It's an understatement to say that a lot is riding on "The Amazing Spider-Man." Slated to come out July 3, 2012, the reboot of the franchise has to continue an extremely lucrative franchise after its principals (director Sam Raimi, stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst) left after 2007's "Spider-Man 3." But clearly somebody over at Sony feels good enough about the new installment (with director Marc Webb and actor Andrew Garfield) to go ahead and commission a sequel -- even though "The Amazing Spider-Man" hasn't finished shooting yet.
Heat Vision is reporting that James Vanderbilt, who wrote the "Amazing" screenplay, met with the Sony folks yesterday and got the go-ahead to work on the follow-up film, although there's no word about what the plot will be. (Heck, we don't even know that much about "Amazing" except for what actor C. Thomas Howell blabbed about a few days ago.)
Of course, it's not entirely unusual for studios to get moving on sequels before a film has hit theaters, but you have to assume Sony feels happy with what they've seen of "Amazing," which is supposed to wrap next month. Or, if you want to be extremely cynical, you could say that perhaps Sony wants everybody to think they love their new Spidey by moving full steam ahead with a Part Two.
As for Vanderbilt, we actually went to film school with the guy, although (weirdly) we never met him. But the man wrote "Zodiac," quite possibly the best screenplay of the last 10 years. We're not expecting anything remotely that amazing with "Amazing" or its sequel, but Vanderbilt has acquired a reputation for being a smart action-thriller writer, which is just what you want when you're trying to reboot a franchise that has a lot to live up to, both creatively and commercially. Is it too early to start randomly guessing who the bad guy for the sequel will be?
James Vanderbilt Returning to Pen 'Spider-Man' Sequel (Exclusive) [Heat Vision/The Hollywood Reporter]