I'm back from Vegas! All that travel means I'm a bit behind on some news, so while this happened yesterday I wanted to bring it up today...
Sony is looking at The Amazing Spider-Man as an investment. I've heard some really mixed things about the movie - much of which originates from INSIDE Sony - but no matter how the film does (unless the film is an unmitigated disaster, and that won't happen with a property like this), they're coming back for a sequel. Sony is so sure of the sequel that they've hired Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman to write it.
Note that hiring writers to work on sequels before a movie is released is common, and not always a guarantee of that sequel going anywhere. But Kurtzman and Orci are Big Deal Writers, since their movies - despite rarely being any good - have made a lot of money. I imagine their quote is pretty high, so Sony went ahead and dumped a bunch of cash on Spider-Man 2 because they fully intend to get that movie made. And they're hiring Orci and Kurtzman because they want Spider-Man 2 to be as straight down the center as possible - you're not hiring these guys to bring you a nuanced look at anything.
We'll see if The Amazing Spider-Man is as troubled as I've heard (the stories that come to me are that the execs hate it, and you can never tell when the execs are right or when they're stupid, stupid suits). This hiring could be the sign of a major change in direction for the franchise. If you follow Orci's twitter you'll wonder if Spidey will finally investigate 9/11 as an inside job.