Filmmaker Marc Webb’s schedule was a little in flux following the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He was expected to return to helm The Amazing Spider-Man 3, but he had a few other dramatic projects in the works that were waiting for his time in the superhero universe to conclude. Sony Pictures eventually opted to scrap Amazing Spider-Man 3 altogether and start over with a new Peter Parker story, co-produced by Marvel Studios, and all of a sudden Webb’s future became much more open. He most recently directed the pilots for the CW musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and CBS’ Limitless (yes, based on the Bradley Cooper movie), but now Webb is finalizing plans for his return to features with two new films, neither of which includes super-suits, crazy villains, or spider-enhanced blood.
Per Deadline, Chris Evans has signed on to lead the drama Gifted, which will be Webb’s next film as a director. Scripted by Tom Flynn, the drama revolves around a man who sues for custody of his gifted niece. The picture is set up at Fox Searchlight and will begin production this fall, marking a nice change of pace and somewhat return to form for the filmmaker who first burst onto the scene with the wonderfully inventive (500) Days of Summer.
But news of Gifted doesn’t mean Webb’s long-developing The Only Living Boy in New York is dead. That picture is moving from Fox Searchlight to Fox 2000, and Webb is beginning to assemble the ensemble cast around already-attached star Miles Teller, with Jeff Bridges and Rosamund Pike in talks to co-star. Written by Allan Loeb (The Switch, Rock of Ages), the film tells the story of a recent college graduate (Teller) who learns his father is having an affair, only to then strike up a relationship with the woman himself. Webb has been attached to New York for a while now, and the plan is for that to begin production next year when Teller can fit it into his busy schedule.
So while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a significant disappointment, things are looking up for Webb and I’m genuinely eager to see the filmmaker return to something a bit more down to earth. The character-centric scenes in his two Spider-Man films were excellent, and it’s clear the guy has a strong handle on relationship stories. Gifted and The Only Living Boy in New York sound like they’ll be swell showcases for Webb’s talent.