Updating an earlier report here on Splash Page, "500 Days of Summer" director Marc Webb has now been confirmed as the director of "Spider-Man."
Representatives of Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios made a joint announcement today regarding the decision. There was no mention of the rumored three-movie deal earlier reports had the director pegged with, though the announcement does indicate that the next "Spider-Man" movie will go into production later this year.
In a joint statement by Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, the studio described the factors that went into the decision: "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."
"We wanted someone who could capture the awe of being in Peter's shoes so the audience could experience his sense of discovery while giving real heart to the emotion, anxiety, and recklessness of that age and coupling all of that with the adrenaline of Spider-Man's adventure," continued the statement. "We believe Marc Webb is the perfect choice to bring us on that journey."
Producers Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin added, "Over the years, the Spider-Man comics have been told with bold and creative new writers and artists who have re-calibrated the way audiences see Peter Parker. Marc Webb will do for the new direction of the films what so many visionary storytellers have done with the comic books. He is an incredibly talented filmmaker and we look forward to working closely with him on this new adventure."
"This is a dream come true and I couldn't be more aware of the challenge, responsibility, or opportunity," said Webb, who previous spoke to MTV News about the "Spider-Man" movie buzz. "Sam Raimi's virtuoso rendering of Spider-Man is a humbling precedent to follow and build upon. The first three films are beloved for good reason. But I think the Spider-Man mythology transcends not only generations but directors as well. I am signing on not to 'take over' from Sam. That would be impossible. Not to mention arrogant. I'm here because there's an opportunity for ideas, stories, and histories that will add a new dimension, canvas, and creative voice to Spider-Man."
"The idea of re-imagining the on-screen story for one of the world's most iconic superheros is sure to deliver an exciting new dimension to Spider-Man fans everywhere," added Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. "There are volumes of comics and material available to inspire fresh and compelling takes on Peter Parker and his journey as Spidey and we look forward to seeing this come alive onscreen."
Even Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee got in on the commentary, stating, "I'm excited that Sony has chosen a director with a real penchant and understanding for the character. This is a brave, bold direction for the franchise, and I can't wait to see what Marc comes up with next."
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