A Sony source confirmed to Variety
that the studio is postponing production on the fourth installment due to script problems with the Sam Raimi-helmed production.
Sony still has "Spidey 4" skedded for May 6, 2011, though that date has become highly unlikely. The postponement would leave the first big weekend of next summer up for grabs by other studios.
We'll try, but I think making May is a real question," the source said. "We will not start until we have it right. The feeling is we are not going to rush it to make the date."
Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood
has confirmation that production was indeed shut down on the film, despite Sonyís denial to the contrary.
She reprints an email that went out on December 11th 2009 to the Spider-Man 4 special effects crew which says:
We were just notified that our schedule is pushing. We will NOT be starting as planned. Iím terribly sorry for this news, and I hope this email reaches you in time to find other options. We do not know how long we are pushing, and we will not know until mid-January. By mid-January, we will be told how long the push is, whether it be 2 weeks, 2 months, or something else. The studio has every intention of making the movie, but we no longer have a confirmed start date.
Again, Iím terribly sorry, but Sam Raimi has story issues [that] need to be resolved before we are ready to shoot.
Feel free to call me if you have any questions.
With "Spider-Man 4," the studio has been fielding drafts of the script for years, with everyone from David Koepp to James Vanderbilt taking a crack at it. According to Finke, Raimi hates the lastest draft of the script and they are now waiting on a new version from screenwriter Alvin Sargent, who worked on both Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3.