Are you ready for 'Spider-Man 2?'

[Spider-Man]So, you're counting the days until the release of 'Spider-Man' at your local cineplex, eh? (BTW, counting today you've still got 29 long days until the May 3rd release!) The anticipation is building. You've seen that new trailer over at the official Spider-Man Web site, haven't you? Or maybe you even went to see David Fincher's new film "Panic Room" last Friday because you heard the new trailer was playing before it, right? Well, if all the hype hasn't driven you completely mad yet, how's this strike you: "Spider-Man 2."

That's right, 4 weeks before the "Spider-Man" film has even hit the big screen it's official, there will be a sequel to the "Spider-Man" film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apparently Columbia Pictures has closed a deal with "Spider-Man" directory Sam Raimi to return to the directors chair and Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad are back to produce the sequel. Additionally it was revealed the next script will be written by the Executive Producers of "Smallville," Miles Millar and Alfred Gough.

Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, who play Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson, respectively, will also be back, but it was well known that their contracts contained sequel commitments. On the other hand, Raimi did not have a sequel commitment in his contract, so obviously Columbia is happy with what they're seeing. Columbia Executive VP Production Matt Tolmach, who is overseeing the project for production president Peter Schlessel, told the Hollywood Reporter, "It was always our hope (to do a sequel), but it was our belief in the movie and what a great job Sam and the actors did that made us feel very strongly about doing a sequel."

Production on the sequel is scheduled to begin the first quarter of 2003. No release date was mentioned.

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