Monday, August 17, 2009
What the heck is going on? James Vanderbilt, screenwriter of Zodiac, was hired back in February of '08 to write Spider-Man 4. He turned in two scripts (for Spidey 4 and 5) and intended for the filmmakers to shoot the two movies back to back. Since then, other people have been brought in to rewrite his script for Spider-Man 4, so I assumed his ideas for connectivity between sequels were brought to an end.
Looks like that's not the case. Sony has just hired Vanderbilt to write Spider-Man 5 and 6! I guess they actually liked his ideas so much that they've decided to stick with his vision all the way through to complete another trilogy. The thing is, it's not looking like they're going to shoot these movies back to back: they're not even sure if they're going to make any Spider-Man films after the fourth installment.
I'm kind of confused by this - on one hand, pretty much everyone didn't like Spidey 3 as much as its predecessors, and the webslinger has vanished from the public's eye for the past few years. So I guess it makes sense that they wouldn't want to commit to another trilogy and spend the time and money to shoot it back to back in case Spidey 4 tanks nasty style at the box office. On the other, why would you hire this guy back if you like his ideas so much and then not film them all at once in order to get them out in theaters as quickly as possible and make your money while Spider-Man is fresh in the public's mind again?
The other questionable thing that's mentioned is that Vanderbilt has been told his scripts could be used to continue a trilogy that will begin in Spidey 4 OR be used as a blueprint for a series reboot. Does that make sense to anyone else? How the hell could a script written for the express purpose of continuing a franchise and bridging the gap between 4 and 6 double as a blueprint for a reboot? It's not possible. I don't get it. Either way, we're a long way away from seeing the fruits of any of this labor. Spider-Man 4 hits theaters in May of 2011, and neither the cast nor Sam Raimi has signed on for any further installments.
In other news, there are rumors flying around that Julie Taymor's Broadway production of Spider-Man: After the Dark (you know, the one that Bono and The Edge are doing the music for?) has been either canceled or put on hiatus. People are saying the budget is out of control and there's no way (even with a packed house every night) that they could make their money back. I've also heard conflicting reports that everything is fine, but that could be spin control coming from Taymor's camp. We'll see what happens with this, but if you're looking forward to the stage show, just know that there seems to be some trouble brewing.