Confirmed: Spider-Man 4 on Hold, Sam Raimi 'Hates' the Script
This sounds bad. We wrote a few stories at the end of last year about Spider-Man 4 being put on hold because Sony and Sam Raimi were fighting about the script for the fourth movie. Sony wants another record-breaking blockbuster while Raimi wants to get "back to basics" and make a movie that everyone actually enjoys this time. Well, Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood has now confirmed that Spider-Man 4 is indeed on hold and it may not even make its May 2011 release date. "We will be extending the production hiatus on the film. The studio is firmly committed to this franchise but, for us, the script must come first."
If you thought thinks were bad last year, apparently they've only gotten much worse. Drew McWeeny of HitFix says: "Since that first story ran, I've been hearing some really terrible things about what's going on between Sam Raimi, the studio, and the writers, and I've been starting to wonder if there's any chance they can reach an agreement that will make all involved parties happy." I'm starting to worry about that as well. Will Raimi and Sony be able to work things out? I'm surprised that they're even fighting with Raimi, especially if they paid copious amounts to make sure he would return to begin with. Doesn't make sense?
Anyway, word from Finke is that the Raimi "hated" the latest draft of the script. Sony has hired a fourth writer, Alvin Sargent, who wrote Spider-Man 2 and 3, to work on a new draft (which they're waiting on). But the problem is they're already behind schedule waiting on this script and therefore, according to an insider at Sony, "it is unlikely that May 11, 2011, date will be made." But of course, "it depends on how quickly the script can get in," and if Raimi and Sony both like it. Finke says that Sony still wants to release Spider-Man 4 that summer, even if they have to do push it back to July. But they'll be losing that May spot.
So what's the big fight all about? Well, referring to the article we wrote in December, it sounds like Raimi really wants John Malkovich to play Vulture, and Sony doesn't like that idea. They also don't like the idea of hiring Anne Hathaway as Vulturess (or some other key female character) because "she'd cost too much and that they probably don't need 'such a big star' for the pic." And let's not forget why they don't want Dr. Connors to ever turn into The Lizard - because they "can't bring themselves to sign off on such an odd-looking enemy." Raimi is the one who should win this - he knows his franchise better than anyone.
I really have no more energy to write about Spider-Man 4 or Spider-M4n or whatever it'll be called. The more I hear, the more depressed I get. If only Sony would listen to Raimi and go with what he wants in his movie, then we'd not only have another big record-breaker in the works, but it'd probably be an awesome movie as well (just like Spider-Man 2). We'll keep you update on this anyway, hopefully with better news.