Rumor has it that a fourth Spiderman movie is in the works, to be released sometime in 2009. It will not likely feature Tobey Maguire, and will not likely be a success.
History has shown that movie trilogies are very successful. When you have the momentum of two excellent movies, the third movie is almost certain to be a box office success. Some of the most popular trilogies include Back to the Future, The Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Austin Powers, Mission Impossible, Naked Gun, Oceans 11/12/13, The Santa Clause, The Fast and the Furious, The Godfather, Star Wars (two sets of trilogies- decades apart), Shrek, and of course, Spiderman. In it’s opening weekend, Spiderman 3 broke records as it made about $150 million in ticket sales.
Making a Spiderman 4 movie does not seem like a very good idea. Few series have been successful past the third movie. While there are exceptions (such as the Batman, Star Trek, and James Bond movies), a smart filmmaker knows when to stop. It is arguable that Back to the Future is the most highly televised movie series ever because there are only three. There is something about movie number 4, or even more, that takes away from the strength of the movie. Good things come in threes.
While sequels often gross highly at the box office, and thirds are proving to do well also, movies tend to lose steam after that. For many film series, once they pass the third (or even the second) movie in the series, they don’t even make it into the theater. Straight to DVD movies are never as successful as a big screen premiere.
Considering that chances for box office success are slim, it would be hard for filmmakers to budget well enough to impress modern audiences. Judging from the huge amount of money that was likely spent to make Spiderman 3 (Sony will not disclose the exact amount), Spiderman 4 would not likely be able to compare with the effects of Spiderman 3.
In addition, Tobey Maguire has definitely expressed that he has lost interest in the role of Peter Parker. Realistically, this is a smart move of Maguire, who could doom himself to eternal typecasting by continuing with the role. Without the adorably loveable Maguire in the role of Spidey, fans are not as likely to return.
Like Batman and Superman, Spiderman’s comic book background gives writers an awful lot of material to work with in creating storylines for additional movies, but that does not mean that it is necessarily a great idea. The continuity of some characters, such as Mary Jane Watson, is part of what keeps fans coming back for more. Without these characters (Dunst has not shown interest in returning to her role), the movie is not likely to achieve success- with fans, critics, or ticket sales.