Spider-Man 4 won’t be released in theaters until, at the earliest, in the summer of 2011. The movie’s a long, long way off and yet Sony Pictures is already making plans for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6. Variety reports that the studio has hired James Vanderbilt to write both films.

Vanderbilt wrote Fincher’s Zodiac and he also had a hand in writing the script Sam Raimi is about to use on Spider-Man 4. One problem though, Raimi didn’t actually like his Spider-Man 4 script and went on to hire others to rewrite it. So the short version here is that Sony has hired a writer Raimi wasn’t entirely happy with to write more Spider-Man movies. And what happened the last time Sony did something that Sam Raimi wasn’t entirely happy with? We got Spider-Man 3.

Part of the reason may be that they simply don’t care what Raimi thinks. No one really knows for sure whether Raimi or any of the Spidey cast will show up for anything beyond the fourth movie. Raimi has already committed to directing World of Warcraft and Sony doesn’t seem to be cool with waiting four years between Spider-Man movies. This could be Sony making plans to ditch Raimi and the rest to do whatever the hell they want, with a different cast and a different director. Somewhere some Sony executive’s panties are all aquiver and he’s whispering in the halls, to anyone who will listen, the word “reboot”.
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