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Don’t be holding your breath for Spider-Man 4 to make its planned May 5,2011 release date.
Nikki Finke announced yesterday that Spider-Man 4 is on an indefinite production hold due to problems with the script. The script has already gone through several writers, and Sam Raimi and Sony Pictures have been rumored to be arguing over who the villain(s) will be this time around.
In the first two films, Mr. Raimi wanted the villain to be someone who somehow reflected what was going on in Peter Parker’s life. With the third one, he had Venom forced upon him by the studio, and we all know how that disaster turned out. Mr. Raimi had previously said he never wanted to use Venom because he just didn’t find him all that interesting, but Sony saw a chance to launch Venom into his own series of movies, so they told the director he had no choice. While the film still made money ($336,530,303 domestic, $554,341,323 foreign off a $258 million budget), no one was creatively satisfied with the film, and it looked like the series might be dead.
After a significant amount of financial wrangling, and Tobey Maguire reportedly snagging $50 million for the fourth and fifth film, the films are back on track, but with the same problems.
The rumor is Sam Raimi wants to use The Vulture as the villain, but Sony is saying that it isn’t a marketable character. This isn’t about marketing folks, these movies sell themselves. We go to see an iconic hero being portrayed well, whomever the villain is, while cool, is not the reason we flock to the theater because, I’ll let you in on a little secret, Spider-Man wins in the end. He is never going to lose one of these fights, so what does it really matter how “marketable” the villain is? Sony got its way last time and they ended up with a critical disaster on their hands. Venom sucked. Period.
Sam Raimi has made you a lot of money, let him do his own thing and leave it at that.
Some feel the film may make it out for July 2011, but the May 5, 2011 date is quickly slipping away.
UPDATE: The Thor movie just changed release dates from June 17, 2011 to May 6, 2011 … this pretty much confirms Spider-Man 4 is delayed.