Untangling the webs (Spider-Man 4 updates)

Tobey Maguire is hanging up his Spider-Man threads (photo from “Spider-Man 3,” courtesy Sony Pictures)

So much for those rumors about John Malkovich playing the villainous Vulture in “Spider-Man 4.”

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios officials announced that the movie is off the schedule for the time being. Rather than rushing a film Spider-Man movie into production to meet May, 2011 release date, they decided to reboot the lucrative superhero movie franchise — and are now aiming to get a movie made in time for a 2012 release date.

They also announced that the fourth movie will not feature director Sam Raimi or star Tobey Maguire, who were originally set to return.

Many have blamed Sony for the muddled, messy “Spider-Man 3.” But Raimi, who insisted on more “old-school” version of the characters and concepts, was to blame as well.

Now apparently the studio will be looking for a filmmaker with a younger, fresher take — akin to what readers enjoy in Marvel Comics’ “Ultimate Spider-Man” monthly series. James Vanderbilt (“Zodiac”) is already working on a script.

It’s rumored that the studio has some interest in director Edgar Wright, whose movie version of the “Scott Pilgrim” comics is already getting rave reviews.

What do you think? Is it a good idea for Sony to reboot the franchise? Or would you rather see Raimi and Maguire return for a fourth movie?

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