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Roberto Orci Officially Leaves ‘Amazing Spider-Man 3’; Series Could Be In Limbo

by Rodrigo Perez
July 12, 2014 10:52 AM
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Amazing Spider-Man 2

“Where there’s smoke there’s fire.” I kinda hate that phrase because it always lends credence to every damn rumor out there (the recent Gus Van Sant/”Death Note” rumor of late is false and premature, for example). But maybe it applies here. A few weeks ago it was reported that “The Amazing Spider-Man 3” was going to lose its 2016 date and it may be delayed.

Well, it turns out this rumor is entirely possible. The ever-candid Roberto Orci, screenwriter behind the new “Star Trek” franchise, some of the earlier “Transformers” films and of course the rebooted “Amazing Spider-Man” series has revealed in an interview that he has officially left the Sony-produced super hero franchise. “I’m not officially involved in it," Orci told IGN of the upcoming “Spider-Man 3” film.

"I don't know what their plans are for that franchise,” he continued. “I don't ever want to say never, but we have to figure out what their scheduling is in terms of when they want each movie. I've read probably as much as anyone else. There's a love for ‘The Sinister Six,’ the idea of ‘Venom’ -- there's an idea of Spider-Man's going to be one of these characters that's part of our business. He's such a popular character. Spider-Man's not going to go away any time soon. When it all happens and how and all that has yet to be determined. I don't want to say anything about what they should do. I don't want them to think I'm spilling the beans about something."

That certainly sounds tenuous and doesn’t sound like the plan of the studio that was once certain they were releasing their ‘Spider-Man 3’ film in 2016 with the “Sinister Six” and “Venom” films to follow. Then again, if Orci’s not officially involved anymore, perhaps he’s out of the loop. But it does ring true with the original delay rumor that suggested Sony didn’t know what to do with the series – “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was the lowest grossing film in the series abroad and at home including every film that Sam Raimi directed (minus inflation and 3D surcharges of course) – and maybe had to rethink the entire direction (since it doesn’t seem to be working in the $1 billion dollar gross range they were hoping for).

Star Trek 3, Roberto Orci

Now perhaps this isn’t an entire surprise. Orci and longtime writing partner Alex Kurtzman (who is set to direct and write the “Venom” movie) amicably split earlier this year. Plus, Orci’s got a “Star Trek 3” movie to think about which he will direct and co-write for 2016.

But Orci’s being really cautious. In a separate interview with Collider, the writer/producer/ soon-to-be director said “Star Trek 3” isn’t real until it’s been greenlit by Paramount and that hasn’t happened. “Well, I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch. The studio has yet to even read the script,” he told them. “I’m in the middle of writing it, with the talented team of [John D.] Payne and [Patrick] McKay. They are true Star Trek fans, as well. So, I can’t even think anything about the future until I give them a script and they greenlight it. Until that happens, everything else is just a rumor.”

“If I’m lucky enough that Paramount loves the script and that we go forward,” he added. “It’ll be because I have loved Star Trek for so long and the idea of having seen one of the best guys in the business direct two of them already, and to have seen it from the vantage point of a producer too, I know where a lot of the challenges are and where a lot of the fun is.”

That’s a cute thought and all, but Paramount would really have to hate Orci’s script to not go forward with this film (I mean, they greenlight “Into Darkness,” no?). Considering they’ve already tentatively slotted in “Star Trek 3” for a 2016 release date, the studio isn’t going to want to delay their flagship property any further. Yes, anything’s possible and they could delay it if the script is terrible and the studio doesn’t think they’re ready (for example rumors of Star Wars: Episode VII” being pushed to 2016 keep getting louder and louder). But this is the same studio that read the much-maligned “Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen” and said (yes, during a writing strike), “ok, well, it’s gotta run on this date, so it’s good enough, the kids will eat it up anyhow,” and they were right.

Recap: “Amazing Spider-Man 3,” delayed and in limbo? Hard to say, but it doesn’t sound very good and considering the evidence of the very weak box-office, it doesn’t take a dummy to figure out that Sony’s been in post-mortem mode and trying to figure out what went wrong and how they can “fix” their big super hero property going forward. “Star Trek 3”? I’d assume it’ll move forward as planned until we hear otherwise, but it will be interesting to see how a first time director with no hands-on filmmaking experience (other than producing) can handle mounting a tentpole of this scope and scale.

"The Amazing Spider-Man 3" is supposed to hit theaters on June 10th, 2016. We'll see if it still hits that date.

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  • liam | July 14, 2014 3:35 PMReply

    It needs to return to Marvel badly, I just don't like Andrew or Webb.
    I prefer Raimi's however I'm trying to like the newer installments but the scripts have been bad so far and Webbs directing is way off. It would have been better if he didn't do the origin story and mix in the lizard. 'looked like a D&D Lizard'.

    Raimi had it right to a point, Peter knew Stacy since child hood. MJ should have come in the 3rd film and leave out Hobgoblin and Venom. But no... the studio decided to tell him what to do.

  • DEATHHAWK | July 14, 2014 6:35 AMReply

    I took my four year old son to see Captain America: Winter Soldier. He stayed awake and excited the whole time

    Took him to see TASM2, he fell asleep before half of the movie.

    Marvel Studios wins

  • Deathhawk | July 14, 2014 6:29 AMReply

    1. Sony does not need to make comic book films. I love TASM 1, the sequel was loopy, too much gwen stacy, too much villian b.s., and wtf was wrong with Rhino?

    2. Riami films were garbage. campy and toby mcquire was awful. Im a spider man nerd.

    3. Marvel Studios needs to do to a Spider-Man film. Not sony, not fox, but Marvel studios. This will never happen though thanks to studio rights. Until Marvel Studios can do a spider man movie themselves. There will never be a truely awesome spider man film.


  • Jack | July 14, 2014 1:37 AMReply

    I fxxxing loved TASM. It was better than the Raimi films and captured the goddamned essence of Spider-Man. The direction was good. The casting was ridiculously good. The dialogue was good, It was a good movie, period, and the first truly good Spider-Man movie (S-M2 had some great moments, but...). It sort of falls apart near the end with the requisite destroy-the-city-before-the-countdown plot, and recovers. Still, for a movie about a kid who gets bit by a spider, makes his own costume and fights a giant lizard, it has goddamned verisimilitude. It actually makes Connors and the Lizard work as a movie villain, and seem plausible.

    It's underrated because of the Raimi movies.

    I fxxxing hated TASM2. The ridiculously good original cast managed to keep it sort of watchable. Everything else was terrible. The plot, the dialogue, the villians, the music, the video-game FX. Terrible. Is the studio, writers/producers K/O, or Webb to blame? No idea.

  • Jack | July 14, 2014 2:20 AM

    BTW, anyone know why Steve Kloves didn't come back to write 2 or 3?

  • Thomas | July 13, 2014 5:27 PMReply

    Andrew Garfield was and still is a great choice for Spider-Man. Almost every other decision in the last two movies has been wrong. They need to fire Marc Webb and hire John McTiernan (he could become the Matthew McConaughey of directors.)

    And can we put in place a moratorium on Hans Zimmer scoring superhero movies?

  • Jack | July 14, 2014 1:45 AM

    I loved the first Garfield one. Everything about it. Even the sketchier/especially overwrought bits with Connors and Oscorp worked out fine. Thanks to Webb, it didn't look like fxxxing Transformers. It had an intimacy and didn't look, sound or feel like every bloody summer blockbuster since 1992.

    But, apart from bringing back the TASM cast, I agree with you that every decision in TASM2 was wrong. Joel Schumacher wants his villains back. And every other movie ever wants its Hans Zimmer score back.

    The main diff between the two productions, at least from the outside? K/O jumped on as writers and producers.

  • MARCO | July 13, 2014 8:35 PM

    Great choice to pick someone who doesn't read the script before acting right? Good choice to pick someone for the role who doesn't even come up interesting or positive to some people right? Yep, that's what the studios wants. They want to pick out actors who are ugly-faced enough to destroy the charms that the Raimi films had. But oh thank goodness, it wasn't Shia Labeouf at least, it could've been worse.

  • Miller | July 12, 2014 7:25 PMReply

    You guys... ASM 3 isn't and never was slated to come out in 2016.

    The studio slated dates for 2016 and 2017, and some sites said they were for ASM 3 and 4, and that became the internet's truth. There is no ASM4. The actors and director Marc Webb have been clear they will not be sticking around that long.

    The 2016 slot is for the Sinister Six movie, which only exists to lighten the storytelling load for ASM3. Drew Goddard has cleared his schedule to write and direct, and if the Sinister Six movie were coming out after that, the first half of 2014 would be pretty early to start dropping entire projects.

    ASM3 will come out in 2017, as the studio planned, and it will be... as good as the first two.

  • Leba | July 12, 2014 6:57 PMReply

    You know im getting tired of spiderman im a huge fan of spiderman but im getting tired of this the last series didnt even get finished this series i could tell is going to hell so im tired of it.

  • Tempus Fugit | July 12, 2014 6:45 PMReply

    Roberto Orci and Damon Lindelof are two of the biggest hacks in Hollywood. Everything they touch, they destroy. They both need to find other professions. Anything. Working at a Wetzel's Pretzels, perhaps.

  • Frank | July 12, 2014 5:47 PMReply

    Good. Sony should never have dumped Maguire, Raimi & Co. They were preparing for Spider-man 4 to be released in 2011, if anyone recalls. While not perfect, those first 3 films were fun & exciting & people worldwide loved them ~ to the tune of $2-3 billion.

    Greed rears its ugly head. They booted the original, successful crew...biting the hand that was feeding them. Then decide on some crap reboot in 2012, just 5 years after S3.

    This failing franchise is EXCACTLY what that studio gets. Most people wanted Raimi & the original cast to continue telling stories, regardless of the films' flaws. Now? You're stuck with this mess while claiming "franchise fatigue". Wrong. They f'ed up big time & will come up with any excuse not to admit it.

  • Jack | July 14, 2014 1:48 AM

    Watch TASM. It was under-appreciated because it was deemed unnecessary, but it's a better Spider-Man movie than any of Raimi's, which were Sam Raimi movies that happened to feature Spider-Man.

    Why is a tired required-by-contract sequel less greedy than a fresh take on a franchise? Raimi didn't invent Spider-Man.

  • Liam | July 12, 2014 5:58 PM

    You're dead right. It was also the interference of the Studio, pushing in Venom when he wasn't supposed to be...And for the fact Raimi wanted the Vulture a female for the 4th film.

  • | July 12, 2014 5:19 PMReply

    Roberto Orci is just Gabe Toro in a hipster sombrero.

  • chase | July 12, 2014 7:59 PM

    HAHAHHA Oh Gabe

  • Michael | July 12, 2014 3:42 PMReply

    Yeah, 700 million worldwide is a truly very weak box office result....the times we live in..the ignorance...just amazing...

  • THE DARKEST TIMELINE | July 12, 2014 1:31 PMReply

    Roberto Orci is a 9/11 truther and an awful human being. I hope Paramount fires him from the Star Trek franchise soon...

  • Jack | July 14, 2014 1:59 AM

    There's nothing wrong with questioning your government. That's not what bugs me about trutherism -- what bugs me is the contempt for evidence, logic and reason. Sure, conspiracies are absolutely possible, but with these guys, any questioning of the assumptions behind their theories means your goddamned Sheeple.

    Its lazy and cuts corners. And it mirrors Orci's writing.

  • Jesse | July 12, 2014 5:23 PM

    I don't like the dude either but there's nothing wrong with questioning your government.

  • Slen | July 12, 2014 1:21 PMReply

    With Orci off the script, it's like beating cancer. Now maybe Sony can try out a young newbie on the script. Or maybe hire David Koepp. Anyone but re-hiring Orci.

  • Emperor Zerg Rush | July 12, 2014 12:10 PMReply

    The Spider-Man film curse.

  • Andre | July 12, 2014 11:35 AMReply

    Well, honestly I think this crisis is for the best. They need time to think about the franchise, create a great story, hire great screenwriters, give up on the spinoffs and focus on making a really great movie this time, 'cause the first ones were pretty average and forgettable - even though they had a great director who's not being allowed to reach his full potential, and a great Peter/Spidey in Andrew Garfield whose talent is being underused.

  • Jack | July 14, 2014 1:53 AM

    Watch the first one again. It's a great movie. It's not forgettable or average. It's not flashy or fomulaic (beyond what's required by the Spider-Man origin story itself) but it's intimate, smart , offbeat and full of heart.

    It ain't Transformers or Man of Steel. But the second one is.

  • liam | July 12, 2014 3:49 PM

    I thought that Andrew wasn't that great and nor was the writer or the director. Both Spidey films felt to me that it didn't have any life in them, just a lot of mis-casting and the scripts didn't help.
    I wanted James Gunn to take over since Webb has only done one film.

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