Oz the Great and Powerful director Sam Raimi is promoting his new film, so he sat down with Vulture for a great interview about.. well.. everything! He talked about the never made Spider-Man 4, how he didn’t like Spider-Man 3, why he never made World of Warcraft, why he never wants to see The Amazing Spider-Man and more.
First up, what happened to Spider-Man 4? It was going to be made. And then it just fell apart and The Amazing Spider-Man happened. Raimi explains.
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.
Anne Hathaway was supposed to play Felicia Hardy/Black Cat in Spider-Man 4, but the movie got killed so it obviously didn’t happen. Raimi said he loved her audition. And now she’s probably the best version of Catwoman. So, we’ve learned that Hathaway is good at playing Cat people.
Raimi also revealed that his Warcraft movie didn’t happen because… well… Blizzard wasn’t happy with his script. He had a vision and a story he wanted to tell but Blizzard didn’t like it. He explains:
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?
Raimi also doesn’t want to see The Amazing Spider-Man. Not because he thinks it’ll be terrible or something, but because it’s like an ex-girlfriend.
I didn’t see the Spider-Man reboot. I know Marc Webb is a great director, and I love Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, but as much as I love those people and Amy and Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad, I just don’t want to go to my girlfriend’s wedding, with all due respect. I guess that means I’m a bad loser? I just love her too much! I just have to wait. It would be hard to see her with someone else … with all those other men!
It’s interesting to note that Raimi isn’t a man of compromise, which is the reason that Spider-Man 3 was so damaged. Sony had famously tried to influence the film and there were contractual disputes and a bunch of other things that went wrong. That’s a good thing though, let the filmmakers see their vision through (with good filmmakers around them) and things will rarely go wrong.
The rest of the interview is pretty great, so head over to Vulture to check it out. [Vulture]