Zodiac Screenwriter James Vanderbilt Writing Spider-Man 4

October 31, 2007
Source: Hollywood Reporter

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.

Find more posts: Movie News



I haven't even seen the third Spidey flick (due mostly to the so many negative reviews), but Spider-Man 2 was easily the best of the two I have seen. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst are two of the most boring actors to play the two leads, however, so I'm not going to be upset if they're recast. And I can do without Raimi's signature musical interludes... so another director won't bother me either.

avoidz on Nov 1, 2007


I think James Vanderbilt could do something nice with SM4. I would personally welcome a change in the style of the franchise as well as its crew and cast. Spider-Man 3 was 'enjoyable' at best, so they have to come up with a better sequel this time. I'm just not sure that the past cast and crew still have the passion it takes to deliver this... Can't wait 🙂

Sam on Nov 1, 2007


I would love a partial reboot of this franchise. New screenwriter, new director and new leads. Okay, maybe that's a complete reboot 🙂 After the craptastic Spider Man 3, anything would be welcome that would help them refocus.

William Mize on Nov 6, 2007


I hopes he introduces the lizard and carnage as the main villians of spidey 4. who knows maybe he might introduce the black cat and probably bring back sandman.

anonymous on Nov 13, 2007


Yeah, it doesn't bother me either if the cast is changed; in fact I'd probably prefer if they did. The Lizard would be good to bring in, and the Black Cat. I don't care if Venom makes an appearance. I enjoyed the character's appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man comic (and Todd McFarlane's fantastic art at that time, back in the late-1980s and early 1990s), but there are other interesting characters to place in the Spider-universe and movies.

avoidz on Nov 13, 2007

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