'The Amazing Spider-Man 3' and '4' greenlit, release dates announced

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Don't expect that the upcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" will be the final movie in Marc Webb's "Spider-Man" saga. The rebooted franchise will swing someplace its Sam Raimi predecessor never managed to: a fourth movie.

Sony Pictures has announced that both "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 4" are greenlit, even though "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" doesn't come out until 2014. "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" will hit theaters on June 10, 2016, while "The Amazing Spider-Man 4" is due out on May 4, 2018.

A lot could happen in the next five years to alter that course of events, but for now it looks like Andrew Garfield will be sticking around as the web-slinging superhero for at least half a decade more. It remains to be seen how long Emma Stone stays with the franchise, or whether newcomers Shailene Woodley, Dane DeHaan and Chris Cooper will remain in it for more than "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." With characters like Flash Thompson, Norman Osborn and Mary Jane Watson only now being introduced, it seems like Webb is setting the stage for some bigger dramatic arcs that will come to a conclusion a movie or two down the road.

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is due in theaters on May 2, 2014. In addition to the actors previously mentioned, it stars Jamie Foxx as Electro, Paul Giamatti as the Rhino and Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben.

Photo/Video credit: Sony Pictures