Last month, word hit the wire that the third installment of the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man franchise might be in trouble, thanks to a rumor that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 had been pushed back to an undetermined 2017 release date. The buzz came on the heels of two key events: a disappointing box office turnout for the second film, and Sony’s big push to create their own comic book-inspired cinematic universe (hey, Marvel) with the Spider-Man films as their jumping off point.
Now comes word that Amazing Spider-Man screenwriter Orci will not be returning to the franchise — despite early word that he was going to (Orci recently sort of split from his current and former partner Alex Kurtzman, as the duo will now work separately on film projects — like ASM3 — while still working on television projects together, effectively removing Kurtzman from the ASM3 equation a while back; Kurtzman is now pursuing the Venom spinoff, and yes, this is getting complicated) and an expectation that he would be back.
When asked about ASM3, Orci told IGN:
I don’t know what their plans are for that franchise…I don’t ever want to say never, but we have to figure out what their scheduling is in terms of when they want each movie. I’ve read probably as much as anyone else. There’s a love for the Sinister Six, the idea of Venom — there’s an idea of Spider-Man’s going to be one of these characters that’s part of our business. He’s such a popular character. Spider-Man’s not going to go away any time soon. When it all happens and how and all that has yet to be determined.
What’s most interesting about this news is that Orci isn’t balking at sharing that he’s not involved with the project (at least, as of now) because the scheduling and plans for the franchise appear to be either in flux or just plain mixed up. Orci is a busy guy — he’s still working on directing Star Trek 3, and he’s set to script a new Van Helsing, along with his television work on “Sleepy Hollow” and “Hawaii Five-0” — but instead of brushing off the question or saying something benign about planning out his own schedule, he’s inadvertently revealed that things are mixed up in Spider-Man land. That doesn’t sound good.
As of now, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 is still officially set to release on June 10, 2016, with Venom and The Sinister Six expected to follow after that (of course, we’ve also learned that those dates might be flexible, too).
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