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Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire out of SPIDER-MAN 4; Sony plans a complete Spider-Man reboot for 2012

Well this is sudden. Sam Raimi has left Spider-Man 4, citing an inability to finish the movie and retain his creative integrity by Sony's May 5, 2011 release date. This comes on the heels of Raimi's vocal outrage about the poor quality of the Spidey 4 script less than one week ago. Raimi and Sony executives hadn't been seeing eye to eye for a while. Executives wanted Anne Hathaway in the picture as Black Cat and weren't happy about Raimi's insistence that John Malkovich play the villain (I'm guessing it was The Vulture). Tobey Maquire and Kirsten Dunst are out as well. More details on this and the new script after the jump.

Tobey Maguire issued a statement about the situation:

I am so proud of what we accomplished with the Spider-Man franchise over the last decade. Beyond the films themselves I have formed some deep and lasting friendships. I am excited to see the next chapter unfold in this incredible story. - Tobey Maguire

Raimi may move forward with a number of projects now, including World of Warcraft and The Given Day.

Spider-Man won't be taking a break though. Sony is completely remaking its own series less than 10 years after it began with a new director, new cast, and a high school age Peter Parker. Oh, and it will definitely be in 3D.

The studio claims it was already planning this May 5, 2012 reboot of the series, which is based on a script by James Vanderbilt, writer of The Rundown, Zodiac, and Basic, among other films. new film is being called a darker, grittier take on Spider-Man, similar to how Batman Begins brought Gotham's hero back from the grave of Batman & Robin. 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb's name, along with many others, has been thrown around as a possible director. I think he'd do a great job.

Hollywood is going remake crazy. Bryan Singer is already working on a Battlestar Galactica reboot, Death at a Funeral has been remade with a black cast two years after its release, The Karate Kid is coming back, Resident Evil is being restarted, and the list goes on. Is there so little originality left that we can't even wait a decade to remake films anymore? Sooner or later they're going to remake a movie while they're still making it.

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