Sony have gone ahead and announced a May 2nd, 2014 release date for their sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man. By implication, they must therefore have some kind of production schedule for the film scribbled in their year planner, even if only in pencil. Best guess? Late 2012, I suppose.
This is yet another case of a release date being fixed before there's even a film. In this case, however, there may already be a screenplay. Early reports on screenwriter James Vanderbilt coming on board the franchise regularly mentioned him penning multiple scripts, and even entwining them to some extent. It remains to be seen how accurate these reports will turn out, but it's certainly a possibility.
But we shouldn't forget the fate of Spider-Man 4. Set to reteam Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, that film was given a release date of May 6th, 2011 some months before it was scheduled to enter production. Not that it ever got that far, of course…
So, Sony like to start crowing about their Spider-Man films way ahead of it being necessary, and as it happens, realistic. It doesn't seem too likely that their second film in the Andrew Garfield era will come off the rails, but why court the embarrassment?
Presumably, there are three upsides to this release-date claim:
- Sony imply some kind of confidence in the franchise
- Other studios are scared away from that date
- Any Spider-fans who were wondering when they should book their 2012 tickets for a holiday to the moon know which weekend to avoid
I'm sure the return of Marc Webb will hang on the reception of the upcoming Amazing. Let's hope it lives up to its name.