Spider-Man 4 movie canceled and musical caught in a web

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The Independent Culture

Columbia Pictures has scrapped current plans for Spider-Man 4 and will start over with a new cast and director. In fact, the story starts over, too. The press release states that Spidey's alter ego, Peter Parker will go back to high school when the next Spider-Man film hits theaters in the summer of 2012.

Though Sam Raimi directed the three previous installments of the film franchise with actor Toby Maguire in the starring role, Sony's Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced that the action-hero series will reboot.

Originally due to hit screens in May 2011, delays occurred in production related to disputes between Raimi and the studios over villain choices, casting and the script, which was rewritten three times, going on four.

After a decade with Raimi and Maguire, this new chapter for Spider-Man includes a different script and focuses on Spider-Man as "a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises."

The expectation is that the new Spider-Man film will be in 3D.

Meanwhile, the Broadway musical version of the action hero tale is also up in the air. Directed by Julie Taymor ( Across the Universe) and with music by U2's Bono and The Edge, the $50 million production was delayed when it hit a financial crisis last year as funds dried up.

Previews, scheduled for February 25, won't happen, contrary to the website and posters. Producer Michael Cohl insists the musical will go on in 2010.