Reports: Sony Planning Two 'Spider-Man' Sequels
Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi close to deals to return
The studio is hoping to have the franchise star and director under contract to shoot the fourth and fifth "Spider-Man" features starting next fall, with a hypothetical May 2011 release for "Spider-Man 4."
James Vanderbilt ("Zodiac") was previously hired to write the fourth film when Raimi and Maguire's involvement was unclear.
The story, still gestating, was reported first on Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily website and then migrated to The Hollywood Reporter.
While the industry trade paper didn't bother attributing the story to Finke's site, it at least got a quote from Sony spokesman Steve Elzer stating that Internet rumors aside, the studio hadn't contemplated possible replacements for Maguire.
"The studio never considered any other actor. Tobey was our only choice and the only person we've discussed the role with," Elzer tells the HR.
Neither story had any additional information on the return of Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, nor on the gestating "Venom" feature being scripted at the studio.
Stay tuned for addition details as they become available.