CHA-CHING! Tobey Maquire and Sam Raimi THIS Close to Returning for Spider-Man 4 and 5

Let’s face it, folks; at this point, it’s all about the buckaroos, isn’t it? If it’s true that the “Spider-Man” franchise star and director, Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi, respectively, are THIS close to signing back on to the franchise for two more films, it’s all about the cash, and how much Sony is willing to shell out for their names on the dotted line. Mind you, this is America, and I don’t begrudge them to throw art out the window for good old fashion hard American cash, but eh, I suppose the softy side of me wishes two very talented men would move on to something more challenging, more unique, instead of just treading the water. Especially now, when their careers are arguably at their heights.

But no one asked my opinion. Here’s THR with the good/bad news depending on your POV:

Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi are looking to spin more webs for Sony’s Columbia Pictures.

The actor and helmer are said to be close to locking in a deal to return for the fourth and fifth installments of the studio’s top-grossing “Spider-Man” franchise, with Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad producing.

In hopes of containing costs, Columbia is considering shooting the films back-to-back starting in fall 2009, much like New Line did with “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which filmed simultaneously for 274 days. Ziskin had said she would like to aim for a May 2011 release for “Spider-Man 4,” nine years after the original movie’s debut.

Jamie Vanderbilt (“Zodiac”) is writing the screenplay.

Maybe I’m in the minority here, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by this news. I don’t actually know who would be a better Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire, and it would feel weird if there was a Spidey movie and he wasn’t in the costume, but what does this mean for Tobey’s other projects, in particular the “Robotech” movie? Two more Spidey flicks, to film back to back, is probably about two years of commitment, if not three.

As for Sam Raimi, eh, he could probably knock out two more Spidey flicks with one hand tied behind his back and one eye closed. He’s good enough he could probably do “Evil Dead 4” and both Spidey films at the same time. But you have to wonder what other cool flicks he is putting on the back burner to invest another four years or so on two more mediocre Spidey films…

Below: Sam Raimi shows Tobey Maguire the way to the bank, adding, “CHA-CHING!”

Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi