Sony Pictures decided to reboot the Spider-Man franchise after the proposed budget for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 swelled to $300 million. The result of that decision is The Amazing Spider-Man, a 3D production sold as “The Untold Story” of Peter Parker that, in reality, revisits the origins of the arachnid-powered superhero while planting the seeds for future installments that branch out into unexplored territory. That bait-and-switch gamble has paid off, thanks to the sturdy efforts of TASM director Marc Webb (coupled with Spidey’s enduring popularity).

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was put in motion a year before Webb’s reboot even hit theaters, with a Summer 2014 release in mind. Spider-Man producers Avi Arad and Matthew Tolmach are keeping that ball rolling at full speed and have been pushing for Webb to return for the sequel, so he may continue mapping out the TASM universe.

Webb’s involvement is questionable due to his deal with Fox Searchlight, as the studio backed his freshman feature (500) Days of Summer and is anxious for him to fulfill his second movie commitment. Sony, as a result, finds itself in a situation reminiscent of Lionsgate’s with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire earlier this year, where the sequel’s rapid progress inspired Hunger Games director Gary Ross to take a pass. Webb’s contractual obligations, not his creative preferences, are at the heart of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 dilemma, but the end result could be the same (ie. a fast-assembling blockbuster sequel in need of a new director).

Movies Now has been following the behind-the-scenes proceedings on Amazing Spider-Man 2, and says there’s one possible scenario that would free up Webb for the comic book sequel. Fox is giving thought to allowing Webb to return for the project, in exchange for an two-movie deal with the studio. Webb is already loosely attached to helm the post-apocalyptic young adult tale Age of Rage, so such a compromise would be easier to strike if Webb finds another developing Fox project that fits his storytelling sensibilities.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 is being written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who are reworking a previous script draft penned by TASM co-writer James Vanderbilt (the scribe behind Raimi’s abandoned Spider-Man 4). It’s thought that the former are structuring the sequel to not only pick up the handful of narrative threads that were intentionally left dangling by Amazing Spider-Man (no pun), but also match the tone and worldview put forth in Webb’s film. Arad and Tolmach have teased the idea of future installments sharing continuity with Marvel’s Avengers universe, but that proposition is little more than a lucrative pipe dream (for the time being).

It stands to reason that Webb could travel the same path as Christopher Nolan did with his Batman trilogy, should he continue to work on the Amazing Spider-Man franchise. The latter, like Webb, encountered issues marrying his indie filmmaking tendencies with the demands of a studio blockbuster on Batman Begins, but would go on and mature into a cinematic storyteller with a distinct voice with The Dark Knight and Dark Knight Rises. However, there’s a catch: if Webb strikes the aforementioned deal with Fox, it might restrict him to directing just one additional Spider-Man flick.

We’ll keep you updated on the situation with Webb as the story continues to develop.

Meanwhile, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters on May 2nd, 2014.

Source: LA Times