It’s funny; I have had almost zero emotional reaction to Spider-Man 4 movie news, but when I heard that Raimi was off it, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Why, I wonder? I generally enjoy the series. Loved the first one, liked the second two. But, I don’t think I’ve seen Spider-Man 2 or 3 more than once.

Maybe it has to do with my lifelong, especially early childhood, love of all things Raimi. I’ve always thought of him and the Coens as split, in a Dark Half kind of way: The Coens used their strange powers in service of art, while Raimi stuck to crowd pleasing entertainment. But, conversely, the Coen Bros films are far from boring, and some of the best Raimi moments are quiet, intimate character analysis. And that’s the stuff that I really loved about the Spider-Man series. The action was great, but Tobey Maguire, and Raimi, really brought Peter Parker to life. Hell, they could have cut all the action out, and I would have been just as entertained.

So, having seen Raimi making financial bomb after bomb over the years (All of which I loved!), and finally finding “affirmation” with a gigantic blockbuster, it hits me hard to see him seemingly slink back into the shadows. I know, logically, that this isn’t true at all; He’s got that big budget World Of Warcraft movie coming up, for example. But it feels like one of my heroes has been temporarily defeated.

So. . . Who takes over the franchise? Not a big name director, certainly. With the corpse still warm, people are going to view this more as a sequel rather than a “reboot”, or whatever they’re selling it as. So it lacks credibility. Plus, there are probably a lot of great directors who wouldn’t want to follow Raimi purely out of respect. The District 9 director has been bandied about, and that seems to be the right “type”; Someone with vision, but not much of a rep yet. My choice? How about Chan Wook Park? The dude’s got comic book sensibility, to be sure.

So, to echo others, I’m bittersweet about this. I think that another Raimi Spider-Man would have been fun, but I’m also glad that the guy is free to explore, and create, new worlds.