Today in an interview with Sam Raimi‘s for his upcoming film Drag Me to Hell, he managed to get me re-excited for the next Spider-Man film. As you, me, and even Raimi knows, Spider-Man 3 may have made a lot of money, but it was in no way a good film. It seemed like Raimi had left behind what we all loved about him. Thank God, for Drag Me to Hell, because not only is it an amazing film but it also reminds us all what he is capable of.
Raimi seemed more than willing to talk about his need to go back to an independent film after Spidey 3, in order to force himself to use his mind instead of a big budget. He also talked about how he hopes to bring that innovative spirit back to the Spider-Man franchise and make the film better than his last.
Check out what he had to say about the film below…
It’s very obvious that Raimi is aware that Spider-Man is a much loved character, that he has tried to approach with respect…
Was there a difference between major franchise and a smaller production such as Drag Me to Hell?
With those Spiderman pictures, that I love making. There’s a lot of responsibility on the Directors shoulders and the producers, everyone’s, because you’re dealing with a character that has been around for 40 some years, is much loved by people throughout the world and people don’t just have a sense of ownership of Spiderman, and rightfully so, but they look up to him as a hero. Generations of people do. So you have to be careful how that portrayal takes place. You have to have a lot of respect for the ownership that everyone has over that character and the responsibility to present that in the 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 from them because they don’t know them. There’s a lot more freedom’s from the independent pictures like Drag Me to Hell.
What I found interesting was how aware he is of what the fans think of his work…
Do you take the criticism in to consideration moving on to a fourth one?
Yeah, absolutely. I definitely want my films to my liked by the audience. I don’t make an artist 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 that “it has meaning without the audience.” I simply am an entertainer and make films for audience appreciation. And 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 try not to dwell on it, but it’s very upsetting. You know, I really want to please people.
What do you take to heart about the Spider-Man 3 criticisms and what would you want to correct?
I’m still working on Spider-Man 4, and more properly, the writer is writing the screenplay right now. David Lindsay-Abaire , a New York playwright, is in New York supposedly writing, I got to call that guy. And he should be done with his script in about four weeks I think. And I think I would be better prepared to answer that question once I’ve read the script and know what the movie is.
Was a 4th Spider-Man film an easy call? Did you confer with Tobey?
I only wanted to do it with Tobey, cause my interest is, in living the character with Tobey in a deeper level then we ever had lived it before. There comes with the familiarity a knowledge of a lot of the basics and I think it’s going to allow to delve deeply into him as a human being which is really why I’m into it this time.
But that’s not what got be excited for the next Spider-Man, what got me excited was hearing him talk about getting back to basics. The truth is, Raimi is best when he just makes his films. Instead of having so many villains, fancy shots, and special effects, why not just shoot what you need to make a good film?
When he was talking about shooting Drag Me To Hell, he was stripped of all his extras, and as a result had to find his inner independent filmmaker. Here is a story he told us what he learned from Drag Me to Hell that he’s excited to take back to the Spider-Man series.
I’m really looking forward to it. I feel like I’ve had a vacation and I want to come back and I feel like I’ve learned a lot, working 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 would panic and then I would remember that the basics are all I ever needed and I would think, 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 has this realization, and that’s where the scene ends. And I can get that with a close up and a little bit of a lighting effect. With a simple rose colored gel and a lamp 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, she’ll make a realization with her eyes, the camera will move in to underline this realization, a bit of fear will come upon her – And with that shot I remembered I can get everything I needed, that I thought I needed eight shots to get. And it was invigorating.
And in case you were wondering about some of his other projects…
Are working on Monkey’s Paw right now?
The Monkey’s Paw is a script that’s being written over at Ghost House Pictures. I’m not actively involved in it. If they get the script to the finished state, I would read it and give them notes and they would probably do another draft and if it was the quality that I felt people would really like.
You’re involved with 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or The Shadow, would you ever Direct either of them?
No, those were never for me to Direct. Those were something I was working with one of the producers. They’re both being written right now.
I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. I think there’s a real chance that Spider-Man 4 could be what we wall wanted from the third film.
What do you think? Can Raimi get it back for Spider-Man 4? Or should he just keep making horror films?