The enormous sound heard around the world a moment ago was the collective drop of geek jaw at the news that Sony have scrapped plans to do a fourth Spider-Man film with Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi, instead they are sending Peter Parker back to high school.

No, seriously.

SuperHeroHype may soon collapse with the incoming hits but here’s their announcement.

Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will have a new cast and filmmaking team. Spider-Man 4 was to have been released in 2011, but had not yet gone into production.”

Now, this is crazy news. Not least because this is another Hulk-style reboot just than a few years after the most recent incarnation, but also because the film series Raimi created was very successful, and nowhere near in need of a total reboot. But this is not The Fantastic Four, whose own reboot isn’t looking too likely. This is Spider-Man and for many people Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker. The story arcs were completed in a fairly overblown manner in the trilogy but half the fun of seeing Spider-Man on the big screen again was the thrill of a nostalgic and fresh look at a beloved hero – that’s not an easy thing to do.

Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures said: “Now everything begins anew, and that’s got us all tremendously excited about what comes next. Under the continuing supervision of Avi and Laura, we have a clear vision for the future of Spider-Man and can’t wait to share this exciting new direction with audiences in 2012.”

Sam Raimi had this to say:

“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. 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,” said Sam Raimi.

The rest of the world commented: “WTF.”