Zodiac Screenwriter James Vanderbilt Writing Spider-Man 4
We all knew it was inevitable - Spider-Man 4 is in the works, and it already has a screenwriter attached. Thankfully he may be the right guy for the job. James Vanderbilt is his name and his most recent writing credit is Zodiac from earlier this year. Those of us who saw Zodiac know just how great it is and that's at least partially because of Vanderbilt. A great movie at least must have a great script to start. What will he do with the Spider-Man franchise? Can he revive it from near death?
Although Spider-Man 3 has made the most money at the box office than any other movie this entire year, that doesn't mean it was a good movie. Many people went to see it, but most weren't impressed by it and a lot of people really disliked it. What the franchise needs is a strong screenwriter who won't stuff the movie with an excess of villains or cheesy clichés in order to really bring it all back to the level that it was at with Spider-Man 2.
The details on Spider-Man 4 so far are very minor. Producer Laura Ziskin is back, but no deals have been made with director Sam Raimi or stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst yet. The intent for the story in Vanderbilt's screenplay is to only focus on two villains. Vanderbilt apparently was chosen by Sony execs for his character-driven approach to the story rather than a focus on special effects.
Although Zodiac may have been a great movie, Vanderbilt's other writing credits are The Rundown, Basic, and Darkness Falls - not a strong history of good films at all. Let's hope Vanderbilt can really pull it off! If Raimi comes back again and works with a great script, compliments of Vanderbilt, maybe we will see another Spider-Man 2. At least as long as I'm this optimistic.