( dpa) - Sony's Columbia Pictures has snared actor Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi for the fourth and fifth installments of the hit Spider-Man movies, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The news comes after widespread speculation that Maguire planned to end his portrayal as the superhero crime-fighter and force the studio to find another actor to fill the role.
"The studio never considered any other actor. Tobey was our only choice and the only person we've discussed the role with," said studio spokesman Steve Elzer in announcing the plans.
Columbia is considering shooting both movies back-to-back as a cost-saving measure and hopes to release the first film in May 2011, nine years after the original movie's debut.
The first three films have grossed 2.5 billion dollars worldwide, making Spider-Man Columbia's most successful movie franchise.