'Spider-Man': '(500) Days of Summer's' Marc Webb to direct next three films

marc-webb-cinevegas-getty-320.jpgWith the "Spider-Man" film franchise getting the reboot, Marc Webb is the first to be ensnared by the superhero, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced Tuesday (Jan. 19).

The director has yet to become a household name, but his "(500) Days of Summer" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel has been widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike for its playful youthfulness. Webb steps into the director's chair vacated by Sam Raimi, who helmed the first three "Spider-Man" films before Sony decided to revamp the franchise.

"This is a dream come true and I couldn't be more aware of the challenge, responsibility, or opportunity," says Webb. "Sam Raimi's virtuoso rendering of Spider-Man is a humbling precedent to follow and build upon. The first three films are beloved for good reason. But I think the Spider-Man mythology transcends not only generations but directors as well. I am signing on not to 'take over' from Sam. That would be impossible. Not to mention arrogant. I'm here because there's an opportunity for ideas, stories, and histories that will add a new dimension, canvas, and creative voice to Spider-Man."

Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee approves of the decision to hire Webb: "I'm excited that Sony has chosen a director with a real penchant and understanding for the character. This is a brave, bold direction for the franchise, and I can't wait to see what Marc comes up with next."

The first of the films, written by James Vanderbilt, will hit theaters in summer 2012. Production will begin sometime later this year.

The head honchos at Columbia and Marvel claim they picked Webb because of his talent with telling more human, intimate stories, which would be important for the rebooted franchise that focuses more on a high school-aged Peter Parker.

Webb made his theatrical directing debut on "(500) Days of Summer." The bulk of his resume is directing music videos, including ones for Green Day, Weezer, My Chemical Romance, Incubus, Maroon 5, All-American Rejects, Hilary Duff and Ashlee Simpson.

What do you think of the choice of director? And when can we start hearing plot specifics so we can talk casting?

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