Amazing Spider-Man Director May Return After All

With Sony reportedly considering their options for a sequel as Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb struggles with a scheduling conflict, 20th Century Fox thinks it has a solution for the hot, young filmmaker.

Following his directorial debut feature, (500) Days of Summer starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, Webb reportedly owed Fox a second film--something that would stand in the way of his directing the sequel to Sony's Spidey reboot as soon as they'd like him to since the film is currently slated for a May 2014 theatrical release. It sounds like something that should be easy enough to work around, but during recent interviews, Sony executives have started saying things like, "We sure want him back, but it seems unlikely."

It's unclear whether the Los Angeles Times report, in which everyone is speaking off-the-record, means to say that the filmmaker would be locked up for just one additional film or for another two, bringing his total commitment to Fox to three films. In any case, they speculate that, even though he's expressed a desire to return to the Spider-Man franchise, the increased commitment could be a problem for Webb.Fox, hearing this and intuiting an opportunity, have reportedly offered Webb more time to deliver on his promised feature, opening up his schedule for the second Amazing Spider-Man film, on the condition that he commit to two films for Fox afterwards.

Since the films are being openly discussed as a trilogy, it also begs the question of what to do about a third movie; if Fox is asking for concessions merely to allow Webb to return for a second film, but then will either call in their chips or ask him to double down again in order to make Amazing Spider-Man 3, it may prove impossible for him to finish them in a timeframe that Sony likes. If that turns out to be the case, it's easy to see Webb declining Fox's current offer, as he would essentially only be putting his problem on hold, and paying to do it.