It took nearly six months, but the rebooted “Spider-Man” franchise has finally found in 26-year-old Andrew Garfield a web-weaving boy hero to replace Tobey Maguire. Six months, though, is nothing when seen in the context of the three-year-long failed process to launch a fourth Spidey flick after the third installment of the series debuted in 2007.
Those efforts finally imploded in January when a franchise reboot was announced, and what followed was a furious series of rumors and signings that kept comic-book fans glued to their computer monitors. With Garfield now the official owner of Peter Parker’s tights, let’s look back and recall just what happened to “Spider-Man 4″ in 2010.
January 11: After numerous production delays, word breaks that Sony has scrapped plans to make “Spider-Man 4″ after battles with director Sam Raimi over script issues and the film’s summer 2012 release date. Sony announces plans to reboot the entire franchise with a new director and a largely new cast, which means that Maguire will be replaced as well.
January 14: The first crop of new-director rumors surfaces: Marc Webb (“500 Days of Summer”), James Cameron (“Avatar”), David Fincher (“Zodiac”) and Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”).
January 19: Those four names were quickly whittled down to one as Webb signs on to direct the reboot. In a statement, Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, say, “At its core, ‘Spider-Man’ is a small, intimate human story about an everyday teenager that takes place in an epic super-human world. The key for us as we sought a new director was to identify filmmakers who could give sharp focus to Peter Parker’s life.”
February 4: While many possible replacement candidates for Maguire have been mentioned in the blogosphere, the first bit of concrete news comes when Logan Lerman, star of “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” announces that he’s been talking to Sony about the role.
February 10: The new “Spider-Man” gets a release date — July 3, 2012 — and an unsurprising third dimension: It will be shot in 3-D.
May 17: Alvin Sargent (“Spider-Man 3″) signs on to rewrite the “Spider-Man” reboot, reportedly working from the previous draft by Jamie Vanderbilt (“Zodiac”).
May 26: The Peter Parker candidates are rumored to be down to five actors: Jamie Bell (“Jumper”), Alden Ehrenreich (“Somewhere”), Frank Dillane (“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”), Josh Hutcherson (“Cirque du Freak”) and Andrew Garfield (“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”).
June 1: A grassroots campaign to add “Community” co-star Donald Glover to the list of possible Peter Parkers explodes on Twitter and Facebook.
July 1: Ladies and gentlemen, meet your new Spider-Man: Mr. Andrew Garfield!
Check out everything we’ve got on “Spider-Man 4.”