Marc Webb has signed to direct the fourth "Spider-Man" movie, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced on Tuesday.
The movie, which will reboot the popular franchise by focusing on the web-crawler as he navigates through high school, swings into theaters in the summer of 2012.
Webb previously directed the romantic comedy "500 Days of Summer." Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sony denies a New York magazine report that Webb will be paid roughly $10 million for the film, with bonuses built in if the picture reaches a certain box-office level.
The studio also said that contrary to the magazine’s story, Webb has not been signed to direct the fifth and sixth installments of the franchise as well.
“At its core, Spider-Man is a small, intimate human story about an everyday teenager that takes place in an epic super-human world," Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, said in a joint statement. "The key for us as we sought a new director was to identify filmmakers who could give sharp focus to Peter Parker’s life. We wanted someone who could capture the awe of being in Peter’s shoes so the audience could experience his sense of discovery while giving real heart to the emotion, anxiety, and recklessness of that age and coupling all of that with the adrenaline of Spider-Man’s adventure.”
The screenplay will be written by "Zodiac" screenwriter James Vanderbilt, and the movie will retain producers Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin from the first three films.
“This is a dream come true and I couldn’t be more aware of the challenge, responsibility, or opportunity. Sam Raimi’s virtuoso rendering of Spider-Man is a humbling precedent to follow and build upon," Webb said in a statement. "The first three films are beloved for good reason. But I think the Spider-Man mythology transcends not only generations but directors as well. I am signing on not to ‘take over’ from Sam. That would be impossible. Not to mention arrogant. I’m here because there’s an opportunity for ideas, stories, and histories that will add a new dimension, canvas, and creative voice to Spider-Man.”
Spider-Man’s co-creator gave his blessing for the studio’s choice of successor to original director Sam Raimi.
“I’m excited that Sony has chosen a director with a real penchant and understanding for the character," Stan Lee said. "This is a brave, bold direction for the franchise, and I can’t wait to see what Marc comes up with next.”