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Spider-Man 4: Totally Dead!

Mike Fleming, Nikki Finke's new helper, gets his first Deadline Hollywood Daily byline this afternoon with a story on the surprise cancellation of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4 (hilariously, the post begins,"Mike Fleming and I have just confirmed ... "). Apparently Raimi pulled out because he didn't think he'd be able to turn in a finished, non-terrible film by Summer 2011. Instead, Sony will reboot the franchise, Batman style, with an all-new cast, director, and script by Jamie Vanderbilt (Zodiac). We'll admit, we are somewhat relieved, since Spider-Man 4's villain was to be a character named the Vulture (played by John Malkovich), and already our in-box was buckling under the strain of an increased number of Google News alerts. Anyway, this means Sony is in the market for a new Peter Parker — so dream big, Josh Bednarsky!

EXCLUSIVE: 'SPIDER-MAN 4' SCRAPPED [DHD]

Earlier: Scriptless Spider-Man 4 to Miss Start Date, Dump Anne Hathaway?

Photo: Courtesy of Marvel