Okay, so you're Spider-Man. You can shoot webbing out of your wrists and climb up walls and lift cars over your head. You've overcome countless obstacles, ranging from turbulent relationships to man with robot octopus arms sprouting out of his back trying to end you. You're one of the most popular icons in popular culture, everyone knows who you are what you can do and the three movies based on your exploits have grossed the GDP of an Eastern European country.

What malevolent force can stop you? What sort of evil can put an end to the amazing Spider-Man?

Looks like the answer is creative bickering between the studio honchos at Sony and director Sam Raimi, whose ongoing bickering over the content of the fourth installment of the series has finally forced the Spidey train to a screeching halt. It all seems kind of silly, really. Raimi wants the villain of part four to be the classic, although admittedly kinda' goofy, Vulture. Sony wants it to be anyone else. Raimi obviously does not want to repeat the behind-the-scenes problems of Spider-Man 3, where he was forced to shoehorn a villain he didn't like (the ever-boring Venom) into his movie. Meanwhile, Sony looks at the box office receipts for Spider-Man 3 and tells Raimi to shut up and get in line because THEY AND ONLY THEY KNOW WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. Neither intend to budge and there you have it. Spider-Man 4 looks unlikely to hit its release date of May 11, 2011. It may even signal that the series itself is on dying legs.
I'm reading between the lines a little there, but only a little. If that's not the exact case, I'll eat my hat. And my shoe. And an additional item of clothing of your choosing. I think everyone agrees that Spider-Man 3 was not up to snuff (although I'd argue it's fun romp and not the disaster people insist on making it out to be), but it was studio meddling that damaged the series' reputation. The wise move would be to throw open the window and just tell Raimi "Go get 'em, Tiger" and let him make the damn movie the way he wants to make it.

Raimi is far too talented to have to deal with this and honestly, if he can't get his way, I'd much rather see him pack his bags and move on to newer pastures, like his upcoming World of Warcraft or even another crazy "spook-a-blast." I would much rather see a new Raimi film than a new Spider-Man film.

(Via Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision Blog)