Sony/Columbia already had plans for The Amazing Spider-Man to kick off a trilogy, well before the superhero reboot took in over half a billion dollars at the global box office (and that total is still rising). TASM co-writer James Vanderbilt was tasked with penning the Spidey sequel - before Hollywood's (not-so) Secret Weapons, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, were hired to rework Vanderbilt's script draft.
The latest word on Amazing Spider-Man 2 suggests there may also be change-ups in the director's chair, as TASM helmer Marc Webb might not be available to work on the film (which is slated to begin production by early 2013, in order to make a May 2014 release date).
Columbia Pictures Chief Douglas Belgrad has informed THR that the studio would "really like [Webb back for 'TASM 2'], but there are obstacles." That's in reference to Webb's obligation to Fox, which backed his feature-length directorial debut (500) Days of Summer - and part of the filmmaker's deal on that picture is that he must helm at least one more movie for the studio, in the immediate future.
Amazing Spider-Man stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone already have deals in place to reprise their roles as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy in future films (not to mention, recreate their palpable screen chemistry, as the SR Underground team discussed in detail. Moving on...). That's to say: the only major TASM player who's not yet a sure thing for the sequel is Webb, so expect to hear a more official update on the situation soon.
[caption id="attachment_189775" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb on the 'Amazing Spider-Man' set"][/caption]
Webb seemed to suffer from the same growing pains that inflict most filmmakers on their first venture into big-budget territory, and Amazing Spider-Man (read our review) reflected that. Nonetheless, he arguably pulled off an important task that more experienced blockbuster directors often fail at: ensuring the movie has a beating heart, to go along with all the action beats and spectacle.
It's for that reason that Webb stands to only improve on those results with TASM 2, should he indeed return for the sequel. However, reading between the lines of our conversations with Webb about future Spider-Man flicks (parts of which we've yet to publish), Webb may be inclined to pursue other projects - regardless of how his Fox commitment affects his availability.
We'll keep you updated on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as the story develops.