spidermanimage.jpgColumbia Pictures

Even though it's one of the most profitable franchises in movie history, Columbia has decided not to move forward with an expensive sequel, instead going with a cheaper pre-quel to the series, which will see a young Peter Parker in high school.

Variety reports that the studio, who was expected to pay Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi a pretty penny to return for the fourth film, pulled the plug when script problems threatened to delay the scheduled 2011 release.

The studio already had a contingency plan in place -- they also developed a teen Spiderman script that wouldl be far cheaper to produce.

Although Raimi's out, along with thirty-something Maguire, he's not holding it against the studio. "While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job," he said.

First Carrie Bradshaw goes back to high school, now Peter Parker? Is this the new trend?