Movies Raimi After Spider-man 3: What Has He learned?


Tamer Of The LOLzilla
Superherohype have an interesting interview with Raimi up on their site.

CS/SHH!: Was making a fourth "Spider-Man" film an easy call for you to make? And were you and Tobey Maguire in lockstep on the decision, both eager to do it together?
Sam Raimi: I only wanted to do it with Tobey because my interest is in living the character with Tobey in a deeper way than we ever have lived it before. There comes with the familiarity a knowledge of a lot of the basics. I think it's really going to allow us to delve deeply into him as a human being, which is really why I'm into it this time.

CS/SHH!: "Spider-Man 3" received its share of criticism even though it was successful at the box office. Are you taking that into consideration when you're developing the fourth film?
Raimi: Do I take the criticism into consideration? Yeah, absolutely. All filmmakers want their films to be liked. I shouldn't say that, but I definitely want my films to be liked by the audience. I don't make an artistic type of picture that I can say to myself "Even if this crowd doesn't like it, it stands as a work of art and will be appreciated years later or has meaning without the audience." I simply am an entertainer and I make films for audience appreciation. When they don't like it, I don't have a leg to stand on. If a critic doesn't like it, it's like "Oh, he hates me," or it's bad, they don't like it. Every time I get a bad criticism, I just try not to dwell on it but it's very upsetting. You really want to please people.

CS/SHH!: What did you particularly take to heart? Like would you go back to a single villain?
Raimi: I'm still working on "Spider-Man 4." More properly, the writer is writing the screenplay right now. David Lindsay-Abaire, a New York playwright, is in New York supposedly writing. We'll see - I gotta call that guy! He should be done with his script in about four weeks, I think. I think I'd be better prepared to answer that question once I've read that script and know what the movie is. I wanted to work in a new way and a new direction. I had just read this great play that David Lyndsay-Abaire had written called "Rabbit Hole" and I just really wanted to work with him on Peter Parker.

CS/SHH!: Was there a significant difference between working on a major franchise and doing a smaller production like "Drag Me to Hell"?
Raimi: With those "Spider-Man" pictures, which I love making, there's still a lot of responsibility on the director's shoulders--and the producers, everyone's shoulders--because you're dealing with a character that has been around for fortysome years, is much loved by people throughout the world and people not just have a sense of ownership of Spider-Man--rightfully so--they look up to him as a hero. Generations of people do, so you have to be careful with how that portrayal takes place. You have to have a lot of respect for the ownership of everyone, which they do have over that character. And so I was using the word "responsibility" of the responsibility to present him in a proper light. And that's a great job, but it's much more freeing to take a break from that and work with your own characters in a place where no one has any expectation of them because they don't know them. You're really free to do anything you want. So there's a lot more freedoms that come with the independent picture "Drag Me to Hell."

CS/SHH!: Has rediscovering those freedoms got you excited to return to the world of Spider-Man?
Raimi: I'm really looking forward to it. I feel like I've been on vacation and I want to come back. And I feel like I've learned a lot, working with the time constraints without all the toys and tools I've been granted on the "Spider-Man" pictures. I had a lot less to work with. I remember often times in this process my assistant director Michael Moore would come up to me and say things like, "Sam you've got an hour left and you've got eight shots. What do you want to do?" And I would think. "Oh my god, we'll just shoot it tomorrow." And he would say "You're not coming here tomorrow - you're never coming back here, the budget won't let you come back here. You now have 55 minutes. How are you going to get the shot?" First I'd panic, and then I would remember the basics are all I ever needed and I would think, "Well, what's the point of this scene, what's the core of what I'm after?" It's that this character in the story is confronted with this situation, she makes this realization, and that's where the scene ends. And I can get that with a close up of my actress and a little bit of a lighting effect. Maybe she was going to come outside and see the sun coming down and I was going to have a crane shot and she was going to realize she didn't have much time. With a simple rose-colored gel and a lamp that's being faded up and her coming into a close-up, she can look off into the direction of the light, suggest she's seeing the sunset, a little bit of wind with help with the idea of the setting sun and she'll make a realization in her eyes. At that moment the camera will move in a little bit to underline this realization, a bit of fear will come upon her as she realizes she doesn't have much time as the light is dimming, and she exits frame. With that shot I remembered I can get everything I needed that I thought I needed eight shots to get. And it was invigorating. It never should have been those eight shots anyway.
Source: Sam Raimi on Returning to Spider-Man - Superhero Hype!

I'm glad that the negative reviews of spidey 3 hurt him a bit, I hope that it will shape the choices he makes with the fourth installment. Also his emphasis on going back to basics seems promising. Despite the massive oversight of spider-man 3 I am still happy to see the franchise in his hands. He did a lot of good with the first 2 and maybe the fourth will be a pleasant suprise, hopefully a much more humble and not over reaching film all round.
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/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
I know someone who actually loved Spiderman 3, among the three. Haha. I remember it breaking my nightly ritual of new DVDs before going to bed because I never finished it in one sitting. I hope the 4th one will be better. Looks like Sam is taking pointers from the negative reviews.


Film Elitist
Hopefully he's learned to stop listening to the forum fanboys and the comic connoisseurs for advice on the Spider-Man films.

That's what happened on Spider-Man 3.


Registered Member
I quite liked SPM3. I do wish they'd dropped some of the 'dark' Peter stuff to incorporate more Venom later in the film. Peter's change of persona could also have been better written, but worked well enough.
I always thought that Sandman's involvement in the final fight didn't make much sense as he was essentially a good guy that never really set out to hurt people. It made little sense that he would want to just 'kill the spider' with Venom.
In the game, Venom took Sandman's daughter hostage as an incentive and that would have worked better.

Anyway, its obvious he learned from the last 3 films. Like I said, SPM3 wasn't bad - Venom was perhaps one enemy too much and many people thought it was cluttered for that reason. So he should take that from SPM3.
Two villains are a good idea. One villain in 4 lessens the threat, or diminishes his skill, after Spidey having to tough it out against three in the third film.
Perhaps one villain for Spider-man to fight and one for 'Peter'. Perhaps Peter has to find and cure Lizard, whilst also battling Scorpion as Spidey?

I'm just really looking forward to it. Sam has said that he was done with intros and story arcs and that spidey 4 and 5 will be the ones where we have some fun. Still, he seems to have changed that outlook a tad in that interview.


Epic Gamer
I didn't dislike Spiderman 3; I just thought they went the complete opposite direction for a lot of things. I dislike that they used Venom in a film with other enemies. Venom's a core enemy character and he deserves his own film, or at the very least to have been against Spiderman alone, without the distraction of two other enemies.

Raimi just tried to hard, and it shows. But that said, I still have the DVD and I'll still watch it. I just hope he's learned his lesson now, is all.


Film Elitist
Spider-Man 3 had too much clutter and combined what should have been at least 2 separate movies all into one clusterfuck.

As a result the movie suffers from poor development, extremely weak character arcs and goes out of it's way to try and satisfy the Spiderman fanboy population.

It pulled a complete 180. It went from having a significant, progressive story with defined characters and a clear dramatic goal to an overabundance of villains, a very over-the-top and backwashed Peter Parker and unexplainable, arbitrary actions taken by him. Quite simply it was very poorly written and I can't see anything another mere sequel can do to save this franchise.
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