For months leading up to what became the death of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4, the project filled the media with rumors and speculation. Now, with Sony Pictures planning an overly fast reboot of the franchise for 2012 release as of two days ago, we're already hearing of rumors and speculation for the next take on Peter Parker's adventures in high school (again).
According to Mike Fleming who recently joined Deadline Hollywood, Sony Pictures already has a short wishlist of directors they're interesting in hiring to restart the franchise with what likely will be a new trilogy of Spider-Man movies. According to their insiders, names such as James Cameron, David Fincher, and Wes Anderson are all included. However, at the top of that list is Marc Webb, the young director who directed last year's hit romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer.
Before I even get into Webb, I doubt Sony and Cameron would collaborate well on a project such as this. If they had disputes and control issues with Sam Raimi, there is no way Cameron would put up with such a thing in my opinion. Plus the obvious; He's working on other stuff for Fox and basically has himself a gold card to do whatever he wishes after making Avatar a billion-and-a-half dollar super success.
Marc Webb is a young director on the rise and I think that's ideal for Sony's long-term plans with the Spider-Man franchise. He'll follow their wishes and guidelines and have a better grasp of the character elements for the younger cast. While not having much on his resume, (500) Days of Summer was pretty flawless and I'm definitely willing to give him a chance.
How serious is this? Well, Webb has reportedly already met with the producers and Sony is really trying to fast-track this for a shoot date later this year. If they nab their director this quick, expect casting rumors to start flowing in all over again.
UPDATE: A couple of days ago Drew McWeeny of HitFix reported that he spoke with Kick-Ass director Matthew Vaughn, who stated that he is "desperate" to direct a Spider-Man movie. While not on the short list above, we've gotten word that while there are higher-ups at Sony that want Webb for the reasons mentioned above, there is also a group who wants Vaughn for the reboot due to how well Kick-Ass has been testing and because that film also deals with teens. Remember that Marvel initially wanted Vaughn to direct Thor, so he's already on their radar and they obviously have confidence in him already. We don't know whether Webb or Vaughn will win out, but there would be no convincing required by Sony to get Vaughn to come on board - so Vaughn would be a slam dunk.
The story is planned out for the Spider-Man reboot already, built off a pair of scripts (for Spider-Man 5 & 6) that Sony Pictures had James Vanderbilt writing even before production on Spider-Man 4 began. The plan was always to reboot after Spidey 4 as it was doubtful Raimi would do a fifth installment with all of his other work coming up - including the World of Warcraft adaptation.
I know some reaction will be that he doesn't have epic action or genre experience but neither did Bryan Singer, Sam Raimi or Christopher Nolan when they started their respective superhero franchises. Webb knows dialogue, drama, comedy, romance and characters as he's proved already, and those are essential for the direction Sony wants to go in.
What do you think of the candidates to direct?
Spider-Man (The Reboot) will hit theaters Summer 2012.
Source: Deadline Hollywood