Sam Raimi (Sort of) Accepts Blame for Spider-Man 3

Sam Raimi (Sort of) Accepts Blame for Spider-Man 3

Director Sam Raimi "didn't really believe in all the characters" in Spider-Man 3.

I can still remember sitting in the theater watching Spider-Man 3 with my girlfriend (now wife). I had read some mixed reviews about the movie, but I'd still gone into it excited and expecting something good. After all, it was the same cast and the same director. How bad could it possibly be? We all, of course, now know the answer to that. While the movie had its good moments, Spider-Man 3 is most widely (and rightly) regarded as a muddled mess that killed its previously beloved franchise.

It's a reputation that director Sam Raimi, speaking in a recent podcast, owned up to and accepted some responsibility for. "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," he said, speaking to The Nerdist. "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."

Raimi would go on to affirm however, that the drive to "top the bar" wasn't necessarily his idea. "I wasn't trying to top. That isn't a good approach," he explained. "That went into the thinking of a lot of people who worked on Spider-Man 3, and it was not good for us." This meshes well with other statements Raimi has given, indicating that higher-ups at the movie studio took away a lot of his creative control during the film's production and even forced him to shoehorn in extra baddies, such as Venom. None of this explains the Peter Parker dance sequence, but I'm willing to bet Spidey fans might have forgiven that monstrosity if the film had been better overall.

Source: JoBlo

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Yeah, it was kind of sad that the movie version of 'Evil Peter' essentially boiled down to Leisure Suit Larry...

I do give him credit for saying he "didn't believe in all the characters", but at the same time if those characters are forced upon him by Sony such as Venom why should he believe in them in the first place. I also walked out of the two ASM movies feeling the same way that I did with Spider-Man 3 where it really felt like someone was constantly changing the premise and direction of the movie during filming.

Venom was forced on him, he originally wanted to use Vulture. So I wouldn't say SM3's problems are really his fault.

Still a better movie then either Amazing Spider Man movies have been, so it's not like we can really complain in retrospect. I'd have much rather see a Spider Man 4 with him at the helm with Toby in the suit then what we got.

I have a feeling since the dance sequence was so horribad, that Raimi had nothing to do with it except being forced into directing it. Its not his style...

Imperioratorex Caprae:
I have a feeling since the dance sequence was so horribad, that Raimi had nothing to do with it except being forced into directing it. Its not his style...

I dunnno, I kinda get what MovieBob says when he goes (this version of) peter is a Dork, and that's what a Dork like him thinks is cool and badass. Still horrible, but meant to be horrible.

Zontar:
I'd have much rather see a Spider Man 4 with him at the helm with Toby in the suit then what we got.

Really? Because by that point you could tell everyone involved was just done with this franchise. Tobey Maguire looked bored (more so than usual), only showing some spark of interest during the "emo" section of the movie. And Kirsten Dunst just looked hammered and old.

OT: You know, for all the hate the dance sequence gets it was Harry's stupid fucking amnesia subplot that really killed this movie for me right out of the gate. I mean, talk about lazy writing, holy shit.

Jarringly, this movie also had arguably the most beautiful scene in any superhero movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpaecszRRG0

Casual Shinji:

Zontar:
I'd have much rather see a Spider Man 4 with him at the helm with Toby in the suit then what we got.

Really? Because by that point you could tell everyone involved was just done with this franchise. Tobey Maguire looked bored (more so than usual), only showing some spark of interest during the "emo" section of the movie. And Kirsten Dunst just looked hammered and old.

OT: You know, for all the hate the dance sequence gets it was Harry's stupid fucking amnesia subplot that really killed this movie for me right out of the gate. I mean, talk about lazy writing, holy shit.

Yeah, that was pretty stupid.

"My best friend who wants to kill me has amnesia! Me and my girlfriend should totally hang out with him! What could possibly go wrong?!"

Reed Spacer:
Yeah, it was kind of sad that the movie version of 'Evil Peter' essentially boiled down to Leisure Suit Larry...

In all honesty, I never was bothered by the Peter under the control of the suit. If you assume that the suit works by enhancing properties through chemical means, it's essentially pumping him full of testosterone and metabolic steroids. Considering Peter's basic personality, having him become a "trying way to hard to be cool" type under such an influence makes sense to me. Peter doesn't know how to be cool, so when he isn't pumped up to anger (like beating up Harry), the awkwardness fits.
The dance scenes in the night club didn't work for a number of reasons unrelated to that, though. Bad pacing, over the top, the tone and mood of the scene shifts abruptly and awkwardly . . . that scene was a bit of a mess. Didn't so much mind the rest of it on a conceptual level, though.
Of course, the film had other problems as well, such as overall pacing and structural problems, a good many of which stem from the fact that venom was forced to be put into the plot when the film was something like halfway through pre-production, which cut down the amount of time Raimi had to smooth out the rough spots. The mess of this film really can't be laid on one person here. Things always get fucked up when the studios start making demands after people start working on it. A good director can work with studio demands up to a point, but you need time to do it.

I guess I'm alone in not thinking the movie was all that bad (except for that atrocious opening and the American flag bit). It felt a little uninspired, but if the corporate tinkering is to be believed, then that's only natural.

Imagine how great the Spider-Man movies would still be if they didn't try to take creative control from a guy who helped resurrect the superhero movie genre and gave them two blockbusters, the second of which is still hailed as one of the best superhero movies. Spider-Man 3 is like reverse Batman Returns. If Batman returns suffered because they gave Burton too much creative control, Spider-Man 3 suffered because they took creative control from Raimi. The results are two messy love-them-or-hate-them movies. Sure, I love them, but a lot of people don't.

The moral of the story is: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

But.......but.......Bob said we're wrong about it!!!!!!

Hasn't he said for a few years now that he wanted Sandman to be the main villain of Spider-Man 3? And, that it was an editorial mandate or some other higher-up who forced Venom onto the plot because popularity? I liked more parts of Spider-Man 3 than I disliked but there was stuff in it that just didn't work. I just feel like this is somewhat old news.

If only Venom was saved up for Spider-Man 4... even have a little teaser at the end of Spider-Man 3 with the symbiote crashing down to earth or something like that... Then, maybe SM3 would have had a better reception from its peers...

Sseth:
Jarringly, this movie also had arguably the most beautiful scene in any superhero movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpaecszRRG0

I would be surprised to find anyone arguing with that outside of just their "personal preference" or something...

FPLOON:
If only Venom was saved up for Spider-Man 4... even have a little teaser at the end of Spider-Man 3 with the symbiote crashing down to earth or something like that... Then, maybe SM3 would have had a better reception from its peers...

Sseth:
Jarringly, this movie also had arguably the most beautiful scene in any superhero movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpaecszRRG0

I would be surprised to find anyone arguing with that outside of just their "personal preference" or something...

Of course, Venom should act like the Venom people know and love. Not an emo kid who wants to destroy the world just because Peter Parker stole his love and broke his camera.

Actually Venom being forced on Raimi totally explains the dance sequence.

No Venom = no black suit = no evil Petey = no dance sequence.

That said I totally support the dance sequence since it proved that even at his coolest Peter Parker is not cool.

The dance sequence is hilarious, i think people take it to seriously when we are meant to cringe at it. After all the whole black costume changed him. Would have been funnier if they had him doing that dance in his spiderman costume.

I think Sony should have giving him full freedom, after all the first 2 movies were a major success. Telling him to add Venom and make it work is stupid as he clashes with the other villians.

Remember the law of 3. Spiderman 3, Batman 3, Iron man 3 and Superman 3 all sucked. That makes me worried for what Thor 3, Cap 3 and Avengers 3.....i wonder if thats why they stopped adding numbers to their movies? lol. Also kinda makes me wonder how big a train wreck The Amazing Spiderman 3 would be if they filmed it. lol

For a character like Venom, he works in a darker movie as he is a monster. So i do wonder why they didnt keep the grittier tone of ASM1 and add Venom to that. I think he would have been a great fit.

Eh, never saw why this movie is hated so much. Sure, it's a pointless and forgettable superhero movie...like the first two, or more or less any other superhero film of the time.

It wasn't until Batman Begins that superhero movies had to be pretentious, rather than pointless and forgettable.

Might as well watch an 80s action film, it's not there for the plot or the characters or the writing.

The creation scene of sandman was brilliant, i cant forget how moving it was. Though the movie was a tad messy, it still seems better than the unasked for reboot.
The dance scene got hate? Was it a fan thing that caused abrasions? I just saw it as intentionally humourous. Meh well. At least the co-operate strings idea makes sense.

Sorry multi post!

Sorry...i wish there was a delete option for these posts :)

Xsjadoblayde:
The creation scene of sandman was brilliant, i cant forget how moving it was. Though the movie was a tad messy, it still seems better than the unasked for reboot.
The dance scene got hate? Was it a fan thing that caused abrasions? I just saw it as intentionally humourous. Meh well. At least the co-operate strings idea makes sense.

Yeah, I wasn't a big fan of the idea behind rebooting it, just replace the people that need to be or wanted to be replaced and continue on, aside from Casino Royale which happened 44 years after Dr. No they don't do a full on reboot of James Bond when they have a new set of actors. I think the other reason for the "reboot" with Bond is that they were also basing the movie off the first James Bond book so they might not have even done that much of a reboot if they hadn't been basing it off the book.

Windknight:

Imperioratorex Caprae:
I have a feeling since the dance sequence was so horribad, that Raimi had nothing to do with it except being forced into directing it. Its not his style...

I dunnno, I kinda get what MovieBob says when he goes (this version of) peter is a Dork, and that's what a Dork like him thinks is cool and badass. Still horrible, but meant to be horrible.

Yeah, I always liked that scene for that.
I think a lot of nerds identify with Peter and are those kinds of dorks and it hit a bit too close to home.

So Raimis version of accepting the blame involves blaming everyone but himself and saying "I couldn't work with these conditions"? Christ, what an asshole. No wonder ASM was better than all of his movies.

3 things killed SM3 for me.

-Trying to do too many villains. The first two movies worked great just focusing on one villain, why would you screw that up and try and do two (hell, 3 if you include Harry Osborne)?

-Venom (specifically Eddie Brock Venom) has always been my favorite comic book character, so for them to take Eddie Brock, a guy who's 6'4 and built like an NFL Linebacker, and have him be played by Topher Frickin' Grace, a guy who looks like he weighs 135 pounds wearing concrete shoes, was just utterly bizarre (and yes I know there's "Ultimate Marvel" and all these other variations, but I like the original Venom). It also killed it because part of the whole Spiderman vs. Venom dynamic is that Eddie and Peter are total opposites: Eddie is a jock, Peter is a nerd, Eddie doesn't take shit from anyone, Peter is a doormat, Eddie is highly emotional, Peter represses his emotions, etc.

-Goes without saying, but the sequence of "cool Peter Parker" under the influence of the symbiote is just embarrassing. It's one of those scenes where you almost feel embarrassed watching the movie. Why couldn't they just focus on him becoming more violent and be done with it? I get the whole "well he's a nerd so he thinks it's cool", but most nerds I've met think being a bad-ass is far cooler than dancing around in the street, and thus logically, it should focus more on Peter abusing his powers by pushing others around.

Sseth:
Jarringly, this movie also had arguably the most beautiful scene in any superhero movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpaecszRRG0

Seconded. Man, so seconded. I've never heard the full story on what happened behind the scenes with that flick, but I felt like I could see the best of what Raimi does in that character, bafflingly obfuscated by drek. You've got a compelling villian with heaps of vintage monster movie style (Sandman) much like Doc Ock, and then the weirdly out of place Venom plot. (which I don't necessarily hate on in general, it just didn't fit with the movie). And the weirdly fast discard of Franco's character, who I figured was in for the duration.

*shrug* Pity. I called it for a franchise killer when I saw it but wish I knew more particulars.

I don't have any strong feelings one way or the other about what happened with Spider-Man 3, but reading the article it sounds like Raimi is trying his hardest to get all the good bits of accepting blame while still blaming it on the producers :P

"Yeah, I didn't love the characters, and a director should always love his characters so it's all my fault. Of course the reason I didn't love the characters is because they were forced on me. So the whole mess is my fault, but it's their fault that it's my fault.

We went into the movie trying to raise the bar, which is what doomed us. And as a part of "we" in this context, I take full responsibility for that. Of course, as an individual I wasn't trying to raise the bar, I actually tried to tell them that it was a bad idea, I always did and I still do. But they won out in the end, and so I became part of the group that collectively has to take responsibility for the mess. Even though I shouldn't".

Come on! Either own up or shut up. You're not allowed to accept responsibility and then blame it on someone else in the very next sentence :P

Sanunes:
I do give him credit for saying he "didn't believe in all the characters", but at the same time if those characters are forced upon him by Sony such as Venom why should he believe in them in the first place. I also walked out of the two ASM movies feeling the same way that I did with Spider-Man 3 where it really felt like someone was constantly changing the premise and direction of the movie during filming.

In addition to the fact that they were complete garbage I guess? Its been a long time since I've seen something so stupid as AS2. The sequence when Electro is "born" and his "nerdy teeth" clicks into "cool guy teeth" is a scene that will stay with me for the rest of my life as something of the dumbest, most offensive idiocy I have ever seen. Elektro and his counterpart is so ridiculously overplayed I REFUSE to believe anything but a 5 year old will get enjoyment out of it.

Toadfish1:
So Raimis version of accepting the blame involves blaming everyone but himself and saying "I couldn't work with these conditions"? Christ, what an asshole. No wonder ASM was better than all of his movies.

Oh you have just GOT to be joking...

tzimize:

Sanunes:
I do give him credit for saying he "didn't believe in all the characters", but at the same time if those characters are forced upon him by Sony such as Venom why should he believe in them in the first place. I also walked out of the two ASM movies feeling the same way that I did with Spider-Man 3 where it really felt like someone was constantly changing the premise and direction of the movie during filming.

In addition to the fact that they were complete garbage I guess? Its been a long time since I've seen something so stupid as AS2. The sequence when Electro is "born" and his "nerdy teeth" clicks into "cool guy teeth" is a scene that will stay with me for the rest of my life as something of the dumbest, most offensive idiocy I have ever seen. Elektro and his counterpart is so ridiculously overplayed I REFUSE to believe anything but a 5 year old will get enjoyment out of it.

That is what I mean, there was so much to the movie of "that would be cool to see" it lost any direction it might have had, which either means they had a poor director or someone who didn't know what they were doing were forcing the director to make bad decisions because they couldn't say "no".

I just looked up Marc Webb and it could be just that they hired someone with a "music video background" hoping they could make a movie too.

Ihateregistering1:
-Goes without saying, but the sequence of "cool Peter Parker" under the influence of the symbiote is just embarrassing. It's one of those scenes where you almost feel embarrassed watching the movie. Why couldn't they just focus on him becoming more violent and be done with it? I get the whole "well he's a nerd so he thinks it's cool", but most nerds I've met think being a bad-ass is far cooler than dancing around in the street, and thus logically, it should focus more on Peter abusing his powers by pushing others around.

I'll say - I had my face in my hands during that sequence, I seriously couldn't watch it.

StewShearer:
"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."

If he'd done that, the plot might have turned out more like this fan-written trilogy, which I always thought could have been the plot for Spiderman 3. I mean okay, it's not exactly a Hollywood blockbuster as is, and would need to introduce some more new material and characters to stand on its own. But it ties up all the threads from the previous two films, resolves Harry's subplot, and makes ingenious use of the train characters from SM2. Still miles better than what we actually got.

While I still don't care about the dance scene, the Sandman was one of the best things in Superhero movies I've seen to date, I really liked the character and the effects were super cool.

Venom though? You could feel how forced that one was, and it didn't help that they picked Forman to play the role, although chucking in the blonde girl didn't help either.

Sseth:
Jarringly, this movie also had arguably the most beautiful scene in any superhero movie.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpaecszRRG0

I saw that, it set me up for great things. prob why I was so upset at the final result.

I liked Venom as a symbiote and as a concept in the movie. Not the character himself. Granted, they definitely could have done Evil Peter Parker with more style and subtlety indeed but I still liked what the symbiote did. What it gave and took in return.

image

^ That is what we should have got. Not this.

image

 

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