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Superhero directors tend to work in threes. Christopher Nolan cranked out three Batman movies. Bryan Singer is returning for this third X-Men movie (separating X2 and Days of Future Past by several years). Sam Raimi did three Spider-Man movies, and now Marc Webb is following his lead.
We are weeks away from Webb’s blockbuster sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, opening in theaters. The director already has confirmed that he’ll be back in the director’s chair for a third Spidey film. But while Sony has grand designs for a fourth Spider-Man movie (and beyond), they’ll be mapping out that massive cinematic universe without Webb behind the camera.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Webb confirmed that he may keep a finger in the growing Spidey world, but not as a director. He said:
I’d like to be involved as a consultant, and I’ve already talked to these guys about it, but in terms of directing it, that will close out my tenure. I’ve had so much fun doing it, but after the third movie, it’ll be the time to find something else."
I can’t say I blame him one bit. Webb told me at San Diego Comic-Con last year that he envisioned this journey with Andrew Garfield as a trilogy, and he’d like to start bringing closure to the story that he started by the time he reaches part three. Which is a better, healthier approach to take. By the time Raimi finally got to work on his own Part Three, the studio was pushing Venom on him, his plans to lean on old-school villains like Vulture and Sandman were being tinkered with, and the final product suffered as a result of too many cooks in the kitchen.
The difference here is that Sony already has reveled that it has plans in place for a Sinister Six movie, and a Venom spinoff. Different directors are in the mix for those projects, but it’s likely the next storytellers will build on what Webb established, rather than rebooting the property from Square One the way Webb had to when he started.
The bigger question – now that Webb has made this clear – is how much longer Andrew Garfield will stay in the Spidey suit. He’s 30 now. He’ll be 32 by the time Spidey 3 comes out, and pushing 35 if he were to stay for a fourth. I’ve heard stories of screenwriters exploring the clone saga. There’s also the option to cast a Miles Morales, passing the baton to another Spider-Man outside of Peter Parker. The future of the Spider-Man franchise is bright. We just need to wait and see who’ll be keeping the flame burning.