Marc Webb recently announced that he was joining Sam Raimi as a filmmaker who has spent three movies with the amazing Spider-Man, bowing out of the director’s seat for the 2018-scheduled The Amazing Spider-Man 4. Until then, he’s going to help shape this franchise with this summer’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, 2016’s The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and a partnership in the official Sony braintrust in charge of Venom and Sinister Six movies. After that, however, someone’s going to have to take up the job, creating a brave new world for Andrew Garfield and company to navigate as Sony attempts adventures of Marvel’s web-slinger in perpetuity.

So who’s going to fill Webb’s spot? Assuming the second and third Spidey adventures are as big as the first, Sony’s going to be looking at a big payday for Garfield, and heftier budgets for the behind-the-camera talent. That means that whomever they pick to assume the mantle for the fourth Spider-Man (technically the seventh!) has got to be affordable. They also have to be someone hungry enough for a shot that they can present a daring new vision for a character that will have been onscreen for sixteen years by the time The Amazing Spider-Man 4 hits screens, but not enough that it’s going to be so radical as to offset plans for those villain pictures presided over by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and company.

Four years is pretty far away: you can hypothesize that Sony’s choice for the fourth film hasn’t even picked up a camera yet. That being said, if the studio didn’t value planning ahead, there wouldn’t be a release date for a fourth Spider-Man picture in 2013. But don’t look for dream choices or trend-setters here: Mark Romanek is not walking in (and then back out!) that door, David Fincher is not sniffing this job, and the Wachowskis aren’t going to present their daring vision of Spider-Man 2099 anytime soon. Think of how Sony plucked Marc Webb from the indie world after his relatively modest (500) Days Of Summer: Webb wasn’t on studio’s blockbuster wishlists, but ultimately Sony felt he personified their new vision of the character. In no particular order, because we’ve cast a very wide net (Spider-Man contains multitudes!) here is a likely list of ten potential filmmakers who could join Sony’s team to direct The Amazing Spider-Man 4.

Kimberly Peirce
Who? Peirce earned plaudits earlier in her career for guiding Hilary Swank to an Oscar in Boys Don’t Cry. She also helmed the underrated military drama Stop/Loss and recently guided the Carrie remake to solid financial success.

Why? Peirce has been trying to break into the big time for a while now, having long been attached to the science fiction adaptation Childhood’s End. Her films are serious and tough-minded, and given that the fourth Spider-Man likely will be happening in a post-Gwen Stacy world (if the films follow the classic comic storyline), it might be time to toughen up our hero a bit. She’s an industry vet who’s been on the Hollywood merry go-round for more than a decade, and will know how to pick her battles in that all-male writer’s room.

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