“I didn’t know that I could face it again.”
At one point in 2007's Spider-Man 3, the conclusion to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) dresses himself up as a kind of visual embodiment of emo and jazz-struts down the street. In some ways, this was not a surprising choice for Raimi; since his Evil Dead trilogy, the muckraking director has been interested in blending unpredictably silly comedy with the more serious genres his films existed in. But this choice, alongside the film's rushed appearance of Venom (among many other studio-exacerbated issues), resulted in mass fan derision. Folks do not remember Spider-Man 3 very kindly; an unfortunate fate given how acclaimed and influential Raimi's first two films are.
So why, after all this negativity, would Raimi want to hurdle himself back into the world of Marvel superhero filmmaking? Lots have changed since Raimi made these films, including the building of an entire goddamn Cinematic Universe. Even so, as Raimi told us in an interview for Nightbooks, alongside director David Yarovesky, the sting of Spider-Man 3 still smarts. But thankfully, not enough; he's the director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and he told us why he said yes to the job.