[movieperson id="164707"]Tobey Maguire[/movieperson] made his big-screen debut as Peter Parker — the nerdy high school student who moonlights as a web-throwing superhero — in 2002, at the age of 26. Seven years and three [movie id="255168"]"Spider-Man"[/movie] movies later, the now 34-year-old actor is gearing up to step back into his Spidey suit for a fourth film.
As the film gets closer to production, with an eye toward a spring 2011 release date, Maguire and franchise director Sam Raimi have been having in-depth discussions about how Parker and his heroic alter ego have developed over the years and in which direction they plan to head for the new film.
"I've been talking with Tobey about where his character might grow to in this installment," Raimi exclusively revealed to MTV News.
"[Parker] started as a little bit of a selfish, naive and insecure high school kid," the director continued. "He learned some lessons from his uncle and a little bit about the meaning of responsibility. In the second picture, [he] wrestled with his personal fulfillment versus that responsibility and, in the third film, I think it was a little bit about his growing hubris, his pride swallowed up and the darkness that came out of that and the grief that it caused for his best friend and his girlfriend and himself."
For [movie id="372302"]"Spider-Man 4,"[/movie] Raimi and Maguire envision Parker stepping into a newfound maturity and learning to balance his crime-fighting capabilities with the demands of his personal life. "I think it's about putting his head down and moving forward with the knowledge that he has this responsibility," Raimi explained. "And it's about the growth of that understanding, that it encompasses more than just his sense of duty toward others but he also has a sense of responsibility as a human being toward the ones he loves."
Raimi revealed that he hopes to begin shooting in March of 2010. Pre-production, meanwhile, is currently pushing forward, with set design in the works and the visual-effects team coming together. In addition to Maguire, Kirsten Dunst is locked in to reprise her role as Mary Jane Watson. Further casting, Raimi told us, should happen soon. And screenwriter Gary Ross continues to work on the script.
"He's a great writer and a very fine writer," Raimi said. "It's working really well. He's working on a draft. I just gave him some notes and he's doing a rewrite right now."
Check out everything we've got on "Spider-Man 4."
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