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
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
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