It has only been a week since reports first came in that (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb was at the top of Sony's list to helm the studio's reboot of the Spider-man franchise, after scrapping plans for Sam Raimi's Spider-man 4. But much to our delight, Sony has confirmed that they have struck a deal with Webb, that would have him directing not just one, but the next three Spider-Man movies in the more "contemporary and gritty" reboot of the franchise that will focus far more on the private life of Peter Parker.
The longtime music video director earned a Golden Globe nomination for his directorial-feature debut in (500) Days and has long been a favorite of Columbia chairman Amy Pascal, who has shepherded the Spider-man franchise from day one. Last year she almost hired him to direct the adaptation of Michael Lewis’s Moneyball after she pulled the plug on Steven Soderbergh three days before shooting.
She views [Webb] as a latter-day Cameron Crowe for the economically and socially angsty Generation Y, and thinks he'd be perfect to explore the conflict within Parker.
Worried though that Webb's whimsical style might hurt Moneyball, she ultimately chose Capote director Bennett Miller. But things may have worked out for the better.
A nice change for the studio, but maybe not for the young director, would be Webb comes at a much smaller price tag than the percentages alone that Raimi and Maguire had coming their way:
Webb to be paid roughly $10 million for the first film, with substantial bonuses built in if the picture reaches certain box-office milestones. (Coincidentally, Webb’s deal is being hammered out by the Gersh Agency, the feisty outfit which first put Tobey Maguire into the webslinger's suit a decade ago.) This is a big savings from how his predecessor Sam Raimi was compensated. Unlike the now-departed Raimi, Webb won’t be getting paid a percentage of the films' grosses. Compare that to Spider-Man 4, for which Raimi and star Tobey Maguire were expected to claim more than 25 percent of the gross.
Ten million sounds pretty darn good when you consider that the entire budget for (500) Days was only 7.5 million. With dwindling DVD sales, it only makes sense for the studio. NYMag's sources say that only longtime producer Laura Ziskin and former Marvel Entertainment CEO Avi Arad are getting gross participation on the new films, and then only because their contracts stipulated as much.
As for who is gonna take on the role of Peter Parker? Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe) is being RUMORED to have been offered the role of Peter Parker. While Webb's (500) Days star Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a name that has also been tossed around. For me Levitt looks more the part, and is a few years younger than Sturgess -- 29 and 32, respectively. After all, Jamie Vanderbilt's already completed script puts Peter back in high school. Then again, Tobey Maguire was already 27 when he starred in the first Spider-man film. But all the Peter Parker casting is just here say as of now.
Marc Webb's name alone seems to have already predestined him to take on the Spider-man franchise. But it's Webb's hard work and undeniable talent that has landed him the gig, with the studio's faith in him so strong that they are giving him the next two films as well.
What do you think of Marc Webb directing the three SPIDER-MAN reboot films?