Rumor: Amazing Spider-Man 3 Bumped to 2017?

Amazing Spider-Man 2

Lost amidst Thursday's buzz blitz surrounding Warner Bros.' anticipated slate of DC Comics movies preparing to be launched at next month's Comic-Con, one of Marvel and Sony's tentpole superhero franchises may be facing a retooling delay.

In fact, buried in a story on the seven anticipated DC films rolling out from 2016 through 2018, Crave film site Ain't It Cool News reported that Sony had bumped the release date of The Amazing Spider-Man 3 from his announced launch on June 10, 2016 to an as-yet-undetermined 2017 date.

While the tidbit remains nothing more than a rumor until Sony Pictures confirms or denies the item, the possible delay report only casts more doubt on the long-term future of the franchise and Sony's expansive plans for more Spidey-verse films.

While The Amazing Spider-Man 2's $700 million worldwide take makes it the second-highest grossing film of the year so far (trailing only the $710 million of Captain America: The Winter Soldier), it's still going to be something of an under-performer for the studio, who forecasted an approximate haul around $1 billion in international receipts.

Domestically, AS2 is hovering just under $200 million in ticket sales, continuing a concerning downward trend in returns on Spider-Man movies dating all the way back to Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man in 2002 (for the record…Spider-Man: $403 million; Spider-Man 2: $373 million; Spider-Man 3: $336 million; Amazing Spider-Man: $262 million).

So…if true, what does the delay mean?  Potentially, not much if it turns out the shift is just Sony's way of better telling a broader story across the Amazing Spider-Man films and their planned spinoffs.  Drew Goddard's Sinister Six movie seems to be building steam (he even left showrunner duties on the Netflix "Daredevil" series to work on S6). So maybe Sony wants to slot that movie in first before the whole crew of classic Spidey villains descend for the big finale in a trilogy-capping AS3.

Or, more apocalyptically, could AICN's speculation be correct and we're looking at yet another Spider-Man reboot?  Could Marc Webb, Andrew Garfield and the rest just be out in favor of a brand-new auteur and a brand-new webslinger for a new batch of flicks? Taking this train of thought one admittedly shaky step further, might we be preparing for Spider-Man films spotlighting Peter Parker's alternate universe successor Miles Morales?  That notion has been denied before, but now…who knows?

We're not sure that's the answer to all this, but either way we'll see how Sony responds to the rumor.