Columbia has scrapped "Spider-Man 4" and is rebooting its Spider-Man film franchise.
The studio is parting ways with director Sam Raimi and "Spider-Man" stars Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst and is taking the webslinger's alter ego, Peter Parker, back to high school.
The new movie, which will still be produced by Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin and Marvel Studios, is eyeing a release in summer 2012.
The news of the reboot follows weeks of script problems in which the studio was at loggerheads with Raimi over which villains to use in the movie. The clashes were kept mostly under radar but last week erupted into the public when it became clear that the studio was not going to meet its start date and subsequently its May 6, 2011, release date.
Columbia and Raimi put on a unified front Monday when making the announcement they were parting.
"A decade ago we set out on this journey with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire, and together we made three Spider-Man films that set a new bar for the genre. When we began, no one ever imagined that we would make history at the boxoffice, and now we have a rare opportunity to make history once again with this franchise.
"Peter Parker as an ordinary young adult grappling with extraordinary powers has always been the foundation that has made this character so timeless and compelling for generations of fans. We're very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter's roots and we look forward to working once again with Marvel Studios, Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin on this new beginning," Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal said in a statement.
Said Raimi: "Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job."