Spider-Man 4 Cancelled! [Updated]

Breaking News: Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire are out of Spider-Man 4! Sony moving forward with Franchise reboot.

Well, I kind of saw this coming. Spider-Man 4 with its issues over villains, Sony vs. Raimi disputes and delays is now confirmed dead.

Many of our readers agreed with what I said in our last post on the confirmed delay of Spider-Man 4 in that perhaps Raimi and Sony should simply part ways and they can take the franchise in another direction or start from scratch.

Now it is confirmed from Nikki Finke and Mike Fleming at Deadline Hollywood that the cast and director have pulled out entirely and Sony will instead go the route of the reboot with Jamie Vanderbilt's script.

This was bound to happen after the mess of Spider-Man 3 and I'm a little surprised it took this long for Raimi and Sony to part ways considering he was seemingly promised creative control of this fourth installment after being somewhat of a puppet for the studio the last go in terms of villain selections.

According to Finke and Fleming's sources, Raimi told Sony that he cannot make their scheduled release date and in response, the heads of Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures were not fond of the idea of replacing the director or waiting, so they will instead do what many fans want and reboot the franchise all together.

When Marvel Studios moved Thor into Spider-Man 4's key release date at the opening weekend of summer 2011, we knew Spider-Man 4 was officially on the move but it's a little surprising to see that turn into a full blown cleansing of the slate so to speak.

I guess John Malkovich won't be getting that final script treatment for his role as the Vulture after all...

The good news is that this ties into my theory of Spider-Man 5 & 6 being reboots anyway, interconnected with the Venom movie.

Does this news break your heart or make you cry for joy? What do you want to see from the reboot?

[Update 1: Sony Pictures Tweeted that the reboot will see Peter Parker back in High School and that the film will come in 2012 as opposed to Spider-Man 4's May 2011 planned release date]

[Update 2: Sony put put their official press release on the matter - See below]

Culver City, CA (January 11, 2010) -- Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012. Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will have a new cast and filmmaking team. Spider-Man 4 was to have been released in 2011, but had not yet gone into production.

“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.

“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job,” said Sam Raimi.

“We have had a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration and friendship with Sam and Tobey and they have given us their best for the better part of the last decade.This is a bittersweet moment for us because while it is hard to imagine Spider-Man in anyone else’s hands, I know that this was a day that was inevitable,” said Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, who has served as the studio’s chief production executive since the beginning of the franchise. “Now everything begins anew, and that’s got us all tremendously excited about what comes next. Under the continuing supervision of Avi and Laura, we have a clear vision for the future of Spider-Man and can’t wait to share this exciting new direction with audiences in 2012.”

"Spider-Man will always be an important franchise for Sony Pictures and a fresh start like this is a responsibility that we all take very seriously," said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures. "We have always believed that story comes first and story guides the direction of these films and as we move onto the next chapter, we will stay true to that principle and will do so with the highest respect for the source material and the fans and moviegoers who deserve nothing but the best when it comes to bringing these stories and characters to life on the big screen."

The studio will have more news about Spider-Man in 2012 in the coming weeks as it prepares for production of the film.

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Source: Deadline Hollywood

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