Fans hoping for a fourth Spider-Man movie featuring the now-familiar team of Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, et al should probably quit waiting: Looks like it's not going to happen. After reports surfaced last week of delays due to a script disagreement—short version: Raimi didn't like any of the scripts and didn't want to make another Spider-Man 3—it now looks like the whole project is dead in the water. Nikki Finke broke the story over on Deadline.com and details about what will take its place: A Spider-man-in-high-school reboot employing talent to be named later.
A subsequent press release from Sony elaborated a bit:
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.
So there you have it. On the plus side, it means we'll never get another overstuffed entry like Spider-Man 3. On the other hand, for two movies Raimi and his crew really had it together, and set a high standard for superhero movies in a decade that would be thick with them. It should be interesting to see what happens next.