This week sees the release of the film that brought Sam Raimi to the subgenre whose modern incarnation he helped create: the comic book movie. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was helmed by the director of the Tobey Maguire-era Spider-Man trilogy, which came at a time when superhero movies were far from the only game in town, paving the way for Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies and, a handful of years later, the beginnings of the MCU. Raimi’s been doing press for his new sequel, and he was inevitably asked why he only made three Spidey films.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Raimi said they tried to make a fourth Maguire Spider-Man, but there were issues with the script, which he felt wasn’t living up to the previous three. On top of that, Spider-Man 3, released in 2007, made a bucketload of money but received mixed reviews, especially compared to its widely-acclaimed predecessor.
“It was a very painful experience for me,” Raimi said. “I wanted to make a Spider-Man movie to redeem myself for that. [The aborted] Spider-Man 4 — that was really what that was about. I wanted to go out on a high note. I didn’t want to just make another one that pretty much worked. I had a really high standard in my mind. And I didn’t think I could get that script to the level that I was hoping for by that start date.”
Raimi also discussed some of the ideas he had for the aborted Spider-Man 4. He thought about giving his longtime pal Bruce Campbell, who had cameos in the three films, the villainous role of Mysterio. There was even talk of bringing in Kraven the Hunter, a character getting his own movie starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Instead, Sony wound up waiting a few years and rebooting it with Andrew Garfield.
But that doesn’t mean Raimi’s done with Spidey forever. He floated the idea of reuniting with Maguire for a new franchise, though that might be tricky to pull off.
“My love for the characters hasn’t diminished one iota,” Raimi said. “It would be the same things that would stop me now that stopped me then: ‘Does Tobey want to do it? Is there an emotional arc for him? Is there a great conflict for this character? And is there a worthy villain that fits into the theme of the piece?’ There’s a lot of questions that would have to be answered. If those could be answered, then I’d love to.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be released to theaters on May 6.
(Via Rolling Stone)