My sources say Sony still intends to release during that summer, even if the new date is July 2011. But Spider-Man has always owned that coveted early-May date — e ven as far back as September 2008, when I reported my exclusive, that Sony had locked up Raimi and Maguire for Spider-Man 4.
What a giant opportunity for other studios planning their 2011 schedules to grab this big opening. And they did. Paramount and Marvel Entertainment pushed up the release of Thor by two weeks to May 6, 2011. Thor was set to have opened May 20, 2011, a slot that Disney grabbed for Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides.
Spider-Man 4 was supposed to start filming in February, which Maguire echoed repeatedly in publicity appearances for Brothers. Then it was pushed to March. Then late March/early April. And by January 5 there was no date at all, according to my Sony insiders who e-mailed me: “Some decisions have been made over the holiday about Spider-Man 4. We will be extending the production hiatus on the film. The studio is firmly committed to this franchise but, for us, the script must come first. We intend to notify members of the crew immediately. As you know, Alvin Sargent is currently working on the screenplay. When we have more news, we will keep you posted.”
Pascal and Tolmach, who have shepherded the Spider-Man franchise from day one, have been wrestling with this script problem for months. “I’m going to do everything I can to make May,” Pascal has repeatedly told Hollywood types involved with the movie. “But I’m not going to start a movie where the script isn’t right yet. Not unless I want my career to be over.”