Bob Orci officially exits the Spidey series, the franchise seems up in the air. 

It's not surprising that Roberto Orci would be off The Amazing Spider-Man 3 (was he ever even actually on), what with Star Trek 3 being the big meal on his plate. But his comments to IGN about being off the series also include some weird comments about the future of the Spider-Man movie universe in general.

I don't know what their plans are for that franchise. I don't ever want to say never, but we have to figure out what their scheduling is in terms of when they want each movie. I've read probably as much as anyone else. There's a love for the Sinister Six, the idea of Venom -- there's an idea of Spider-Man's going to be one of these characters that's part of our business. He's such a popular character. Spider-Man's not going to go away any time soon. When it all happens and how and all that has yet to be determined.

There's a lot to parse here. We assume that Orci, having co-written The Amazing Spider-Man 2, knows something about the future of the franchise. That isn't necessarily true. We asume that Orci, having once been writing partners with Alex Kurtzman, who is writing and directing Venom, would have some inside knowledge about that film. Since the team broke up it's not a given that this is true. 

So with those caveats out of the way - acknowledging that Orci may not have much operational knowledge of what's going on at Sony in regards to the Spider-Man series - it's interesting that he seems to think that the exact future of the franchise isn't yet in stone. Combined with solid-sounding rumors that The Amazing Spider-Man 3 would be pushed from 2016 to 2017 and you begin to see the outline of a franchise struggling to find its place. At the very least it's surprising to hear Orci say anything other than 'Sony has a big plan and they're really gung-ho about it.'

The reality seems to be that Sony is second-guessing their big plan. I think that the announced spin-offs are very much up in the air. I think that Amazing Spider-Man 3 will definitley take an extra year. What that movie looks like? It's anybody's guess right now. If you have some strong ideas I bet Sony would like to hear them. 

In the meantime don't get too excited about the idea of Spider-Man going back to Marvel. It ain't happening in the near future. Short of Sony disbanding Columbia Pictures the studio will hold on to those rights with an absolute death grip. And don't place too much emphasis on the words of Orci; all this means is that Sony, realizing people hated Amazing Spider-Man 2, simply hasn't asked him to come back. There could be huge meetings happening in Culver City right now and he simply isn't privy to them.