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Sam Raimi Opens Up About Spider-Man 3 Backlash

Tobey Maguire flexing with Venom in Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 is a highly contentious point in the world of Spider-Man. The third entry Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film series was met with harsh criticism that led to the end of his reign with our friendly neighborhood hero, and thus became the history of Spider-Man not having the best luck with the third movie in his series. All the jokes aside though, the internet and fans were extremely mean about Raimi’s film, and it clearly hit the Evil Dead director hard.

Now, he’s coming back with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but it wasn’t easy to get back into the swing of things (pun intended). Talking with Collider, Raimi opened up about the struggle he faced coming back to the superhero genre after the backlash with Spider-Man 3:

“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.’ 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.”

That’s easy to understand. Directors of these big franchises don’t have an easy job. Raimi did it before the internet is what it is today, but we’ve seen backlash from “fans” like what happened with Rian Johnson and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If they don’t like it, they’ll make it clear, and it isn’t just regular criticism of something, either. It’s vicious and mean, and Raimi did give us two films that were a great start into the live-action life of Peter Parker.

But I’m happy that Raimi is taking on Stephen Strange. He did, after all, throw a reference to the Bleeker Street Magician in his Spider-Man trilogy, and getting to see Raimi direct a film about Strange, Wanda Maximoff, and maybe even Peter Parker again (if Peter is still with Strange after Spider-Man: No Way Home) is exciting.

Spider-Man 3 wasn’t great, but it is still a Spider-Man movie, so it’ll always have a spot in my heart. I’m just glad that Raimi is coming back to the genre and giving fans new movies to obsess over.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.