SPIDER-MAN screenwriter DAVID KOEPP could be returning to the franchise after handing over the reins to ALVIN SARGENT for parts two and three.

One of Hollywood's most sought-after screenwriters, Koepp left the franchise after the first film to embark on other projects, including War of the Worlds and his latest effort, INDIANA JONES part four.

However, Columbia Pictures has reportedly opened negotiations again with the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE writer to pen the script for the fourth SPIDER-MAN movie  a move which could ultimately end up costing the studio a large sum as lead actors Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst will also need new contracts to continue.

Both have suggested hanging up their characters of Peter Parker and Mary-Jane Watson in the franchise, while director SAM RAIMI has previously admitted he may call it a day after the third film is released.

But Raimi too has recently claimed while he would not necessarily be opposed to making the fourth movie, he would only stay on board if the other actors agreed.

SPIDER-MAN 3 is due to be released this May, with the Sandman and Venom among the comic book character's enemies.

22/01/2007 15:10:59