The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision Blog confirmed late today that Spider-Man 4, a movie that had recently hit the brakes due to creative differences primarily over what villain the movie should use, has been outright canceled.
Columbia, Sony, and Marvel Studios will instead reboot the Spider-Man movie franchise, launching a new series of films with Peter Parker in high school, more similar to the take on the character seen in Marvel Comics' Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. With the relaunch, director Sam Raimi and stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, who had been involved with the first three big screen successes, all part ways with the franchise.
Raimi presented far from sour grapes, instead wishing Marvel luck saying, "the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job."
Sony's press release:
Culver City, CA (January 11, 2010) -- Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012. Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.
The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will have a new cast and filmmaking team. Spider-Man 4 was to have been released in 2011, but had not yet gone into production.
"Jeff Hardy would no show his own sex tape."