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Friendly Neighborhood Wallcrawler August 1, 2000

Tobey Maguire = Peter Parker? Well, it's 99% official. Maguire (The Cider House Rules) needs only to sign on the dotted line and he will play the title role in "Spider-Man," Columbia's live-action film based on the Marvel Comics franchise.

According to a report in Variety, Maguire will receive in the range of $3-4 million for the first film with options for richer back-end deals for two sequels. The deal is "pay-or-play" -- meaning he gets paid even if the project does not happen.

The project, anticipated to be the next Marvel blockbuster after the X-Men, has been widely discussed for many years. Now, it's one step closer to becoming a reality.

While Maguire was favored by Spider-Man director, Sam Raimi, the search for the young Peter Parker has captivated the rumor mills of Hollywood for the past several months. While his acting abilities were never in doubt, Columbia studio brass were somewhat reluctant with Maguire as they felt he might not fill the "physical" needs of the character. Other than 1999's "The Cider House Rules," the 25 year-old Maguire has been featured in such films as "Wonder Boys," "The Ice Storm" and "Pleasantville."

Raimi will direct from a script by David Koepp (The Lost World) which was rewritten by Scott Rosenberg (Gone in 60 Seconds). The script is based upon a treatment written by James Cameron.

According to various sources, one of the two antagonists Spider-Man will face is his archenemy, The Green Goblin. Now, according to a report by 4Filmmakers, Nicolas Cage is in possible negotiations to take over the role as the Goblin. Cage, once in line to take over the role as "Superman," would seem to make an ideal candidate for the G.G. Please note that "Nic as the Goblin" is only a rumor and has yet to be verified.

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