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Sam Raimi sheds some light on Warcraft, Spider-Man 3, and seeing The Avengers

2 years agoby:

Sam Raimi doesn't mind being candid about his films and the rumors surrounding them. It's a nice thing to come across, especially since sometimes we don't get the full story on what went wrong. He seems very humbled by his experience, and is a genuinely good guy. So when Vulture got to sit down with the director, they decided to hit all the hard topics. If you want to check out the entire interview (and the context in which he called James Franco "a little smug"), head here.

First up, Raimi talks THE AVENGERS and SPIDER-MAN 3 and 4:

Vulture: When you were making the Spider-Man movies, you had pretty much the only superhero franchise around. That's obviously changed since. Have you kept up with the other comic-book movies?

Sam Raimi: I did see The Avengers, and I loved it. I thought it was brilliant. Joss Whedon is an extraordinarily talented filmmaker and in fact, in 1994, I was making a western called The Quick and the Dead and having a script problem, and I came to the studio and said, "Can you find me a writer? I've shot this movie, and the end isn't quite working." And ultimately, the movie didn't quite work. But they suggested Joss Whedon, who was doing Buffy, so I met Joss and he saw the movie, and he helped me solve this ending in one afternoon. I thought, Damn, you're a good writer! I wish I could have had you rewrite the whole movie and save this picture! But I'll never forget how good he was, and how precise, so when I saw The Avengers, I was not surprised that his name was on it. It's a very hard job to take all those heroes and all those stories and know exactly what bits the audience needs and what they don't need.

V: I hope enough time has passed that you feel comfortable talking about Spider-Man 4, which was in preproduction and began casting but fell apart before shooting began. What happened there?

SR: It really was the most amicable and undramatic of breakups: It was simply that we had a deadline and I couldn't get the story to work on a level that I wanted it to work. I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all. But I couldn't get the script together in time, due to my own failings, and I said to Sony, "I don't want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn't make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you've been planning anyway." And [Sony co-chairman] Amy Pascal said, "Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio's money, and I appreciate your candor." So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios.

V: I know you'd been pursuing Anne Hathaway to star in Spider-Man 4 she was going to play Felicia Hardy, right?

SR: Yes.

Now onto WARCRAFT:

V: Duncan Jones is making it.

SR: I loved his movie Moon, and I think he's a strikingly talented director. I bet that if anyone can do a great job with it, it's him.

V: What was the biggest obstacle on that project?

SR: Robert Rodat was working on the script, and it was taking a long time. I think they were getting a little antsy at Legendary, the production company. Actually, what happened was even more complicated, so let me go back a little bit. First, they asked me if I wanted to make it, and I said, "Yes, I love World of Warcraft, and I think it would make a great picture." So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at [Warcraft developer] Blizzard, and it didn't quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert, so we pitched it to Legendary and they accepted it, and then we pitched it to Blizzard, and they had reservations, but they accepted it. Then Robert wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn't know that. And they had never quite approved the original story we pitched them. Those reservations were their way of saying, "We don't approve this story, and we want to go a different way," so after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over. And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out. Honestly, I think it was mismanagement on their behalf, not to explain to us that the first story was vetoed long ago. Why did they let us keep working on it? Were they afraid to tell me?

Source: Vulture

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11:11AM on 03/06/2013
I think it's good news that Blizzard has final say about the story
I think it's good news that Blizzard has final say about the story
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11:25AM on 03/06/2013
I agree, since it's their creation and they know what would be best in terms of continuing their story in their world. It seems a kiss of death though, insofar as Hollywood studios and game studios are still two very different entities in the ways they approach things and the ways they get things done. We saw it happen with Bungie and Halo. The game studios don't want Hollywood to mess their amazing games up, and Hollywood doesn't want a game studio telling them how to make a movie. It looks to
I agree, since it's their creation and they know what would be best in terms of continuing their story in their world. It seems a kiss of death though, insofar as Hollywood studios and game studios are still two very different entities in the ways they approach things and the ways they get things done. We saw it happen with Bungie and Halo. The game studios don't want Hollywood to mess their amazing games up, and Hollywood doesn't want a game studio telling them how to make a movie. It looks to be moving towards it, but they really should set up some sort of an in-between studio. I'm normally all for eliminating the middle man in most situations, but I think in situations like these it would be best. For now, at least. Have some entity between the games and Hollywood to sort of translate from one party to the other.
10:42AM on 03/06/2013

What he doesn't mention

What he doesn't mention is that filming began on Spiderman 2 before the script was ready. (The fight between Spiderman and Doc Ock on the train was the first scene they shot.) That was how they were able to finish the movie on time. The same thing happened when X-Men 2 was being made: they made up the script as they went along and they were able to do this based on the success of the first film; that is that the studio had enough confidence in them that they were willing to approve the
What he doesn't mention is that filming began on Spiderman 2 before the script was ready. (The fight between Spiderman and Doc Ock on the train was the first scene they shot.) That was how they were able to finish the movie on time. The same thing happened when X-Men 2 was being made: they made up the script as they went along and they were able to do this based on the success of the first film; that is that the studio had enough confidence in them that they were willing to approve the movie without seeing a script. (The assault on the mansion was the first scene shot.) Now, if Raimi didn't have enough time to finish the script and then finish filming in time then that suggests that the studio did not have enough confidence in him to start filming without a finished script and as the deadline neared I can imagine Raimi saying "Alright, never mind then" and the studio saying "Nice of you to not make too much of a fuss about this."
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8:19AM on 03/06/2013
Vulture - "So why didn't you cast me in your Spider-Man movies"
Raimi - "..."
Vulture - "So why didn't you cast me in your Spider-Man movies"
Raimi - "..."
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5:33AM on 03/06/2013

I have to build myself a wormhole....

to travel to the alternate universe; because a) i really need to see that Joss Whedon version of The Quick and the Dead, and b) I really, REALLY need to see Raimi's Spider-man 4 ("the best Spider-Man of them all"!!) costarring Hathaway as the Black Cat. Where's Sheldon Cooper when you need him? :'(

Although I have to say, one thing worked out GREAT was if Hathaway became Black Cat, we'd never had the best Catwoman we could've hoped for.
to travel to the alternate universe; because a) i really need to see that Joss Whedon version of The Quick and the Dead, and b) I really, REALLY need to see Raimi's Spider-man 4 ("the best Spider-Man of them all"!!) costarring Hathaway as the Black Cat. Where's Sheldon Cooper when you need him? :'(

Although I have to say, one thing worked out GREAT was if Hathaway became Black Cat, we'd never had the best Catwoman we could've hoped for.
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12:12AM on 03/06/2013
I love spiderman 3.it showed the dark side of Spiderman character
I love spiderman 3.it showed the dark side of Spiderman character
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10:16PM on 03/05/2013

enough about rami.

I'm getting sick of hearing his name LOL. Like Oh rami said this rami said that who cares. I am stoked for OZ.
I'm getting sick of hearing his name LOL. Like Oh rami said this rami said that who cares. I am stoked for OZ.
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11:47PM on 03/05/2013
Please tell me this is a gimmick character account, and there isn't somebody walking around expressing themselves like this.
Please tell me this is a gimmick character account, and there isn't somebody walking around expressing themselves like this.
8:43PM on 03/05/2013
*tearful eyes* Anne Hathaway for Felicia Hardy in Spider-Man 4? Why can't that be real? *sniff*
*tearful eyes* Anne Hathaway for Felicia Hardy in Spider-Man 4? Why can't that be real? *sniff*
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8:24PM on 03/05/2013
It's good to see him admit even he was not happy with Spider-Man 3 & it seeems he wanted to to part 4 the right way but like he says you have a deadline. He seems like a very humble person & has no problems praising other movie directors. I loved Quick & The Daad, it's a fun & cheesy movie, needs to be in the Awfully good column.
It's good to see him admit even he was not happy with Spider-Man 3 & it seeems he wanted to to part 4 the right way but like he says you have a deadline. He seems like a very humble person & has no problems praising other movie directors. I loved Quick & The Daad, it's a fun & cheesy movie, needs to be in the Awfully good column.
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8:22PM on 03/05/2013
I like Raimi. I think he is a great director and is one of the best of his craft. I would have loved to have seen Spider Man 4 and have the series end on a higher note than it did. But he gave us two great films (I also love Spider Man 3, but I'm not getting into that argument) within the franchise and for that I thank him.

Very much looking forward to Oz this weekend.
I like Raimi. I think he is a great director and is one of the best of his craft. I would have loved to have seen Spider Man 4 and have the series end on a higher note than it did. But he gave us two great films (I also love Spider Man 3, but I'm not getting into that argument) within the franchise and for that I thank him.

Very much looking forward to Oz this weekend.
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8:15PM on 03/05/2013
"I don't want to make a movie that is less than great": riiiight; none of his movies are even close to great (in my opinion), seems pretty pretentious to say something like this.
"I don't want to make a movie that is less than great": riiiight; none of his movies are even close to great (in my opinion), seems pretty pretentious to say something like this.
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8:32PM on 03/05/2013
No, read it in context... He is saying that he didn't want to make Spider-Man 4 if he couldn't make it great. He didn't have a strong script and it seems like he wasn't feeling it creatively and so he passed so as not to make a terrible movie for the sake of making the movie.

He was not saying that all of his movies are great, just that he would only make Spider-Man 4 if he felt it would be.
No, read it in context... He is saying that he didn't want to make Spider-Man 4 if he couldn't make it great. He didn't have a strong script and it seems like he wasn't feeling it creatively and so he passed so as not to make a terrible movie for the sake of making the movie.

He was not saying that all of his movies are great, just that he would only make Spider-Man 4 if he felt it would be.
9:17PM on 03/05/2013
And honestly EVERY director should have that mentality, and most do. Why waste a year or more of your life on something unless you truly think it will be great? It's the same as any sports team, do the Utah Jazz honestly think they have a chance at winning the championship every year? No, but they've got to have that same mentality, otherwise, why do it night in night out in the first place.
And honestly EVERY director should have that mentality, and most do. Why waste a year or more of your life on something unless you truly think it will be great? It's the same as any sports team, do the Utah Jazz honestly think they have a chance at winning the championship every year? No, but they've got to have that same mentality, otherwise, why do it night in night out in the first place.
8:13PM on 03/05/2013

Nice Interview

I would have loved to have seen Spider-man 4 end the series on a high note. It's a shame about these stupid rights Sony has, which to my understanding says a film has to be made every few years before they loose the rights. To think what Raimi might have come up with if he had some more time. I also think it would have been cool to see Anne Hathaway and Ben Kingsly (as the Vulture) in a Spider-man film, but I guess both of them did ok finding jobs in other super-hero films.
I would have loved to have seen Spider-man 4 end the series on a high note. It's a shame about these stupid rights Sony has, which to my understanding says a film has to be made every few years before they loose the rights. To think what Raimi might have come up with if he had some more time. I also think it would have been cool to see Anne Hathaway and Ben Kingsly (as the Vulture) in a Spider-man film, but I guess both of them did ok finding jobs in other super-hero films.
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9:14PM on 03/05/2013
If I'm not mistaken John Malkovich was set to play the Vulture. Agree about everything else you said though.
If I'm not mistaken John Malkovich was set to play the Vulture. Agree about everything else you said though.
2:40AM on 03/06/2013
Malkovitch as vulture? Damn that would've been awesome.
Malkovitch as vulture? Damn that would've been awesome.
10:31AM on 03/06/2013
Actually, Ben Kingsley was asked to play the Vulture in Spiderman 3 but the Studio wanted Venom and there wasn't enough room in the movie for FOUR villains. If John Malkovich was considered then he wasn't Raimi's first choice.

Incidentally, Brian Singer wanted Sigorny Weaver for Emma Frost in X-Men 3 but she didn't get the part when First Class was made.
Actually, Ben Kingsley was asked to play the Vulture in Spiderman 3 but the Studio wanted Venom and there wasn't enough room in the movie for FOUR villains. If John Malkovich was considered then he wasn't Raimi's first choice.

Incidentally, Brian Singer wanted Sigorny Weaver for Emma Frost in X-Men 3 but she didn't get the part when First Class was made.
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