‘Spider-Man 4′ Updates: Kirsten Dunst Confirmed & Same-Day IMAX Release

We all know that with great power comes great responsibility, but did you know that it also comes with a highly successful film franchise? The decision-makers behind the “Spider-Man” movies certainly do as they begin preparing a Sam Raimi-directed, Tobey Maguire-starring “Spider-Man 4” for a 2011 theatrical debut.

Today, Columbia Pictures announced some new information regarding the highly anticipated fourth film in the franchise. In addition to confirming the involvement of the previously announced Raimi and Maguire, Columbia notes that actress Kirsten Dunst is officially reprising her role as Mary Jane Watson, whose future with the “Spider-Man” property was previously uncertain.

Additionally, Columbia announced that “Spider-Man 4″ will hit IMAX theaters on May 5, 2011, the same date as the film’s worldwide release.

“The last two ’Spider-Man’ releases have been available in IMAX theaters, and we’re very much looking forward to our return to a wider IMAX theatre network with this exciting new chapter in the continuing adventures of Spider-Man,” said Rory Bruer, President, Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures Releasing. “The addition of so many new IMAX locations will give even more fans of Spider-Man an opportunity to experience the action and adventure in a unique way.”

Previously, Sony Pictures heads Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton mentioned that “Spider-Man 4″ might film in 3-D, citing James Cameron’sAvatar” as a potential game-changer in the movie scene. While official word of the movie’s 3-D component remains to be heard, it’s at least a comfort that Spidey will be swinging in IMAX theaters — even if that was probably a given before this announcement, anyway.

Still, between this news and the prospect of a bigger role for Bruce Campbell, “Spider-Man 4″ is shaping up to be a pretty exciting film.

Are you excited to see “Spider-Man 4″ in IMAX? Are you happy to have Kirsten Dunst officially on board for Peter Parker’s next adventure? Leave us your thoughts in the comments!