The Hollywood Reporter has published a great article talking about how studios are hunting for the next big property. The feature includes updates on Spider-Man 4, Wolverine, The Silver Surfer, the Superman Returns sequel and much more. Here are clips from the piece:
At some point within the next two weeks, producer Laura Ziskin and the top brass of Sony Pictures Entertainment will sit down together for the first time since “Spider-Man 3” opened May 4 to discuss the franchise’s future.
It’s a crucial meeting, all the more so because director Sam Raimi will be there. And Raimi, who has sent contradictory messages about his future plans, might at last indicate whether he’ll helm the next installment.
“It would be great to have everybody back,” Ziskin says. “But no one is going to sign on the dotted line until we have a script. These are the questions being discussed now. The one thing we have answered definitively is: There will be more ‘Spider-Man’ movies. We just haven’t answered what shape they will come in and (Sony) hasn’t given us a release date.”
The upcoming meeting “will be the first step in a process,” Ziskin adds. “‘Spider-Man’ will continue; I can’t tell you every person who will be involved.”
It goes without saying just how critical the “Spider-Man” franchise is to the studio’s bottom line; at press time, the franchise had netted upwards of $2 billion in boxoffice receipts, not to mention home video revenue and other income from ancillary ventures. But it is hardly unique in today’s Hollywood.
At Fox, 2006’s “X-Men: The Last Stand” appears to have concluded the franchise — at least in its present form. Instead, the studio is developing two possible spin-offs: “Wolverine,” starring Hugh Jackman, and “Magneto,” which would follow the character portrayed by Ian McKellen as a much younger man.
Also at Fox, the future of “Fantastic Four” is unclear after the second installment, “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” dropped 66% in its second weekend, following an exceptional $58.1 million opening. Fox is developing a “Silver Surfer” follow-up and is considering another “Fantastic Four” sequel, but no script is in development, sources say. (Fox’s surprise success “Live Free or Die Hard,” showed the long-term value of the best franchises.)
The studio has been so eager to get “Wolverine” out next year that it has committed to go into production the instant Jackman finishes Baz Luhrmann’s epic romance “Australia,” which Fox is tentatively set to release next year. “The idea is, they can finish him out in September or October and put this one on the fast track so they can get it out next summer,” says one source.
For the time being anyway, it seems that “Wolverine” is the best hope for continuing the “X-Men” movie franchise. “There is no script for an ‘X-Men 4,’ and there is none in the works,” avers producer Lauren Shuler Donner.
The future of the studio’s recent comic book adaptation, 2006’s “Superman Returns,” is somewhat more dubious. That film cost $209 million (even after various tax rebates) and marketing costs sent expenses upward of $300 million, but director Bryan Singer’s Man of Steel picture made only $201 million domestically. While insiders say the movie was profitable, the studio mandated major cost cuts before proceeding with a sequel.
“If we do a sequel to ‘Superman,’ we want it to be less expensive,” Horn acknowledges. “I have to see a screenplay before I say yes to anything. But the studio would be willing to spend as much as $175 million if the screenplay and other factors warranted it.”
Still, Singer has announced that he plans to direct a second “Superman” project.
You can read the full article here!