Spider-Man 3 and 4 announced

New films will arrive in 2016 and 2018

Spidey... back for a third and a fourth film (Copyright: Sony)

Spider-Man will be back... and then back again.

Sony has confirmed that it has a third and a fourth film on its slate – and while it was thought that a third film was likely, a fourth has come as something of a curveball.

Though not stated officially – yet – the news puts current Spidey, US-Brit actor Andrew Garfield, in the blue and red spandex until 2018.

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The third film is due on June 10, 2016, and the fourth on May 4, 2018.

Said Sony Pictures vice chairman Jeff Blake: “Spider-Man is our most important, most successful, and most beloved franchise, so we’re thrilled that we are in a position to lock in these prime release dates over the next five years.”

With only one film released in the new rebooted series so far, it's a bold statement of intent from the studio.

The second film, currently filming in New York, won't see UK screens until May 2, 2014, but it will arrive on the back of $750 million hauled in from the first Marc Webb-directed film.

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'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' stars Garfield once more as Peter Parker, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Shailene Woodley, Dane DeHaan, Martin Sheen, Chris Cooper, Sally Field and Emma Stone.