In the eight days since Sam Raimi walked away from the Spider-Man film franchise he built into a moneymaking powerhouse over a disagreement with studio Sony over the creative direction of a planned fourth installment and the studio announced that it was going to reboot the series, speculation has been rampant as to who the studio was going to tap for the director’s chair. Sony announced today that they have hired Marc Webb, director of the this summer’s indie hit 500 Days Of Summer, for the job.
A press release (feel free to ignore the self-congratulatory snark at the link destination) from the studio announced the hiring, with Sony Co-Chairman Amy Pascal stating-
At its core, Spider-Man is a small, intimate human story about an everyday teenager that takes place in an epic super-human world. The key for us as we sought a new director was to identify filmmakers who could give sharp focus to Peter Parker’s life. We wanted someone who could capture the awe of being in Peter’s shoes so the audience could experience his sense of discovery while giving real heart to the emotion, anxiety, and recklessness of that age and coupling all of that with the adrenaline of Spider-Man’s adventure. We believe Marc Webb is the perfect choice to bring us on that journey.
The rest of the press release is filled with similar upbeat quotes from Webb, Spider-Man co-creator and comics icon Stan Lee and the film’s producers Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin.
It should be noted that officially, Webb has only been hired for this one film, though there is speculation that his contract has the standard clauses for at least two sequels.
Most distressing is the Hollywood Reporter stating that Columbia is looking to give the film a budget of somewhere in the neighborhood of $80 million, a pretty crappy neighborhood if you’re looking to make a special-effects laden summer blockbuster. I’m old enough to remember the old live action Amazing Spider-Man TV series from the late `70s featuring Nicholas Hammond as Peter Parker. As special effect technology and television budgets were both impediments to really bringing the Wall Crawler to the small screen, so the show spent a lot of time focused on Peter Parker investigating what ever organized crime group he was up against in that week’s episode. I forsee much more of Peter in his “civvies” rather than swinging on a web through the concrete canyons of Manhattan.