Sam Raimi says Spider-Man 4 script due by summer

Sam Raimi, who will direct Spider-Man 4, told SCI FI Wire that the film's script, by David Lindsay-Abaire (Inkheart), should be ready by summer. "Right now, David Lindsay-Abaire is working on a draft of the new picture," Raimi said in an exclusive telephone interview on Monday. "And he's hard at work, and hopefully we'll see something in about three months."

Raimi said that the film has to make its previously announced May 6, 2011, release date. "We have to make the release date, and on all of these pictures, the Spider-Man films—and I'm sure it's the same as with many of the other bigger-budgeted films—they have release dates far in advance of a screenplay," he said. "So it's about getting it ready the best you can in time for the first day of production. That's what we've always done, and that's what we'll try to do again."

Tobey Maguire has reportedly signed on to reprise the title role. Raimi added that it's a bit early to discuss other casting, though he does plan to reassemble the core cast, which includes Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane. "At this point I do, but it's really ... all going to be dependent upon the script, and I'll just have to wait and see," Raimi said. "I don't want to put the cart before the horse, but hopefully we can service the story in the screenplay, and whatever it demands, hopefully we'll be its eager servants."

Raimi also declined to discuss possible villains for the fourth installment in the Marvel Comics franchise, though early speculation has centered on everyone from Dylan Baker's Curt Connors/Lizard to Carnage and Electro and other bad guys drawn from Stan Lee's original comics.

"I'm not at liberty to discuss the villains yet," Raimi said. "I think I have to wait till the finished screenplay, and then it'd really be up to Sony Pictures and the producers to determine when they want to release that information. To them, it's usually a big, a big, big thing, a big moment where they want to present the villain with the proper respect or fear that he or she deserves."

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