Spider-Man 4 is nowhere near its May 2011 release, but Sony isn’t sitting around — the studio has hired James Vanderbilt to write the scripts for both Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6 movies.
Vanderbilt wrote a draft for Spider-Man 4, but director Sam Raimi went out to David Lindsay-Abaire (Robots, Inkheart) for a rewrite on that, and then moved on to grab Gary Ross (Big, Pleasantville) for yet another rewrite.
While Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are all coming back for the fourth installment of the franchise, there have been occasions where it seemed like none would be coming back, so Sony is setting up for the long-haul with Vanderbilt as their screenwriter and fully-prepared to move on to a “franchise reboot” with a new director and stars if the others don’t come back for future chapters.
Raimi in particular just recently signed on to direct a movie based on World of Warcraft, which could very likely become a franchise itself. Because of this, after Spider-Man 4, I doubt he’ll be back…and if he’s not coming back, neither is the cast. This means that this news is basically an announcement that the series will be rebooted after the quadrilogy is complete. There is always the chance that one thing will fall through, or this or that person will change their mind when the time comes, but for now, this is how it sounds to I.
Vanderbilt is what I like to consider proof that older work is nothing to judge by. So many times do we hear about someone who has some unappealing blemishes on their resume being hired to write something that we’re excited for. Vanderbilt has one of these blemishes in a little gem called Darkness Falls, but went on to write fun flick The Rundown, and then the highly-praised David Fincher movie, Zodiac. Just because Raimi wasn’t huge on his Spider-Man 4 draft, doesn’t mean that we really have to worry about a fifth and sixth installment…yet.