Spider-Man 3 is still a couple of months away, but it’s starting to look like Sony is already hard at work on plotting Spider-Man 4. In fact, they may already be talking about who will be the film’s big villain. According to one of our more reliable sources, the guy that’s getting the most consideration is a newer Spider-Man enemy named Morlun.

Till now most of Spidey’s enemies in the films have been more well traveled, classic faces from his extensive rogues gallery, but Morlun is relatively new to Peter Parker’s universe. Co-created by ‘Babylon 5’ godfather J. Michael Straczynski, Morlun first appeared in “Amazing Spider-Man” comics in 2001. Here’s how Marvel describes him: “Morlun is a vampiric being who has walked the earth for centuries. He feeds on the totems-- the core power sources of the universe. While he can feed on lesser sources such as humans and super humans, he requires a pure source to fully satiate his hunger.”

If this is really the direction they’re thinking of going for the fourth movie, it’s a serious departure from the previous three films. Battling Morlun sounds like they’d be skating on the edge of getting Spidey involved with magic, something that Raimi’s films have shied away from.

But then we don’t know if Raimi will be back, do we? Our inside source has the scoop on that as well. Apparently it’s not as much of a foregone conclusion that Spider-Man 3 will be the last movie for Raimi, Maguire, and Dunst as some think. Despite statements to the contrary, word is that the cast and crew is still undecided about whether or not to return. Unfortunately, of the big three the one that’s now most open to returning is Kirsten, who seems to be waiting around to see what Sam Raimi does. Apparently it’s not just about whether or not Raimi wants to come back, Sony isn’t sure whether or not they actually want him.

If Raimi is out, taking the franchise on a sharp left turn and using a radically different villain like Morlun might make sense. As long as you’re changing out the cast and crew, why not fiddle with the tone of the series as well?

For now, please remember to take all of the above only as unsupported rumor and conjecture. Our source has proven reliable in the past, but nothing is certain until Sony says it is.

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