Tobey Maguire, Sam Raimi Sign On For 'Spider-Man 4': Report

Fourth and fifth installments of series may be filmed concurrently.

"Go get 'em, tiger!" Tobey Maguire will be back to play web-slinging super Spider-Man in the series' fourth big-screen installment — and director Sam Raimi will return to helm — Nikki Finke reported Friday (September 5) on her blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily. The news ends more than a year of hemming and hawing, denials, reversals and unconfirmed speculation.

According to Finke, no deal is in place for either Kirsten Dunst, who played Peter Parker's on-again/ off-again love interest, Mary-Jane Watson, or for an actor to play the villain, although Finke does say that "once you find out who the villain is, you'll know who's playing it."

That probably means it's time for actor Dylan Baker to pick up the phone, as his character, Dr. Curt Connors, is the only potential villain set up in "Spider-Man 3." Connors, Parker's professor at Columbia University, becomes the super villain Lizard when, in the comics, he suffers an adverse reaction to a serum designed to re-grow his missing limb.

Also set up in a previous film, although only briefly, is John Jameson, a.k.a. Man-Wolf, who was played by Daniel Gillies in "Spider-Man 2."

Other rumored villains have included Black Cat, Vulture and Carnage, although the latter would probably be more at home in a recently announced "Venom" spin-off.

Sony Pictures is looking into filming the next two installments, "Spider-Man 4" and "Spider-Man 5," concurrently, à la "Lord of the Rings," Finke said. Both scripts are being developed by "Zodiac" scripter James Vanderbilt.

According to Finke, filming on "Spider-Man 4" will begin next fall. The movie is tentatively scheduled to hit theaters in May 2011.

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