Why Drew Goddard Isn't Directing Marvel And Sony's New Spider-Man Movie

As news broke that Marvel and Sony had come to terms on a partnership for a rebooted Spider-Man movie – breaking ties with Marc Webb’s two-picture series – some of us wondered if Drew Goddard would be given a chance to direct the new, standalone Spidey flick. Goddard had been working on a Sinister Six spinoff for Sony (building off the material Webb had created), and he also served as creator and writer on Netflix’s marvelous Marvel TV series Daredevil. From the outside, it seemed like Goddard deserved a shot at helming the as-yet-untitled movie, but today, he told he isn’t directing the movie because his ideas for the character were drastically changed, and he didn't have new ones.

Drew Goddard is in Toronto for the annual film festival. He’s promoting his work on Sir Ridley Scott’s The Martian, which Goddard adapted from Andy Weir’s novel. But when we spoke, I also asked him about his time with the web head, and why he isn’t helming Marvel and Sony’s 2017 movie. He explained to me:

I mean, I think that’s more a question for them, but here’s the good news. I’ve worked with Marvel a lot. The way that Marvel sort of works is they say, ‘Hey, do you have an idea for… Here’s the movies we’re thinking about making…’ They sort of tell the world what they’re thinking of making, and they sort of put out there, if you have an idea for any of these, come talk to us.And I think, with Spider-Man, I didn’t really have an idea. Part of that might have just been because I had just written one. I spent a year working on Sinister Six, and I think I was like in a head space where I just didn’t… you know, it’s very hard to say, ‘Ok, now write a new movie.’ So, it never got that far. We never, it never got taken that far. They know how much respect I have for them. They’ve been very nice to me over the years, and I know sooner or later, we’re going to find the right project. It’s all about timing.

That makes sense. Drew Goddard, Marc Webb and Sony were far enough down the creative path so that, when Marvel factored in and forced Spider-Man to shift gears, it wouldn’t be easy for him, as a screenwriter, to rework his Sinister Six material to fit a new Spidey series. They wouldn’t match, and starting over from square one probably sounded like madness for Goddard.

He remains a huge fan, though, telling me:

There’s stuff in all five of the Spider-man films that I adore. It’s just fun to see filmmakers... The thing is, that character. He’s such a transcendent character and it’s really fun to see everyone take their crack at him, you know?

In addition to his writing skills, Drew Goddard also directed the exceptional Cabin in the Woods, so experience probably wasn’t an issue. Instead of Goddard, though, Marvel and Sony went with Cop Car director Jon Watts, and newcomer Tom Holland in the role. We still think Drew Goddard deserved a shot, but now we know, from his own mouth, why it isn’t happening.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.