Sony, no doubt, had to pay the big bucks to get screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci – the writer/producer duo whose resume includes Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness, Transformers and… Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (mostly the good parts, to be fair) – along with Jeff Pinkner (Kurtzman/Orci’s collaborator on the television series Alias and Fringe) onboard to pen the script for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, drawing from an earlier draft written by James Vanderbilt (who co-wrote the first installment).
The studio had already confirmed that Kurtzman and Orci will be staying onboard as executive producers for the next two Amazing Spider-Man movies. However, today we have an update on the situation for Amazing Spider-Man 3, revealing that Kurtzman, Orci and Pinkner have been recruited to write the script once again (this time, from their original screen story).
And, lest we forget: Kurtzman is working to get a Locke & Key movie franchise off the ground, while there’s a reasonable chance that he and Orci will produce any sequels to this November’s Ender’s Game movie adaptation (should that sci-fi film prove to be a satisfactory hit, that is). So, again, hopefully you’re a fan of their approach to characterization, mythos-building, and storytelling in general (because if you’re not, well… you might have to skip on large chunks of geek entertainment that’s arriving over the next couple years).
Amazing Spider-Man 2 will, according to Kurtzman, provide some closure to many of the plot threads left dangling (gotta love the spider puns…) and questions unanswered in the first movie, especially where it concerns Peter Parker’s parents and their secret work for the ailing biotech research/development industrialist, Norman Osborn (played by Chris Cooper in the sequel).
Sony is playing the long game with its rebooted Spider-Man film continuity – one that leads to a Sinister Six appearance in the fourth installment (given that we’ve read between the lines correctly, that is). As such, it makes sense that the studio would prefer to keep the same crew steering this ship hereon out, with respect to the writing staff. That’s the same approach favored by Marvel Studios (see: using the same writers on multiple films), which 20th Century Fox is also imitating by having Simon Kinberg work on the scripts for two key installments in its own budding shared comic book cinema-verse (X-Men: Days of Future Past and the Fantastic Four reboot).
Directors, however, are another story, as Marvel prefers to play musical chairs with who sits at the helm, even when it comes to movies in the same franchise (The Avengers, aside). That makes it difficult to claim that Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 director Marc Webb will also return for TASM3 with any certainty, even given how deeply he’s immersed in the wonderful world of Spider-Man right now (see: his photo-a-day promotion of production on the sequel via social media).
On the other hand, Fox learned the hard way that not relying upon a single filmmaker’s inspired vision to guide a comic book movie franchise can backfire – with the lackluster X-Men movies that did not involve Bryan Singer and failed to uphold his style of storytelling (the exception being director James Mangold’s The Wolverine). The poor critical showings for those X-Men films seem to have affected the box office returns for subsequent installments, which is a cautionary tale that Sony ought to heed.
As more “proof” that Amazing Spider-Man 3 could benefit from stability in both the area of writing and direction: we’ve argued many a time before that Amazing Spider-Man‘s shortcomings can be mostly ascribed to Sony’s interference, not Webb’s failure as director. Hence, it may be advisable for Sony to bring him back for Part 3 – assuming that Webb’s other movie obligations don’t prevent that from happening (…and that he wants to return, of course).
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10th, 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 on May 4th, 2018.