Spider-man - Sam Raimi

From Evil Dead to A Simple Plan, The Gift and now Spider-man, Director Sam Raimi has won a throng of fans. Whether itís for dreaming up the treasured chainsaw-wielding Axe from low-budget cult classic Evil Dead or for having the guts to tackle Marvelís most loved-character, Raimi has put a smile on many an adoring film buffs face. His latest film, Spider-man, opens June 6 in Australia, and as Clint Morris discovers the blockbuster is uncharted territory for the Director. 


Sam, Why Spider-man?

Weíll Iíve always been a comic book fan, especially Spider-man. The illustrations and the story, in particular, was what attracted me to it. I think what is good about Spider-man is that heís a normal kid. Like I was. And itís great how he can make fun of the villains. But as a movie, I never thought it was going to make a lot of money, but now itís clear that itís got to make some. Out of interest, people will come and see it. 

Why did you choose Tobey Maguire to play Spider-man?

Weíll I think we looked at tapes of nearly every 17-24 year old male. But I stopped when I saw Tobey. He was real, He was grounded and thatís what Spider-man is he is a real kid. He was perfect. I saw him in Cider House Rules, which was just so real and he was fantastic, so I cast him. 

So do you consider Spider-man your first blockbuster?

Yes. None of my movies have ever made money. But with Spider-man I decided to follow the character and make a good flick out of it Ė and those that have followed Spider-man will definitely come.  

Did the story get changed a few times?

Absolutely. David Koepp who had wrote the first script had a piece with the two villains being Elektro and the Sandman, I think they were leftovers from James Cameronís treatment Ė which I like to call a Ďscriptmentí. It was an 80-page treatment with these characters, but the thing is these characters werenít my favorite. My favorite was actually the death of Gwen Stacey. Thing is, I didnít particularly like the Gwen Stacey character, I liked the element of it, but liked Mary Jane Watson and The Green Goblin. I also tried to put Doctor Octavious in there, but we couldnít do it justice. Having multiple-storyline arcs just didnít work, so we decided to stick on just having the one villain and make it a deeper story. 

Bruce Campbellís got a cameo in Spider-man?

Bruce is a bit player, yeah. Heís a wrestling arena coach. Heís so funny, and a good friend.  

The film you and Bruce did, Evil Dead, did that change everything for you?

Yes, Evil Dead changed everything. My partners, Robert Tapert and Bruce set out to do a movie for the Drive-Ins. We would go past the drive-ins and see that the movies showing were cheap B-grade horror films, and thatís essentially what we wanted to make. So we raised money and made our low-budget horror movie. I never expected it to get to where the film is today. 

Are you sick of being asked about Evil Dead 4?

Nah. Because Iíd like to do it now. Bruce Campbell is just the best, and they are so funny to do. I like Horror movies, and with Bruce, they are just the biggest fun.  

Spiderman 2 then?

Iíve just signed on to do Spider-man 2 actually. We havenít yet got a story so I havenít actually thought about what actors Iíll use though. I love Spider-man. Iím into him. And Bruce Campbell will have a role in Spider-man 2 as well. 

You had to change the teaser trailer for Spider-man after September 11 but did this affect the movie?

My 2nd unit director shot some great stuff for the teaser. It was the bit where Spider-man tangled the crooks in the snagged helicopter and weaves a web for them between the Trade towers. I was hoping to use it in the movie, but I didnít feel it was appropriate after September 11. I did however keep every other scene of The Twin Towers in the movie. 

Stan Lee had a cameo Ė but I hear it was cut?

Stan Leeís cameo is still in. Itís a brief cameo at Times Square, behind the villains. You can see him in the corner of the screen. Just for a moment 

Would you do another superhero movie? Actor Kerr Smith recently suggested to me that they do a big-screen version of The Green Lantern?

I have no idea why comic book movies are so hot at the moment. I think after doing the Spider-man movies Iíll do something different, and perhaps it will be Evil Dead 4. I always liked The Green Lantern though, thatís a good idea. The core of the Green Lantern is so universal. Yeah. 

And have you tried any Aussie Beer while you are here?

No. Iíve tried Wine. Chiraz. Itís great, incredible. We actually have it in California and the U.S Now, itís excellent. As for Beer what should I drink? (I begin to explain to him the cool refreshing comfort of a stubby of Carlton Cold). Ok, Iíll have one of those over lunch. Done!


SPIDER-MAN opens June 6 in Australia