Sam Raimi has offered up some minor updates on Spider-man 4 during his “Drag Me to Hell” promotional interviews. Speaking with Cinematical, Raimi says:
“I learn lessons on every single picture I make,” he said. “I learned a lot on [Drag Me To Hell], about timing, and that you don’t have to give up any character at the expense of horror. It’s just an excuse that maybe I’ve used in the past. As far as Spider-Man, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about what people didn’t like and missteps that I’d made. But I learned those lessons on the previous two, I was just a little quieter about them. I made a lot of mistakes, and it’s part of the reason I so want to make this next story of Peter Parker.”
Raimi continued, “I really think I know in my heart who the character is, and I haven’t quite been able to sing the song yet, or bring it out to the extent or degree of detail that I feel in my heart that I can. And I may not be successful, but I still feel like I know it better than I’m able to play it; I feel like the kid that really practiced at the piano recital, with years of comic books, and when I got to my other recitals, I sometimes made some missteps with them. There’s a whole crowd there and they think that’s as well as I know the piece, but I really do know it a lot better than that and I would like one more chance at that character. The Spider-Man films, I’ve made mistakes, but I really do look at them as things that I’ve learned, and hope that when I apply what I’ve learned to this next one, I really make a film that people enjoy and is really true to the character in a fresh, original way. That’s my goal.”
Sam Raimi is talking about Spider-man 4 again, this time with Scifi Wire, although again nothing too specific. Raimi hopes that Kirsten Dunst will come on board for Spider-man 4. He goes on to explore the idea of a darker and more edgy Spider-man movie in light of The Dark Knight and Watchmen movies.
“I’m hoping that she is going to come aboard, and I’ve got a meeting coming up with her,” Raimi said in a group interview last week in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting his upcoming horror film Drag Me to Hell. “I think she would like to. But I don’t want to speak on behalf of her.”
With the advent of The Dark Knight and Watchmen, do you expect that Spider-Man 4 will be a little darker and edgier, too?
Raimi: Whatever it is, I think will be a direct result of the best style to bring about our writer’s screenplay. And as soon as I read that, I will know what that is. Edgy could be a direction, but I don’t think it will be applied without really understanding the character’s journey from the inside out first and then figuring out the best way to bring that about.
And then, as far as the other influences, making it different from the other films, … I hope we don’t react to these very good and sometimes bad superhero movies around us. I hope that we just [look] ever deeper into the truth of who Peter Parker really is—as a human being and the unique character, and that we celebrate that, which is a lot of the reason I want to make this next picture. I still believe I have an understanding of Peter Parker as the character that I have not quite put onto the screen yet.
I’m not talking about Tobey Maguire’s performance, which I very much love; I’m talking about my understanding of the character. I feel like sometimes a kid at the piano recital. And I know this piece really well. I know it by heart. And I sometimes get it right, and sometimes I don’t. But I want a chance to really play it the way I feel it. So I’m hoping it’s a really good screenplay and I can express the character through that. I’ve got a really good writer [David Lindsay-Abaire]. …
In order to reach the May 6th 2011 deadline release date for Spider-man 4, as much as possible must be ready in time for the first production day, as per usual, this means that the David Lindsay-Abaire penned script should be completed by the end of summer 2009, ‘about three months’ to be more precise. SciFi wire also quizzed Raimi about potential villains for the fourth movie, but he declined to comment.
“We have to make the release date, and on all of these pictures, the ‘Spider-Man’ films–and I’m sure it’s the same as with many of the other bigger-budgeted films–they have release dates far in advance of a screenplay/ […] So it’s about getting it ready the best you can in time for the first day of production. That’s what we’ve always done, and that’s what we’ll try to do again.”
“I’m not at liberty to discuss the villains yet. […] I think I have to wait till the finished screenplay, and then it’d really be up to Sony Pictures and the producers to determine when they want to release that information. To them, it’s usually a big, a big, big thing, a big moment where they want to present the villain with the proper respect or fear that he or she deserves.”
Raimi has also spoken out about the creative power he would like to wield for the next movie. This comes after the third movie whereby presumably the studio took over some of the creative decisions (is that perhaps what lead to the crazy dancing Peter Parker scene?), via Empire:
“They really gave me a tremendous amount of control on the first two films, actually. […] But then there were different opinions on the third film and I didn’t really have creative control, so to speak.
The best way for me to move forward on films, is that I’ve got to be the singular voice that makes the creative choices on the film. I love Spider-Man so much that I’d like to continue telling Spider-Man stories. But only under those circumstances where I think I can honour him.”
MTV has spoken Spidey-4 with Sam Raimi; no real juicy gossip bits to be had, but good to hear the project is moving swiftly forward nonetheless. It does appear that the dual Spider-man 4 & 5 shooting schedule that was previously rumored may have been dropped, possibly in favor of The Avengers movie coming in 2012.
“The writers, producers and I are working out what the story will be, but we haven’t been talking in terms of Part 4 and 5. […] I’ve read that [about ‘Spider-Man 5’] also, but right now we’re just working on the story for ‘Spider-Man 4,’ just that one film.”
“We’re definitely talking about working from all the material in the comic books and nothing [invented] outside of that. All the characters or villain or villains, whatever we decide to do will be from Stan Lee’s creations or those that came after him.”
[On who will be the next villain(s)]
“I do have a pretty good idea, but I’m just not a liberty to say yet,”
[On Kirsten Dunst in Spider-man 4]
“I can’t imagine making a ‘Spider-Man’ movie without Kirsten,” he said, seemingly contemplating the idea in his head with a long pause. “Of course it can be done because Spider Man has existed without the character of Mary-Jane but she’s one of my favorite parts and it would be a shame not to have her in the picture. I’m hoping she’ll be in it and I’m planning on having a story with her in it.”
Coming Soon have spoken to Sam Raimi about his future involvement in Spider-man 4 — things are looking up, though the future is still uncertain:
“James Vanderbilt is writing the script and I’m excited to read it. I think it’s going to be done in a few months. I’m hoping it’s as great as our discussions were about it and I’m hoping it feels right for me because I love Spider-Man. I’m hoping I’m well rested enough to embrace it and I’m hoping Sony wants me to do it. If all of those things come together, I would love to do it. There are a lot of unknowns about the future.”
J.K. Simmons has also been speaking about is role in Spidey sequels on the set of “I Love You Man”,
SHH!: So we know that James Vanderbilt is close to turning in a script for “Spider-Man 4.” Have they reached out to you yet?
J.K. Simmons: We sort of check in once in a while. They say, you know, we want J.K. to do it. We don’t know where. We don’t know when. We don’t know who. We don’t know anything, you know? They signed all of us for the first three films. Sam, Tobey, all the way down the line to me and we’ll see where it goes. I mean its all conjecture and you guys probably know more than I do at this point. There was talk of doing four and five concurrently and I don’t know if they’re still considering that or not and I spoke to Tobey in I guess it was February, sort of awards season time and he’s certainly amenable to doing some more and hopefully we’ll be able to get everybody back and make another good one.
SHH!: Or a couple of ‘em?
Simmons: Couple, three, four, five! Whatever. You know, I could buy a bigger house.
SHH!: What if Sam decides not to come back as a director but stays as a producer, would you guys still be…
SHH!: Would you and the rest of the gang still come back?
Simmons: Well, I can only speak for myself, but if Sam were not the director but still had a hand in it then I would certainly have a reasonable amount of faith in it. Obviously if he’s the director I’m there 100%. If he’s not involved at all, which I think is VERY unlikely, then it would be a situation that I would have to think about. But if he’s involved, hopefully directing or at least as a producer then, I’m pretty confident that it would be something that I wanna do. Plus they pay money.
Comic Book Resource have been talking with Sam Raimi. I have extracted the Spiderman 4 parts of the interview for you here, though I recommend reading the full article as it gives an interesting insight into the thoughts and processes behind Raimi himself.
Do you have any inclination yet towards whether you’d like to produce or direct the next Spider-Man movie, or is too early to call?
Sam: I think that’s going to be up to Sony Pictures, and I think that it’s too early for them to say, actually. But currently I’m working on… well, not now, but as soon as the writers strike’s over… I’m going to begin working with a writer on the screenplay.
Is it important to you that the story follows on from the first three? I mean, how important is internal continuity to you? Can you go Evil Dead-style and change details a little bit, maybe change the story up a little bit?
Sam: If I was writing it I would have a very strong opinion about that, but we’re hiring a writer to come up with his own take. Sony was willing to go either way, we’ll just have to wait and see what the writer comes up with. I think anything’s possible, though.
I mean, there’s been so many different versions, it doesn’t have to follow the movies that we’ve made. I’d very much like to see Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man, so I have a personal interest in that, but certainly anything’s possible. Spider-Man’s such a big character in the comic books that he could endure a lot of different interpretations. You could start over or you could start with a different aspect of the story than I’ve focused on in the pictures I’ve made, we’ll just have to wait and see what the writer comes up with.
Do you think the story will still be interesting if Spider-Man moves on and gets married? Because within the world of comics, a lot of writers complain that once he got married the stories weren’t as interesting, and the movies seem to be heading towards that. As someone who’s a married man and has a family, what do you think of this idea that he can’t be interesting once he’s married?
Sam: He’s most powerful to me as an adolescent. The thing that Stan Lee created that was so special was that he was a very young character, and he’s a kid trying to deal with these fantastic powers. The idea of being married counters that a little bit. It’s a place of accepted responsibility versus being on the road to learning responsibility. It’s associated with adulthood versus being the ultimate kid who’s a superhero. So it’s not that you couldn’t tell a good story with a married Spider-Man, but my favorite Spider-Man is the unmarried one.
Wizard recently sat down with Sam Raimi to talk with him about the Spider-man trilogy, the DVD release and most importantly, what the future holds for himself and the spidey franchise:
Looking back, you’ve worked on Spider-Man in some way for nearly eight years. Has the excitement stayed with you?
RAIMI: I’m just as excited about the character, and so in that sense, yes. Although the physical energy level between how I felt before I started shooting versus what was left of me on the last day of photography, I was so exhausted at the end of “Spider-Man 3″ I can’t tell you. My love for the characters and my passion for the stories are the same, but I was just a shell of the person that I was after all of those movies.
If you had to take a break and pick a director to replace you on the franchise, is there anyone at the top of your list?
RAIMI: Because I love Spider-Man I would just say—I don’t want to pick someone. I don’t know if I’ll be directing the picture or not, but I’d like to say that it would be somebody that was the best gift I could give to Spider-Man—someone who understands him and loves him and could bring his passion and love to the character. A character director probably; no one else.
Back in August 2006 — nearly a year ago now, we had our first insight into what lies in wait for the future of both Marvel films and the Spider-man franchise. In an interview with MTV, Marvel producer Kevin Feige had this to say,
“There will be many more Spider-Man films to come,” he promised. “We already have stacks of ideas for the next one because of the wealth of stories in the comics. We could be making Spider-Man movies for the next 20 years, based on the 50 years of Spider-Man history we have.”
That doesn’t necessarily guarantee, however, that Tobey Maguire will continue as the man under the mask.
“When you’re concentrating on one movie at a time, there’s a beginning and a middle and an end to that process,” Feige reasoned. “We’ve been topping each one as they go, [and if that happens again], that’s the time for those discussions.”
And when it comes to Tobey Maguire’s involvement, he denied rumors that he would not be participating and instead had this to say (via Yahoo Movies),
“I feel like the stories all deserve to be told, and, you know, if… the whole team wants to get back together, and we feel like we can make a good movie that’s worth making, then I’m up for it.”
In an article at SciFi.com these sentiments were uttered again,
“Well, it’s possible that we make another movie,” Maguire said in an interview. “It all depends on if there’s a story worth telling. I feel very proud of the three movies that we’ve made. I feel like the stories all deserve to be told, and, you know, if they come up with a good movie, and the whole team wants to get back together, and we feel like we can make a good movie that’s worth making, then I’m up for it.”
The article continues, stating that co-star Kirsten Dunst would also be interested in reprising her role as Mary Jane Watson;
“There’s an openness at the end [of Spider-Man 3], which I like, but … I feel like this is a trilogy unto itself,” she said. “And I think if we venture into a fourth, it will be some time from now and in a new way. Because I don’t think Sam can do that: continuing on this same course. I think he needs to venture as an artist and do other things; otherwise, none of us will have anything good to bring to the fourth. So I think we all need to venture out a little bit, and then maybe we’ll come back together one day and do another one.”
This brings us very nicely to the projected involvement of Spider-man director Sam Raimi. In April 2007 he announced that Sony had plans to produce another 3 Spider-man films, whether he shall direct these is at the moment unknown. Raimi had this to say in an Empire interview in July this year,
“I want to help contribute to the production,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll just be a producer on it but if I can work with the writer in such a way so that directing would be right for me, I don’t know. We’ve had our first meeting on Spider-Man 4 and we’re looking for the writer.”
As for who is currently working on the illustrious project, in January 2007 a deal with screenwriter David Koepp was sought, though it seems as of July a new writer may be involved.