Sam Raimi Admits That He’s Not a Fan of ‘Spider-Man 3,’ Either
Although Sam Raimi’s first two ‘Spider-Man’ films were critically acclaimed and loved by fans, most look back upon his ‘Spider-Man 3' with a mixture of confusion, disdain, and sadness—mostly due to a plot that feels less focused and Topher Grace’s hilariously, cartoonishly bad performance as Eddie Brock, a.k.a. Venom. But don’t feel too bad, you guys, because Raimi is admitting that he’s not a fan of ‘Spider-Man 3,’ either.
Whether you were frustrated by a plot that was divided between not one, not two, but three villains; or if you were unhappy with Venom being played by Topher Grace, who is the human equivalent of non-threatening and wholesome khaki pants; or if you were really annoyed by emo Peter Parker dancing down the street, fear not: Sam Raimi is also not into ‘Spider-Man 3,’ and he was the one who directed it.
In a new episode of the Nerdist podcast (via The A.V. Club), Raimi talks about his film failures, including ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ and, obviously, ‘Spider-Man 3.’ Raimi explains the reason why the third installment in his Spidey franchise didn’t work out, which has something to do with his own lack of commitment:
It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well. I tried to make it work, but I didn’t really believe in all the characters, so that couldn’t be hidden from people who loved ‘Spider-Man.’ If the director doesn’t love something, it’s wrong of them to make it when so many other people love it. I think [raising the stakes after ‘Spider-Man 2’] was the thinking going into it, and I think that’s what doomed us. I should’ve just stuck with the characters and the relationships and progressed them to the next step and not tried to top the bar.
We’ve known for years that studio interference was an issue on ‘Spider-Man 3,’ with Raimi previously deflecting questions about it and putting the blame on Sony for the disappointing sequel. But it’s rare that a creative type owns up to their own failures, which Raimi does here, admitting not only that the film is bad, but that his lack of passion for the characters and the story contributed to its downfall. Additionally, he felt a need to make a film that was bigger than its predecessor(s)—perhaps he was too focused on the size of the film and not enough on issues like the script and the actors’ performances. As the saying goes, quality over quantity, and ‘Spider-Man 3' is quite overstuffed.
Raimi is currently returning to the franchise that put him on the map, creating a new ‘Evil Dead’ television series with original star Bruce Campbell. He was also recently in talks to direct an adaptation of ‘Love May Fail,’ based on the book by ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ author Matthew Quick. ‘Enlightened’ creator Mike White wrote the screenplay for that film, which might turn out to be a great departure for Raimi, whose name has become synonymous with ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Spider-Man.’