Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ regrets: ‘I would have done everything differently.’
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Hero Complex contributor Gina McIntyre recently sat down with Sam Raimi to talk about his upcoming return to the horror genre, “Drag Me to Hell,” set for release later this month. She also quizzed the director on the status of other projects, too, namely the next “Spider-Man” installment and the long-discussed remake of his feature debut, “The Evil Dead,” which stands as an indie-horror classic. Check back here for the ‘Drag Me to Hell’ piece, but in the meantime here’s the wallcrawler update...
G.M.: What’s the status of “Spider-Man 4”?
S.R.: The next installment begins shooting, I believe, in February 2010. As far as we’re concerned, that’s no time left because they need so much time to work on the screenplay, casting is long, the storyboarding and the shots are very, very complicated. There’s a lot of animation, there’s a lot of character design, costume design. It’s like making an animated film and a live-action film. I’ll just barely be ready.
G.M.: Few directors endure in a franchise through four films. What made you return to the Marvel Comics character for yet another chapter?
S.R.: I love Peter Parker. I’ve always loved the Spider-Man comics, and I feel like I still know more about the character that I think I can bring to the screen -- and perhaps make it great if I do it right. It’s the same reason I keep reading the Spider-Man comic books. I’m really enamored with the character and now I feel like I have a history with him. I’d like to really make a great picture with him and bring the character to life at a level of detail that I’ve never realized before. It’s almost like I have a desire to do something I’ve been trying to do right and haven’t yet been able to. Not exactly.
G.M.: Are there things that you’d wish you’d done differently in the previous “Spider-Man” films? The first two earned especially strong reviews...
S.R.: What would I have done differently? I would have done everything differently, every single shot. I think in every picture that I’ve ever made. Everything that I’ve done torments me. I really would like another chance except I’d be too embarrassed to ever really try to do them again and no one would want to see the same movie just done differently.
G.M.: Is that the reason why “Evil Dead 2” is essentially a remake of “The Evil Dead” – but with a slightly different approach?
S.R.: That’s what that was. I was just trying to get things straight in my head and do them better and differently. People shouldn’t really do that though. That’s why I think you can make a sequel. If you’ve got more to bring then you should bring it, if you get the chance to.
I want to make the best [“Spider-Man” movie] of the bunch and I’ve always been touched by Peter Parker in a way that I’ve never been able to describe on film, even though I’ve got a great actor performing it.
In every moment, I’ve got to find some truth and really become the character in my mind. I think I feel a little freer to be able to do that. I’m going to try it.
G.M.: Speaking of second chances, there’s been a lot of talk about an “Evil Dead” remake. Is that project moving forward?
S.R.: I was planning to do that, but when I got swept away in “Drag Me to Hell,” it got pushed off to the side. I just finished [“Drag Me to Hell”] last week, and already “Spider-Man” is calling. So I don’t think I’ll be able to do it immediately, but the moment I have a chance, I really would like to work on an “Evil Dead” story.
I’ve talked about two things with my [producing] partner Rob Tapert: The first is, should we get a young filmmaker to remake the “Evil Dead” movie, the first one? When we made that, it was 16 mm, it was made in mono and very few people saw it on the big screen. Fifty or 60 prints were made, and they bicycled them from market to market and very few people saw it. It probably made like $1.1 million at the box office. It really is made for a big-screen experience. I’d love for some young filmmaker to make a remake if they had a new vision of the thing, 35 mm, 5.1 sound, really move the sound around and make it an immersive experience. I think it’s a good, simple campfire story and could really be fun. It’s still dependent on finding a filmmaker that really can present something great. Then I think I’d love to see it.
G.M.: What’s that other option that you’ve discussed?
S.R.: I would like to make “Evil Dead 4” with Bruce Campbell. I’ve said that before in an interview, and the fans sometimes say, ‘Why does he keep opening his big mouth about it and then not do anything about it?’ So, I’m hesitant but -- between you and me and just the people who read the L.A. Times -- I’d still like to do that at some point. I do want to make it down the line.
-- Gina McIntyre
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Sam Raimi portrait in 2004 by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times. ‘Spider-Man 3’ cast photo by Getty Images.’The Evil Dead’ image courtesy of New Line Cinema. Spider-Man image courtesy of Marvel Comics.