James Vanderbilt Writing ‘Spider-Man 5’ And ‘Spider-Man 6’

When David Lindsay-Abaire was brought on to rewrite James Vanderbilt’s “Spider-Man 4” script, it was assumed that something didn’t quite click with the first scribe’s take. That assumption could still be true, but it’s not stopping Vanderbilt from joining the web-slinging superhero for further outings.

Variety reports that James Vanderbilt has signed on to write “Spider-Man 5” and “Spider-Man 6” for Sony Pictures Entertainment in a move to shorten the lapse times between sequels of the franchise. Vanderbilt’s work on the next two “Spider-Man” films will not only solve this problem, but he’ll also get to enact his original plan to concoct an interconnecting story between the fifth and sixth movies.

There’s nothing shocking about Sony wanting to extend the “Spider-Man” brand, but the decision to hire Vanderbilt forecasts an interesting future for the franchise. Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst have all agreed to return for “Spider-Man 4,” but they haven’t inked deals for any films past the newest one. Variety also alleges that Raimi didn’t fully embrace Vanderbilt’s script, which makes one wonder how he’d feel about the scribe’s take on “Spider-Man 5” and “Spider-Man 6.”

Should Raimi, Maguire and Dunst call it quits after “Spider-Man 4,” Vanderbilt’s script is being eyeballed as a franchise reboot. The interwoven plot between fifth and sixth installments could help make the transition of creative teams and actors a bit more palatable, but how wise is it to enact a full cast change-up so quickly after “Spider-Man 4” hits theaters? It didn’t exactly work for “Batman Forever” or “Batman and Robin.”

Still, it’s an option that Sony needs to consider given Raimi’s own obligations. The director has signed on to helm a “World of Warcraft” movie based on the popular computer game, which is likely to spawn an entirely new franchise for the filmmaker. Assuming its success, Raimi’s future with “Spider-Man” is uncertain at best.

Are you excited that Sony is already planning for “Spider-Man 5” and “Spider-Man 6,” or are you nervous that Raimi, Maguire and Dunst will leave the franchise after the fourth film? Share your hopes and fears in the comments section!