Like Sam Raimi before him, Marc Webb will only helm three blockbusters about everyone’s favorite webslinger for Sony. Recently, the director spoke to The Daily Beast about his involvement in the highly profitable superhero franchise (the second installment of which hits screens this May) and let slip that he won’t be sitting in the director’s chair for The Amazing Spider-Man 4.
When asked about his involvement in the series past The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which has already been green-lit and set for 2016, Webb stated:
I’d like to be involved as a consultant, and I’ve already talked to these guys about it, but in terms of directing it, that will close out my tenure. I’ve had so much fun doing it, but after the third movie, it’ll be the time to find something else.
That’s certainly understandable, given how much time Webb has already committed to The Amazing Spider-Man. Directing such a large franchise (especially one with an absolutely massive fanbase) can’t be easy, and Webb has handled the gig admirably thus far.
Of course, the director has been extremely influential in guiding the future of the series, so it makes sense that he won’t be entirely washing his hands of it. In Webb’s time with the franchise, Sony has worked hard to accelerate progress on building a superhero universe and has expressed a desire to have one Spidey flick every year. So far, in addition to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (May 2, 2014), 3 (June 10, 2016) and 4 (May 4, 2018), Sony has also announced spinoffs Venom and The Sinister Six.
Speaking about the direction of the series, Webb recently said:
We’re building out a more complicated Spider-Man universe with characters that people haven’t seen in other Spider-Man movies—The Sinister Six, Venom, and more.
With The Amazing Spider-Man 4 not due until 2018, Sony won’t have to say goodbye to Webb just yet, and there’s no telling how the series will adapt to his absence. It’s worth noting that Andrew Garfield is not yet locked in for the fourth film, so it’s even possible that Sony will bid adieu to the star as well, using Webb’s departure as an opportunity to recast the role and take the franchise in a new direction. With the huge investment that Sony has made in The Amazing Spider-Man, the studio likely hopes that the franchise will be able to shift between stars and directors for decades to come. Whether audiences will stick around, however, is less certain.