Washington, Sept 6 : Director Sam Raimi and actor star Tobey Maguire are said to be close to locking in a deal to return for the fourth and fifth installments of 'Spider-Man' franchise.
The films will be produced by with Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad.
In hopes of containing costs, Columbia is considering shooting the films back-to-back starting in fall 2009.
Ziskin had said she would like to aim for a May 2011 release for "Spider-Man 4," nine years after the original movie's debut.
Spider-Man is Sony's most successful movie franchise; the first three films have grossed 2.5 billion dollars worldwide.
Although there has been speculation whether Maguire would return to play Peter Parker, the studio said there was no question he would be back.
"The studio never considered any other actor. Tobey was our only choice and the only person we've discussed the role with," Hollywood Reporter quoted Sony spokesman Steve Elzer, as saying.
The studio declined comment on what villains might appear in the next two films or whether Kirsten Dunst would reprise her role as Mary Jane Watson, though it is hoped she will follow Maguire's lead and return.