Marc Webb Confirmed to Helm “Spider-Man 4”

1/21/2010 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Tim Strain

After a little more than a week of searching, Sony Pictures has found its director for “Spider-Man 4.” Marc Webb, he of “(500) Days of Summer” fame, will take over the reins of the re-boot of the multi-billion dollar franchise.

As Week In Rewind previously reported, the “Spider-Man” franchise as audiences know it went up in flames when Sam Raimi walked off the job on January 12, 2010, and the cast quickly followed suit. Sony, though, has an ace in the hole in James Vanderbilt, hired last year to write scripts for the fourth, fifth, and sixth installments in the series that change the overall tone and dramatic focus of the series.

Sony is seeking to start anew with a perspective that is more gritty and contemporary. Peter Parker will return to the hallowed halls of high school in “Spider-Man 4.”

Vulture is reporting that the search for a new director has ended. The leading candidates were rumored to have been narrowed down to Webb, Gary Ross, and Michael Bay. According to Vulture:

“Sony will imminently announce a deal with '(500) Days of Summer' director Marc Webb to direct not one, but three Spider-Man movies in a rebooted franchise that will focus far more on the private life of Peter Parker.”

Webb’s hiring is another addition to the canon of recent tentpole releases helmed by directors with dubious résumés. David Yates, director of the past two installments of “Harry Potter” and the upcoming “Deathly Hallows,” had only directed short films and television series before taking on everyone’s favorite wizard. Marc Forster never had had a budget of more than $40 million and never had done an action movie before being given $230 million for James Bond’s 22nd go-around, “Quantum of Solace.”

The hiring of Webb is a smart financial move for Sony. He will earn $10 million for the first film and that number could rise depending on how much the film grosses. This is pocket change compared to the hundreds of millions Raimi and Tobey Maguire would have earned together due to them receiving 25% of the final gross.

Coming Soon published a statement they received from Sony regarding the vision of the film:

“At its core, Spider-Man is a small, intimate human story about an everyday teenager that takes place in an epic super-human world. The key for us as we sought a new director was to identify filmmakers who could give sharp focus to Peter Parker's life. We wanted someone who could capture the awe of being in Peter's shoes so the audience could experience his sense of discovery while giving real heart to the emotion, anxiety, and recklessness of that age and coupling all of that with the adrenaline of Spider-Man's adventure. We believe Marc Webb is the perfect choice to bring us on that journey."

It should be noted that the press release does not mention three films, as Vulture’s article does. Webb is also a newcomer in Hollywood and will presumably be on a short creative leash. If the first film in the new series isn’t a success for whatever reason, don’t expect to see him directed part five.

Then again, I can see this being a very interesting contemporary take on Spidey. Webb captured the modern young male’s perspective well in “(500) Days of Summer,” a romantic comedy with a man as a lead. This is no easy task. Let’s hope Sony doesn’t hire the 2nd Unit Director in charge of the incomprehensible “Quantum of Solace” action scenes to stage the web-spun set pieces. While his inexperience may cause problems for action junkies, those looking for a solid story should have hope.

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  1. Anonymous said...

    Interesting take, oh Strenuous one. I really wanted to see Malkovich as the Vulture, though.

    Also, "don’t expect to see him directed part five." Grammar nazis raining down from above.