Sony Pictures works fast. Just a day and a half ago, they announced the death of Spider-Man 4, then in production under the watchful eye of director Sam Raimi. With the departure of Raimi — whose first three Spider-Man movies earned the studio several billions of dollars — the studio moved to a reboot scenario, and a script from Jamie Vanderbilt.
Today, Deadline New York‘s Mike Fleming is quoting sources saying that 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb has been talking to Sony about picking up said reboot and running fast toward a 2012 release. Webb is a surprise candidate, thought not completely out of left field. His debut film earned him a fair amount of good will with critics and his clean directorial style and youth in the industry are perfect sticking points for Sony. They don’t seem to want an experienced director with a ton of baggage, such as James Cameron, David Fincher or Wes Anderson (all of whom were mentioned by Fleming as being on the studio’s wish list). They need someone who is capable (which Webb certainly is) and obedient (which is likely, as Webb has only one film under his belt).
The other interesting piece of news in this fresh report is that the studio is looking to get the film into production this year. They’re also going to shoot it in 3D. This is something that was not part of plans for Spider-Man 4. The 3D at least explains why the previous release date (the one that was cited as part of the reason Raimi left the project) will be scrapped and a new date in 2012 will be set. 3D simply takes up more production time.
As for whether or not this is a good move — it remains to be seen. Webb’s certainly a solid director. He handled the telling of young love in a fresh way quite well with 500 Days of Summer, and was certainly able to inject the story with energy. I’m sure we will get a much clearer picture of his experience with the character and passion for the project should he sign on. Until then, questions still remain.