Maybe Sony executives have a spider-sense of their own. Last month, before anyone could guess that ”Spider-Man” would snare the biggest opening of all time (more than $114 million), Sony’s Columbia Pictures managed to re-sign director Sam Raimi, costar Kirsten Dunst, and producer Laura Ziskin for ”Spider-Man 2” — and they had star Tobey Maguire locked in from the beginning. Surrounded by the shards of broken box office records, Sony announced Monday that the Spidey-sequel — to be co-written by ”Smallville” creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar — will hit theaters May 7, 2004, with production starting early next year.
”It’s sort of a thrilling and daunting task to do the sequel,” Gough tells EW.com. ”They’ve really hit one out of the park in the first movie, which is great, because it leaves you a lot of areas to explore in the sequel.” Some films tie up so many loose ends that a follow-up seems superfluous, he says. But given Harry Osborn’s vow of revenge on Spider-Man (he blames him for the death of his father, Norman, a.k.a. the Green Goblin), Aunt May’s precarious health, and Mary-Jane’s possible discovery of Spidey’s secret identity, there’s plenty of story webs left to be spun in this franchise. ”You sort of go, hey, we can only do so much in the second movie,” Gough laughs.