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The latest villain for 'Spider-Man 4' isn't the Vulture or the Black Cat. Right now, it's the movie's own screenplay.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, director Sam Raimi is at odds with Sony over who the web-head should face off against in the franchise's next installment. Raimi wants a one-on-one with winged baldy the Vulture, while Sony wants to shoehorn in Felicia Hardy and her alter-ego the Black Cat as a romantic sub-plot for Peter Parker. Per Variety, the disagreement reportedly grew so contentious that this week that Sony has postponed the release indefinitely. The latest villain for 'Spider-Man 4' isn't the Vulture or the Black Cat. Right now, it's the movie's own screenplay.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, director Sam Raimi is at odds with Sony over who the web-head should face off against in the franchise's next installment. Raimi wants a one-on-one with winged baldy the Vulture, while Sony wants to shoehorn in Felicia Hardy and her alter-ego the Black Cat as a romantic sub-plot for Peter Parker. Per Variety, the disagreement reportedly grew so contentious that this week that Sony has postponed the release indefinitely.

Buzz about the the Raimi/Sony rift hit the Internet in December, when reports surfaced that John Malkovich could be in consideration for the Vulture role (yes!) with Anne Hathaway as Hardy -- but a red flag went up when the fanboy nation heard that instead of the Black Cat, Hathaway might play a villain called "the Vultress" (huh?).

When none of the writers -- 'Seabiscuit''s Gary Ross, David Lindsay-Abaire ('Rabbit Hole'), James Vanderbilt ('Zodiac') and most recently 'Spider-Man 3''s Alvin Sargent -- could make a plot line work, speculation grew about the stalemate. Sony insisted that they and Raimi were simply on Christmas break, but now it appears far more substantial.

What does this mean for the film's release date? While we may still see 'Spider-Man 4' in May 2011, chances are it will be either later that summer, later that fall or -- say it ain't so, true believer -- sometime in 2012. In 2007, Sony had similar issues with its 'DaVinci Code' sequel 'Angels & Demons', shifting it from a December 2008 release to May 2009 after writers'-strike-induced delays, but no one involved with 'Spider-Man 4' seems ready to put a new time line on the project at this point.

"We'll try, but I think making May is a real question," a source told Variety. "We will not start until we have it right. The feeling is we are not going to rush it to make the date."