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Superheroes and megabucks

Just another day in movietown.

* Sony has signed James Vanderbilt, who wrote the first draft of “Spiderman 4″ (now twice rewritten), to pen an additional two Spidey screenplays. Writer Michael Fleming speculates that the studio wants to speed up production as the S-man is their most reliable vehicle and a Julie Taymor’s Broadway musical with music by Bono and the Edge, is in fairly deep financial doo-doo long before opening night. (Of course, there is another way Sony could make money — come up with something new…nah.) Vanderbilt, by the way, is also the writer behind Brian Fincher’s cinephile favorite, “Zodiac.”

I personally wonder if Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Sam Raimi have much interest in doing any more films after the next one, which I suspect is a bit of a Mulligan for the sporadically entertaining and occasionally embarrassing mess that was the last Spiderman film. Also, Maguire is older than he looks (34 as of last June), and time is running out. A forty-something actor might work for Iron Man, but for Spidey, it’s kind of another story.

* Speaking of young superheroes, or in this case super anti-heroes, Variety tells us that Lionsgate has purchased the domestic rights to Matthew Vaughn’s comic-book adaptation “Kick-Ass,” with a cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Anne Thompson is very much on board and notes the strategy of indies using Comic-Con to get distribution. She also has a video from the con which doesn’t want to play properly on my computer. In addition, those who understand finances better than I might be able to draw something kind of line between and this Nikki Finke item having to do with the sale of some stock by Lionsgate Bigwig Joe Drake.

* Ignoring my fervent prayers, “G.I. Joe” is doing very well abroad. At least people who complain about the dumbing down of America will have to realize it’s not just us. Misery loves company.

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