Wow. I’m a bit shocked not only by this development, but the direction the franchise is going. Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past couple hours, Ain’t It Cool has confirmed that Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire are off the Spider-Man franchise. Not only that, but Sony is going to reboot the series a whopping 10 years after is started.
What I’ve found interesting is just how many people are thrilled at this development because of just how bad Spider-Man 3 was. From extensive heresay, it’s fairly well known that Venom was forced on Raimi by Sony. Raimi has gone on record saying “Venom is for squares.” (It was in an issue of Wizard magazine, but I can’t find the issue to save my life right now. If someone knows the issue, please post in the comments below.) The fact that Venom was written in such a half-hearted way that it would explain a lot of the problems in the character.
That’s all beside the point, though. If Raimi and Sony couldn’t agree on where to take the franchise, it’s good that they decided to part ways. Raimi (the guy who created two of the best comic films ever made) had a very distinct idea of where to take the franchise and Sony (the idiots who at bare minimum insisted that Venom be in the third film) wanted to go another direction.
Add in the fact that Sony has stated that they’ll be essentially rebooting the series and taking Peter Parker back to high school and Raimi walking is instantly a brilliant move. It’s clear that Sony wants to bring in the Twilight/CW audience, and this is a perfect way to do it.
Honestly, I wish them well because I have a very hard time believing that they can talk anyone into taking the franchise on who will be as successful as Raimi. This isn’t because I think that Raimi is untouchable. It’s because any filmmaker who could make a truly good Spidey film would require more control over the story and the direction of the series in general, like Raimi had, and it’s pretty clear as of right now that Sony isn’t willing to do that.
There is also the possibility that the direction Raimi wanted to go with series was silly and Sony decided to nuke the whole series because Maguire wasn’t coming back without Raimi. It’s unlikely, but possible. It will be very interesting to see this story play out over the next days and weeks. As of right now, my interest in the Spider-Man franchise has completely bottomed out.