Cinematical’s undisclosed source says, “[Vanderbilt’s] story arc has encompassed two films, making Spider-Man 5 shootable at the same time. The studio saw dollar signs and is in the process of reworking his deal to snatch up the story arc."
This is interesting news, especially considering that while Spider-Man 3 was a financial success, most audiences and critics were fairly disappointed with it, myself included. It was bloated, uneven and utterly paled in comparison to the first two films in the series. One would almost think that Sony and director Sam Raimi were attempting to deliberately sink a sure-thing franchise by releasing such a lackluster product, but a two-film continuation of the series is apparently inevitable.
A note to filmmakers: Study Iron Man and study it hard. Take the subject matter seriously, keep the narrative focused and lay off the cheesiness. If the cast is obviously disinterested in the series at this point—as evidenced by performances across-the-board in Spider-Man 3—then by all means recast. With the right people behind it, Spider-Man could be a top-shelf franchise for years to come.
Stay tuned for future updates as Spider-Man 4 swings into production.