IESB is reporting that Spider-Man 4 (which they say is referred to as Spider-M4n in the production offices) has been halted as of last Thursday. The reason? Sony and Sam Raimi are fighting over the villain. The article claims that Raimi wants The Vulture to be the big baddie while Sony wants… well, anyone but The Vulture.

The site is also reporting that the Spider-Man 4 script is unfinished, largely because of the debate over the villain. I have to tell you that this sounds totally insane to me – why wouldn’t this have been hashed out earlier in the year, when writers like David Lindsay-Abaire and Gary Ross were, you know, writing the fucking movie? Sadly the level of insanity doesn’t debunk the story – I have heard way crazier pre-production stories on other films.

So what now? If this story is true, and I’m leaning towards really believing it is, this won’t get resolved before the Christmas break. Maybe when everybody gets back to town in January we’ll end up with a solution, but in the meantime the fate of Spider-Man 4 hangs in the balance. I wonder if this could be what finally gets Raimi off the series.