by Aaron Einhorn
I’ve devoted several editorial columns to the fact that none of the SPIDER-M4N casting stories are actually news, based on the fact that they didn’t even have a script completed for the film. In mid-December, we told you that the film had been put on indefinite hold, according to sources inside IESB.net, although that was later refuted by a source who spoke to SuperheroHype, which claimed that the delay was a typical holiday hiatus, and not reflective of the state of the film.
Well, it seems that IESB had it correct, since Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily has heard from Sony insiders that there still isn’t a completed script, and there is no start date for filming at this time. Studio insiders have even said that they are uncertain of SPIDER-M4N being ready for it’s May 11, 2011 release date.
This is a big deal. For one thing, it means that the early May release date, something that Sony has associated with the franchise ever since the first Spider-Man, is now up for grabs by other studios. And it’s hard to ignore the fact that the first weekend in May is Free Comic Book Day – making the following weekend a perfect time to debut a superhero film.
It also means that they don’t have a completed script yet. This means that every element of the film remains in flux. Studio insiders say that Sam Raimi is being pretty steadfast in wanting John Malkovich for the villain of the film (most likely as the Vulture), but have said that the odds of seeing Anne Hathaway – as either the Black Cat or as the (shudder) Vultress – are extremely low. It also means that everything we had heard about the script could be completely different then the final film, since reportedly Raimi hated the last draft.
The good news for fans? It sounds like Raimi is being much more resolute on making the kind of film – with the villains he wants – then he was with Spider-Man 3. When you consider how much potential there was with that film – and the elements Raimi got right focusing on the Sandman story – and what we ended up with, then it seems like this is ultimately a good step. If it takes delays and bloodying the studio’s nose for Raimi to be allowed to make the SPIDER-M4N he wants to make, the odds are high that it will end up being the kind of Spider-Man 4 the fans want to see. If the studios pressure Raimi into making a film featuring a villain he doesn’t want to use, we’ll get another Spider-Man 3.
And no one wants that.
(Source: Deadline Hollywood Daily)