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James Franco: Spider-Man Will Survive

James Franco George Pimentel/Getty Images

James Franco thinks Spider-Man can go on without director Sam Raimi helming and star Tobey Maguire leading the web-slinging.

Columbia Pictures and Marvel Comics announced on Tuesday that (500) Days of Summer auteur Marc Webb will direct the first installment of its new Spider-Man franchise, which will begin with Peter Parker's high school years...

"I don't have a problem with that," Franco, who played Harry Osborn in the superhero franchise, said at tonight's Sundance Film Festival opening-night premiere of HOWL, his new movie about the late poet Allen Ginsberg. "It worked out well for Batman, and comics themselves have different artists and writers. I think it's perfectly fine."

But he cautioned, "I think for the viewers you want a little space [between Raimi's and Webb's flicks], so you can get everyone else out of your head."

Franco and Maguire's Spider-Man costar Kirsten Dunst told us the other night at the Art of Elysium benefit, "It's sad to see it end. I think for Sam it was time for him to move on, and so we're all going to move on with him. But we've had a good 10 years."

Now, back to Sundance. Franco's HOWL costar Jon Hamm hit the carpet with his always radiant, longtime girlfriend, Jennifer Westfeldt.

The two teased that we could see them working together. Westfeldt smiled, "We have a couple of things in development."

Hamm also updated us on his much-talked-about beard. He doesn't know when he'll be shaving it off, but it will have to be "sometime soon—between now and Mad Men."

—Additional Reporting by Brett Malec

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