Rebooting 'Spider-Man,' in a flash

June 28, 2012 • Entertainment

This Monday, June 25, 2012 file image released by Starpix shows actors Emma Stone, left, and Andrew Garfield with director Marc Webb from “The Amazing Spider-Man,” at the Empire State Building during a lighting ceremony in New York. Stone, Garfield and Webb replace Kirsten Dunst, Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi from the previous films in the hugely popular Spider-man franchise. “The Amazing Spider-Man” opens nationwide on July 3. (AP Photo/Starpix, Amanda Schwab)

NEW YORK (AP) — On a weekend in January of 2010, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios pivoted faster than even Spider-Man would dare.

A fourth installment of the hugely popular Spider-man franchise was planned, with director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire returning to their trilogy of films that had earned more than $2.5 billion at the global box office and generally been hailed as a standard-bearer in big-screen comic book adaptations.

But by that Monday, Raimi’s dissatisfaction with the script and the producers’ eagerness for a new movie had come to a head. In a flash, the sequel was kaput, and a reboot was ordered up. Next Tuesday, “The Amazing Spider-Man” will be released, charting a new start for the web-slinger just five years after “Spider-Man 3.”

Reboots of film franchises have been typically launched many more years later than that. But today, “five years is a lifetime in the movie business,” says Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal. “I wasn’t troubled by it.”

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