Yes, I know that 2010 is still two years off, but that summer already has a few blockbuster tentpoles lined up (i.e. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Shrek Goes Fourth and Toy Story 3). And things could get pretty heated between the two comic-book tentpoles currently aiming for that summer as well: Sony's Spider-Man 4 and Warner Brothers' Superman: The Man of Steel.
In the case of Webhead, it's still a mystery as to whether or not Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi return. But my shrinking gut (thanks to my diet) says they're done. To be fair, I could see Raimi having some involvement (i.e. an "executive producer" title isn't out of the question). However, Maguire showing back up sounds unlikely at this point. I don't see Sony forking over the kind of paycheck he'll demand unless he agrees to another multi-film deal and that's what makes it even more unlikely.
So... an unknown actor could be the way to go. But I'm betting that supporting players like J.K. Simmons, Rosemary Harris and Dylan Baker will definitely return (i.e. cheap and for the sake of the movie franchise's continuty!)
Yes, Spider-Man 3 made $900 million. But there was a lot of hatred and/or disappointment coming out of the theater from most film-goers. God knows I was one of them.
So whoever ends up helming Spider-Man 4 better seriously listen to the audience and deliver the goods. Vic said it best:
"We've seen 'Peter goes through a change in his life' for three films now. It wouldn't hurt if this installment was more geared towards 'A day in the life of our friendly-neighborhood Spider-Man!"
Meanwhile, Warner Brothers will give Bryan Singer's Superman series another shot with the sequel: Man of Steel. Despite not living up to the studio's box-office expectations, Superman Returns still managed to churn out $400 million even with the complaints of few action sequences, lack of a super-villain and heavy melodrama. And then there's the issue of what to do with Supes and Lois' 5 year-old kid (who will likely be recast being that the actor will probably be too old).
Singer and Warner Brothers have sworn up and down they'll deliver an action-packed, no holds barred Superman sequel. Let's see that they do.
If Man of Steel doesn't match up to snuff at the box-office, Brandon Routh becomes the Timothy Dalton of Superman (a good or bad thing depending on how you see it!)
It's also safe to assume that either Spider-Man 4 or Superman: The Man of Steel will likely aim for the July 4th weekend. Having said all of that, this is just speculation on the part of one film nerd. Both films are in the early scripting stages, and things can change.
Regardless, this should be one interesting face-off come Summer 2010.