Yesterday the rumors that director Marc Webb would helm the Spider-Man reboot came true via an official press release from Sony Pictures. With that out of the way, rumors can shift back on to who will play Peter Parker and what the film will be about.
A concern from the press release yesterday for many of us was a segment where Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, hinted at a re-hashing of Spider-Man's origins. In describing Marc Webb's choice and the setting of Peter Parker being back in high school, she says the reasoning behind this decision was that "so the audience could experience his sense of discovery.”
As we know, we've already dealt with the whole radioactive spider thing and him learning how to climb walls. We do not need that again, especially so soon. Well, according to insiders who've seen the script, Peter Parker may be Spider-Man from the beginning and we won't get a full replay of his origins. Good.
According to HitFix's Drew McWeeny, some who have seen the script tell him that Peter Parker is already Spider-Man from the beginning of the story. What that means in terms of the story reflecting back on uncle Ben dying or to the event that transformed him, we don't know.
As for who lands the career-defining role as the web-slinging hero? You can immediately knock off the vast majority of rumors out there naming actors in their mid-to-late 20s or early 30s. Peter Parker will be back in high school and they're seeking an age-appropriate actor who's relatively unknown. Sorry Rob Pattinson and Jim Sturgess fans.
It's All Business
The reason this reboot is happening and happening super fast is for money. Sony made it clear a while ago that they are not interested in waiting 3 or more years in between installments into this highly profitable franchise and this is why they tasked James Vanderbilt with writing reboot scripts for Spider-Man 5 & 6 before Spider-Man 4 even went into production.
In addition to the dispute over story elements and villain choices between Raimi and Sony Pictures for Spider-M4N, a big reason for the cancellation was that Raimi said to them he cannot make their deadline to have the film release at the top of summer 2011. Raimi reportedly wanted a budget around $300 for the film but Sony wanted something closer to $200 million.
Why so high a budget? After three super successful installments, the cast salaries went over the roof since they were option just for the trilogy and had to re-negotiate with the cast to do a fourth.
With a reboot comes a new set of contracts which Sony can plan long term to control costs. This also works nicely with their plans to bring in a relative unknown set of cast members who do not command large contracts and who will sign long-term.
With all that said, the budget for the Spider-Man reboot is apparently in the $80 million dollar range; Much lower than what Raimi's problematic Spider-Man 4 required and relatively small compared to most other major superhero titles.
How would you like Spidey's second coming handled? Can such a blockbuster film be made better/worse with a lower budget?