Sam Raimi never wanted to return to superhero movies after Spider-Man 3, but Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness helped him change his mind. Until that’s finished, the latest Spider-Man movie is coming soon.
Esteemed filmmaker Sam Raimi hasn’t forgotten that most fans reacted negatively to Spider-Man 3, and now he’s admitted that it almost stopped him from ever making another superhero movie. As it stands, Raimi returned to Marvel when he stepped in as director of Doctor Strange in the Madness multiverse. Filming wrapped earlier this year, and the movie is scheduled to hit theatres next March.
Raimi previously impressed Marvel fans with his 2002 adaptation of Spider-Man. He impressed fans even more, when he unveiled Spider-Man 2 in 2004. Although Sam Raimi had planned at least until Spider-Man 4, the juicy train was derailed when Spider-Man 3 was released in 2007. It was a financial success, but many fans left disappointed, and the sequel was criticised as a result.
Many years have passed, but Raimi has not forgotten the hostile reception to Spider-Man 3. In a new interview with Collider, the Spider-Man director revealed that he was reluctant to take on Doctor Strange 2 because of the third Spider-Man movie. In the end, Raimi decided to take on the project because he saw it as a challenge.
“I didn’t know if I could face it again because it was so awful after I directed Spider-Man 3. The internet was buzzing, and people didn’t like that movie, and they certainly let me know. So it was hard to take it back. But then I realised there was an opening in 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”. These types of films are very demanding. And I felt, ‘Well, that’s reason enough.'”
For his part, Sam Raimi also said he’s a big fan of the Doctor Strange character. He was also a fan of the first Doctor Strange film, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Scott Derrickson. Derrickson was originally going to direct the sequel, but when he dropped out of the project, Marvel approached Raimi to step in. As Raimi suggests, the work already done by Cumberbatch and Derrickson made it easier for him to take the keys to the sequel, though the script was rewritten after Sam Raimi signed on.
“I’ve always loved the character of Doctor Strange. It’s not my favourite, but it was there among my favourites. I loved the first film, I think [director] Scott Derrickson did a wonderful job, an incredible job. So I said yes. They left the character in a great place. I didn’t think I was going to do another superhero movie. It was more like it just happened.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is scheduled to hit theatres on March 25, 2022. Sam Raimi’s return to Marvel also means that his old pal Bruce Campbell will reappear for a cameo. Before that, Marvel fans will get to see at least some of the villains in Spider-Man: No Turning Back, which hits theatres on December 17, 2021.