Sony has announced that Sam Raimi, director of the first three Spider-Man films, has backed out of the next one due to creative differences. Star Tobey Maguire has also backed out now, and Sony is planning for the next film to be a total franchise reboot that will start with the Peter Parker character back in high school. This new film, which won’t be Spider-Man 4, is now set for release in 2012.
Raimi had told Sony that he couldn’t make the scheduled May 5th, 2011 release date for Spider-Man 4 while maintaining the film’s creative integrity. Sony responded by dumping the entire film, going back to a reboot script written by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac), and started the search for a new director and cast.
Here’s what Raimi had to say about the news, “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.”