Production on the much-anticipated Spider-Man 4 has just been pushed back, and will likely miss the planned May 11, 2011 release date due to lingering script issues. It seems Sam Raimi is insisting that John Malkovich must play the Vulture as had been rumored last month, since the suits insisted on removing the character from Spider-Man 3 in favor of Topher Grace’s gooey monster Venom. The resulting film, you’ll remember, met with box office success but very lukewarm opinion at best. Nevertheless, the studio apparently wants a more visually dynamic villain than you’ll get with a bald guy in a bird suit, and they’re also pushing for a romantic subplot with the Black Cat – hardly an objectionable suggestion, to be sure, even though it’s looking less likely that Anne Hathaway will step into that role as the scuttlebutt had suggested.
So who will get their way? Will Raimi back down again and do his best with a compromised vision, or will he move on and let the studio reboot the whole franchise? Stay tuned to find out.