Esteemed filmmaker Sam Raimi is not oblivious to the negative reaction most fans seemed to have to Spider-Man 3, and now he’s admitted that it nearly prevented him from ever doing another superhero movie. As it stands now, Raimi made his return to Marvel when he stepped in as the director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Filming wrapped eariler this year and the movie’s scheduled to drop next March.
Previously, Raimi had impressed Marvel fans with his Spider-Man adaptation in 2002. Fans were even more impressed when he released Spider-Man 2 in 2004. While Sam Raimi had intended to go up to at least Spider-Man 4, the gravy train derailed when Spider-Man 3 premiered in 2007. It was a success financially, but many fans were left disappointed and the sequel was widely criticized as a result.
Many years have passed, but Raimi hadn’t forgotten that negative reception to Spider-Man 3. Speaking about the situation in a new interview with Collider, the Spider-Man director explains how he was hesitant to take on the Doctor Strange 2 job because of what happened with that third Spidey movie. Ultimately, Raimi still decided to take on the project because he saw it as a challenge.
“I didn’t know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of Spider-Man 3. The internet was getting revved up and people disliked that movie and they sure let me know about it. So, it was difficult to take back on. But then, I found out that there was an opening on Doctor Strange 2. My agent called me and said, ‘They’re looking for a director at Marvel for this movie and your name came up. Would you be interested?’ And I thought, ‘I wonder if I could still do it.’ They’re really demanding, those types of pictures. And I felt, ‘Well, that’s reason enough.'”
For his part, Sam Raimi also says he’s a big fan of the Doctor Strange character. He was also a fan of the first Doctor Strange movie, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and was directed by Scott Derrickson. Originally Derrickson was on board to direct the sequel, but when he departed the project, Marvel reached out to Raimi to step in. As Raimi suggests, the work Cumberbatch and Derrickson had already done also made it easier to take the keys for the sequel, although the script was rewritten after Sam Raimi signed on.
“I’ve always really liked the character of Doctor Strange. He was not my favorite, but he was right up there with the favorites. I loved the first movie, I thought [director] Scott Derrickson did a wonderful job, an incredible job. So, I said, ‘Yeah.’ They left the character in a great place. I didn’t think I would be doing another superhero movie. it just happened.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to premiere in theaters on March 25, 2022. Sam Raimi’s return to Marvel also means his old pal Bruce Campbell will be making another cameo. Before then, Marvel fans can see at least some of Sam Raimi’s Spidey universe villains return in Spider-Man: No Way Home, which hits theaters on Dec. 17, 2021. This news comes to us from Collider.