The future of Spider-Man

With under two months to go before its release date, could we be any more excited about Spider-Man 3? All the promotional material released so far leads us to believe it'll be the best Spidey film yet, but conflicting reports have arisen about the future of the franchise.

On one hand, we've got Tobey Maguire. He's been in Australia recently to promote another of his projects, The Good German, and while he was there he naturally talked about the future of Spider-Man in an interview with the Courier Mail, revealing that he's thinking of walking away from the role of Peter Parker.

"To me it seems like this is a natural point for the team to break up because we have a lot of story conclusions that were going along for the main characters for the first two movies and we kind of tie almost everything up for the third movie," he said. "It feels like a trilogy to me and it feels like the end." Maguire's comments match those of co-star Kirsten Dunst and director Sam Raimi, who have both indicated that the third instalment will mark the end of their involvement with the franchise.

But on the other hand, there's producer Avi Arad, who's told entertainment blog Dark Horizons that he's not ruling anything out for a third sequel - or, indeed, any continuation of the franchise. Asked if he sees Spider-Man 3 as a fitting conclusion to the series, Arad replied "No. There are never conclusions. I mean, this story has been going on for a long time and it will continue going. I mean there are some issues that will turn into, not to an end but to a conclusion, but Peter Parker's story will continue forever. He's still young. Still the love story will always be the ruling thing in his life. It's always about the girl, so no, it's just number 3." Asked further about the potential of Spider-Man 4, though, he replied "it's too early to make".

So, could the series maintain such high standards without Maguire, Dunst and Raimi? Could they all be talked back into making another sequel? Time will tell...

Spider-Man 3 opens in the UK on 4 May.

Sources: The Courier Mail , Dark Horizons (warning: Dark Horizons piece contains possible spoilers)