Mike Fleming

spider_manMarc Webb, the (500) Days Of Summer director, has climbed to the top of the Sony Pictures’ list to rebirth the Spider-Man franchise. While the studio has a wish list of star directors like James Cameron, David Fincher, and Wes Anderson, the emergence of Webb as director comes as a huge surprise. But Mike Fleming‘s sources tell him Webb met about the Spidey reboot with the pic’s producers and executives looking to get the picture into production later this year for a Summer 2012 release. Why will the pic take so long? Because it’s likely to be shot in 3-D, and Sony Pictures plans to make an announcement about that “at the appropriate time”.

Though he has the perfect name for the job, Webb has no prior superhero experience. (Hey, I saw Darkman and that was more of a science experiment that a superhero.) Then again, neither did Sam Raimi. And Chris Nolan was the director of Memento when he signed on for Batman Begins. Webb is also a newbie if Sony greenlights 3-D. But among directors, almost all would be.

What has Sony execs excited is the fact that (500) Days of Summer introduced a director with a grasp of how to depict the way young people think and feel. This is critical because the Jamie Vanderbilt script covers the formative years of a high school-aged Peter Parker, and that POV is as important as the action sequences. Especially after Sony and Sam Raimi retired the original Spidey franchise because they realized the film would have been same old/same old at a huge budget. Injecting new blood with an up-and-coming director is a bold stroke. Too bad Webb’s (500) Days star Joseph Gordon-Levitt is too old to play the high school-aged wall crawler. He’d be perfect.

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