CONFIRMED: And the director of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is ...

Almost since the minute that The Amazing Spider-Man arrived in theaters this past July, speculation has been rampant about whether director Marc Webb would return for the sequel. That question has now been answered.

Columbia Pictures has confirmed (via Variety) that Webb will direct The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (imaginative title, that), with Andrew Garfield also set to reprise his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Emma Stone "in talks" to return as Gwen Stacy.

There had been scuttlebutt for a while that Webb might not direct the follow-up. Depending on who you asked, it was either because studio execs were not happy with the way the first movie turned out or because he owed a movie to Fox Searchlight, which might have caused a conflict with getting a sequel into theaters on May 2, 2014.

However, the studio seems to be pleased enough with The Amazing Spider-Man's $751 million worldwide gross that they wanted Webb back, and apparently any issues with Searchlight have been resolved as well.

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, who have their fingerprints on everything from Fringe to Star Trek Into Darkness to the Transformers films, will be the credited writers on the screenplay, along with Jeff Pinkner. Production will begin in early 2013.

The official statement from Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad reads:

"We could not be more confident in the direction we are taking this new Spider-Man storyline and we are tremendously excited to be ramping up production again with Marc at the helm and Andrew continuing on as Peter Parker. We can't wait to share what we have in store for Peter and Spider-Man with audiences worldwide."

Do you think Webb did a good job the first time around and should come back? Or would you prefer a new director for the rebooted Spidey's next adventure?

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