of David Fincher’s “Zodiac”) and expected to have an entirely new group of actors.
“I am kind of disappointed because I don’t think anyone can play Spider-Man other than Tobey Maguire, who has been doing it for three movies,” said sophomore Jack Kirwin. “But if the reboot is as good as the past movies, I wouldn’t care too much.”
According to the official Sony press release, when the next Spider-Man hits theaters, Peter Parker is going back to high school.
Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced they are “moving forward with a plot that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.”
“I was anticipating the fourth film by Raimi, but I’m hoping the new film will reboot the franchise for the better,” said Kirwin.
Spider-Man would not be the first superhero to get such a drastic cinematic makeover.
The Batman franchise endured a similar reboot with Christopher Nolan’s 2005 “Batman Begins.”
The highly successful sequel, “The Dark Knight” would not have existed if Warner Bros. had gone on with the series after 1997’s disastrous “Batman and Robin.”
After the horrific box office failure of “Batman and Robin,” the continuation of director Joel Schumacher’s vision was promptly cancelled.
The new film was created to make way for a reboot which would go back to the first years of the dark knight.
As of now, there is no official statement for the development of Spider-Man’s new cast.
Rumors are running rampant for casting options, which definitely include popular teenage actors like Taylor Lautner, Kellan Lutz, Ed Westwick, Zac Efron, Daniel Radcliffe, Robert Pattinson, Michael Cera and Anton Yelchin.
“What I like about the Spider-Man franchise is how it did not have big names cheapening it,” said freshman Matthew Smith.
“It was not about seeing the movie because it stars Johnny Depp or Zac Efron. Now they are just name-dropping,” he said.
This will be one of the first times a complete overhaul has been enacted for a financially successful series.
The previous three films were international blockbusters, whose combined worldwide gross was nearly $2.5 billion, according to movie web site, Box Office Mojo.
Even the third film, which was universally panned by critics and audiences, still managed to rake in nearly $900 million worldwide, making it the 15th highest-grossing film of all time.
Still, casting of this saga’s reboot remains a prominent concern for fans of Spider-Man, with many worried about who will play the lead role.
“With the wrong choice [in casting the new film], the saga could lose the entire fan base, the people who would actually watch all of these films,” said Smith.
“The success or failure of the this popular series reboot will fringe on the male lead who they pick to play Spider-Man,” he said.