Star Tobey Maguire (above, in Spider-Man 3) and director Sam Raimi will not be back for the next installment of the Spider-Man franchise. Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have announced that the next Spider-Man film will be based on a script by James Vanderbilt centered on Peter Parker's high-school days. The film is to be released in 2012.
Problems had been reported when Spider-Man 4 got bogged down in various script revisions, though Maguire still talked about the project as if it was really going to happen. But then Paramount announced that Thor would open on May 6, the original SM4 date. (Not that Thor hasn't had its own share of problems, what with Stuart Townsend out of the Kenneth Branagh-directed project right before shooting began – “creative differences”; Townsend has been replaced by Joshua Dallas. Chris Hemsworth plays Thor.)
“I am so proud of what we accomplished with the Spider-Man franchise over the last decade,” Maguire said in a statement. “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.”
“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me,” Raimi said in his own statement. “While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job.”
I dunno. The year 2012 seems to be getting more and more ominous. First Oprah and now a teen Spidey.
Photo: Spider-Man 3 (Peter Iovino / Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Most anticipated movies
And the Golden Tomato goes to…
Pete Docter's animated feature Up and Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker. In the former, a old widower travels to South America carrying his house along with him; in the latter, a bomb-squad unit goes about trying to defuse explosives in Iraq.
Those two disparate films were the critics' top favorites according to the website Rotten Tomatoes. The reviews for Pixar's Up were 98 percent positive; those for The Hurt Locker were 97 percent positive. Previous Golden Tomato winners include two other Pixar productions, WALL-E in 2008 and Ratatouille in 2007.
At the other extreme, the Moldy Tomato Award for the year's worst-reviewed film went to Andrzej Bartkowiak's Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, with a mere four percent critical approval rating. Considering the competition – Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Did You Hear About the Morgans?, The Box, etc. – this is quite a feat.
Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, Inception is a sci-fi thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio (who also stars in Martin Scorsese's upcoming Shutter Island, above top photo), Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, and Tom Berenger.
Iron Man 2 brings back Robert Downey Jr, hopefully in a well-oiled plot, while The Twilight Saga: Eclipse brings back Robert Pattinson, 2010 Orange Rising Star nominee Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner as, respectively, vampire, human, and buffed-up werewolf. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, for its part, brings back Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, plus the usual assortment of sorcerers, evildoers, and ugly monsters.
And then there are the following sequels, remakes, remakes of remakes, remakes of remakes of remakes, and adaptations of TV shows and comic books: Toy Story 3, Sex in the City 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Tron Legacy, The Green Hornet, Robin Hood, The A Team, Predators, Jonah Hex, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Shrek Forever After.
Whoever said originality is dead?
Well, certainly not Sylvester Stallone, who comes up with an action-adventure drama that isn't a sequel, a prequel, or anything in-between: The Expendables, in which a group of mercenaries head to South America to overthrown a dictator. Wait. Have I seen this before?
Photos: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Summit Entertainment), Shutter Island (Paramount)
'The Talking Cure': Freud & Jung + David Cronenberg
Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley has been set to star opposite Cannes Film Festival winner Christoph Waltz in The Talking Cure, a new film about Austrian psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, according to various online reports.
Waltz, 53, has received numerous accolades in the United States for his performance as a vicious, multi-lingual Nazi in Inglourious Basterds (right), Quentin Tarantino's World War II drama that is a likely Oscar contender. The actor will be playing Freud himself, widely respected by some as the father of modern psychoanalysis, widely denigrated by others as a pseudo-scientist.
Knightley, the female lead in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the star of Pride & Prejudice, will play one of Freud's patients. With David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) at the helm, The Talking Cure is based on the play of the same name by playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton, among whose credits are Dangerous Liaisons, Total Eclipse, and Atonement.
In 1962, Montgomery Clift starred as Freud in a film directed by John Huston from a screenplay by Charles Kaufman (not to be confused with the Charlie Kaufman of Being John Malkovich). Susannah York co-starred as one of Freud's patients. Jean-Paul Sartre initially contributed to the screenplay.
Photo: François Duhamel / The Weinstein Co.