WHY DID Spider-man 4 NOT take off, and why are we looking at a Rebooted Spider-man movie this time?
It was already during the filming of Spider-man 3 when director Sam Raimi and Producer Avi Arad had creative conflicts.
When we all heard that the guy who would direct the Spider-man movies was going to be Sam Raimi, who directed the Evil Dead trilogy (the 3rd chapter of the Evil Dead trilogy is ARMY OF DARKNESS which, I’m sure many of you are familiar with) and DARKMAN, we all rejoiced. Not only is he a great director, he is also a genuine fanatic of the Spider-man comics. And indeed, Raimi DID DELIVER a Great Spider-man movie, followed up with a magnificent sequel.
When it was time to make the 3rd movie, fans had only one thing in mind, Venom. Sam Raimi's original script had called for NO VENOM. Sure, Eddie Brock was on the script, but Spider-Man 3 was not going to be where we get to see Venom.
Raimi is a fan of the Spider-man comics way long before the creation of Venom (who only had his first appearance in 1988) and he originally wanted the villain VULTURE to appear in the movie alongside Sandman. But many fans wanted Venom. Producer Avi Arad tried to convince Raimi to include Venom in the third movie while shooting was already going to start and a full script had already been perfected. In short, Raimi was given limited time to write something that usually requires months to perfect.
So what happened was that Sam Raimi surrendered to all the Venom-nagging, and allowed the Venom storyline to be forced into what was already a solid storyline. The result was that Spider-Man 3 was a failure. From Spider-man 2 being regarded as THE BEST superhero movie ever made during that time (that was before Batman Begins and Dark Knight, of course), and into Spider-man 3, one of the worst super-hero movies.
In 2007, Spider-Man 4 entered development. Both a fourth and a fifth movie were planned and at one time the idea of shooting the two sequels concurrently was under consideration.
However, Raimi stated in March 2009 that only the fourth film was in development at that time and that if there were fifth and sixth films, those two films would actually be a continuation of each other.
At the time, Raimi expressed interest in portraying the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into his villainous alter-ego, the Lizard; the character's actor Dylan Baker and producer Grant Curtis were also enthusiastic about the idea.
It was reported in December 2009 that John Malkovich was in negotiations to play Vulture and that Anne Hathaway would play Felicia Hardy, though she would not have transformed into the Black Cat as in the comics (coincidentally, up from being considered for the role of Black Cat, she ended up to become the Dark Knight Rises' Catwoman).
Raimi may have allowed to play "fetch me Venom" and be the Studio's dog for Spider-Man 3.
But not for long.
This time, he decided NOT to be a sellout and stand his ground as far as creativity goes. Sam Raimi decided that he wants John Malkovich to play the Vulture.
The problem: Sony doesn’t want the Vulture, and Raimi apparently doesn’t want the Black Cat. (It’s still not revealed which writers were working on which villains, but it sounds like it was a mess. One story that got out was that Sony wanted to have a Love Triangle between Peter Parker, Felicia Hardy, and Mary Jane Watson. But Raimi did NOT want to have that) Rumors of behind-the-scenes problems persist.
Creative differences mixed with a deadline date that will surely be later than late resulted in Raimi quitting, same goes for the rest of the cast.
Then Sony decides to REBOOT the SPIDER-MAN franchise. Yes, up from the origin, with a new cast, a younger cast, a younger Spider-man, this time designed to attract the "Twilight" crowd. Now, we have a rebooted, brand new Spider-man movie. Will it be any good? Or better than Sam Raimi’s? Let’s find out this weekend.