Special thanks to The Hollywood Reporter for the heads up.
At some point within the next two weeks, producer Laura Ziskin and the top brass of Sony Pictures Entertainment will sit down together for the first time since "Spider-Man 3" opened May 4 to discuss the franchise's future.
It's a crucial meeting, all the more so because director Sam Raimi will be there. And Raimi, who has sent contradictory messages about his future plans, might at last indicate whether he'll helm the next installment.
"It would be great to have everybody back," Ziskin says. "But no one is going to sign on the dotted line until we have a script. These are the questions being discussed now. The one thing we have answered definitively is: There will be more 'Spider-Man' movies. We just haven't answered what shape they will come in and (Sony) hasn't given us a release date."
The upcoming meeting "will be the first step in a process," Ziskin adds. "'Spider-Man' will continue; I can't tell you every person who will be involved."
It goes without saying just how critical the "Spider-Man" franchise is to the studio's bottom line; at press time, the franchise had netted upwards of $2 billion in boxoffice receipts, not to mention home video revenue and other income from ancillary ventures. But it is hardly unique in today's Hollywood.
So will there be a Spider-Man 4? Well stick around and we'll find out.