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Old 05-02-2014, 07:28 AM   #1
spanky87 spanky87 is offline
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Default Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy

Discussion thread for all things regarding the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the cancelled Spider-Man 4.


Last edited by spanky87; 05-02-2014 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:40 AM   #2
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Not sure about accuracy but here's what wikipedia says about Spider-Man 4:

Quote:
In 2007, Spider-Man 4 entered development, with Raimi attached to direct and Maguire, Dunst and other cast members set to reprise their roles. Both a fourth and a fifth movie were planned and at one time the idea of shooting the two sequels concurrently was under consideration. However, Raimi stated in March 2009 that only the fourth film was in development at that time and that if there were fifth and sixth films, those two films would actually be a continuation of each other. James Vanderbilt was hired in October 2007 to pen the screenplay after initial reports in early 2007 that Sony Pictures was in contact with David Koepp, who wrote the first Spider-Man film. The script was subsequently rewritten by Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire and rewritten again by Gary Ross in October 2009. Sony also engaged Vanderbilt to write scripts for Spider-Man 5 and Spider-Man 6.

In 2007, Raimi expressed interest in portraying the transformation of Dr. Curt Connors into his villainous alter-ego, the Lizard; the character's actor Dylan Baker and producer Grant Curtis were also enthusiastic about the idea. It was reported in December 2009 that John Malkovich was in negotiations to play Vulture and that Anne Hathaway would play Felicia Hardy, though she would not have transformed into the Black Cat as in the comics. Instead, Raimi's Felicia was expected to become a brand-new superpowered figure called the Vulturess. However, several years later Raimi stated that Anne Hathaway was going to be Black Cat if Spider-Man 4 had been made.

Sony Pictures announced in January 2010 that plans for Spider-Man 4 had been cancelled due to Raimi's withdrawal from the project. Raimi reportedly ended his participation due to his doubt that he could meet the planned May 6, 2011 release date while at the same time upholding the film creatively. Raimi purportedly went through four iterations of the script with different screenwriters and still "hated it".
In 2013 Sam Raimi spoke to vulture.com about Spider-Man 4:

Quote:
I hope enough time has passed that you feel comfortable talking about Spider-Man 4, which was in preproduction and began casting but fell apart before shooting began. What happened there?

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.

I know you'd been pursuing Anne Hathaway to star in Spider-Man 4 … she was going to play Felicia Hardy, right?


Yes.
Seems like Raimi really wanted to make up for Spider-Man 3 and didn't want to jump into filming with a mediocre script.

Last edited by spanky87; 05-02-2014 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:55 AM   #3
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Good thread.

I think the first film gets a bit of unwarranted bashing, but at the time it was considered the textbook comic book movie. The thing that works about the first film was that it was no-nonsense, it worked because of it's was somewhat simplicity that was just in vein with stuff like Jurassic Park, pure blockbuster filmmaking with humour and character and enough whimsy to make you believe in Spider-Man. And while it is a bit campy, the dark drama doesn't break when it delves in.

I think the problem I have with the reboot series is that they are just big Pastiches of everything they want to be, it wants to be campy, it wants to be serious, it wants to be fantastical, it wants to be human, it wants to be universe building but it wants to stand on it's own two feet. Sure some of the stuff they come up with is really nice but it doesn't hang together. I think the Raimi Spider-Man films are just their own thing (discontinuing the third one for obvious reasons), they're basically formed organically and any flaws they have are natural, while the Amazing Spider-Man films are formed mechanically and the flaws they feature seem consequential of too many cooks.
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Old 05-02-2014, 07:57 AM   #4
Infernal King Infernal King is offline
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That trilogy sure did end in 2007!
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:19 AM   #5
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Don't like any of them, but I actually consider 3 to be the most entertaining. The first one, especially, is pretty abysmal.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:47 AM   #6
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This is indeed a good - and timely - thread, what with the entertaining but troubled Amazing Spider-Man 2 just opening in the US. Having watched the Raimi movies again not long ago, the characteristic "schmuck" humour sticks out like a sore thumb against other films, and whilst there is a lot of chuckles to be found in the new iteration, it's all in the spirit of the comic and the character of Spider-Man/Peter Parker.

The books have covered just about all aspects of the human condition over the years, yet but Raimi pile on the woe-is-me sentiment, at the expense of the joy at being Spider-man and what it takes to maintain being a hero. Sure, it can be necessary to set up your protagonist to be an underdog, but winding it around comedy (the party/champagne sequence in S-M 2) or laying the emotional moments on too heavily can prove alienating. The first film provided the best balance in most elements, even though the Green Goblin really turned out crap, but as far as showing the joy, anger, humour and strains of being a superhero go, it got it right.

Watching S-M 2 again with the Missus (who likes comicbook movies) she noticed something which I wrote of in a huge review of it ten years ago, and that's how there are far too many screaming women in the film. At the merest hint of danger, you can be the mortgage that the women at the centre of it all will scream as though The Tingler is under their chair - even Aunt May gets in on the act. Some might read it as a hangover from the pre-comicbook renaissance, where villainy was perceived by the great unwashed as tying a woman to a railroad track as the villain twitches his moustache, but it's more likely that Raimi thought it would be funny to put them in. It's rather awkward to watch these pieces today.

Big Raimi fan here, to the point where a pristine VHS of Crimewave was sitting in my collection since it was first released in 1986, so this is not a Raimi-hater going off on one, but it seems that the humour inherent to his Spider-Man movies has not aged well. Couldn't stand Spider-man 3, even though everything about Sandman was superb. it's just a pity that a certain Marvel executive had to get involved, nixing Vulture and sticking Venom into the script. A "hangover" from the original material is to be found in the finished movie, where the audience is told that Flint Marko had just escaped from Ryker's Island. Given that it's on an island, how the Hell did he get out? It makes sense when you realise that it was originally both Marko and Vulture who broke out, being able to fly away!

Anyway, from what I read, they wanted to at least make a fourth Spider-Man with the Raimi/McGuire combination, and both wanted to do it, possibly to make up for the previous one, but word came down that they were keen to keep McGuire so as to maintain continuity, although wanted to replace Raimi, as they were uncomfortable with him at the helm due to the critical/fandom failure of Spider-man 3, and his head was chosen to roll for it. In a surprising show of loyalty for the business, McGuire declined to return if it meant a new director, and so the series was put on hold. This was widely reported in the press, and I personally read it in an interview with McGuire a good few years ago, where he mentioned it pretty much as an aside rather than having an axe to grind on the matter.

Last edited by WilsonBros; 05-02-2014 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:53 AM   #7
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Loved these films, and was very much looking forward to a fourth. Instead we get an inferior reboot (perhaps the quickest in cinema history) series with an infinitely less appealing cast, doing it all again.
As stupid as kicking Burton and Keaton out of Batman to me. Well done for killing my interest in the series, Sony.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:56 AM   #8
cinemaphile cinemaphile is offline
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I rewatched all three within the last week, and yikes.... I wasn't hugely impressed at the time, and now... well, they haven't aged well. The first two are fairly mediocre, and the third is downright bad.

a few additional thoughts:
  • They are definitely from a different era of comic book movies, where they embraced the cheese, especially the artificial look of everything including the sets.
  • SM1 fumbled Spidey's greatest foe by making the Green Goblin look like something out of Power Rangers.
  • The FX in all the movies were pretty unimpressive even for the time, and somehow the FX in the 3rd movie managed to look WORSE than the first from 5 years earlier.
  • Maguire, Franco, and Dunst made up the holy triumvirate of terrible acting, with Dunst being the worst offender.
  • The new incarnation with Garfield is far from perfect, but they are 10x better than the Raimi films.

Last edited by cinemaphile; 05-02-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:58 AM   #9
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LOL If you say so. Personally I find the new ones utterly charmless and boring, with wooden and infinitely less appealing leads.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #10
cinemaphile cinemaphile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iank View Post
LOL If you say so. Personally I find the new ones utterly charmless and boring, with wooden and infinitely less appealing leads.
More wooden and LESS appealing than Maguire and Dunst?
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:00 AM   #11
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I fail to see the slightest thing wrong with either. Fanboy bellyaching over nothing, I suspect.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:05 AM   #12
cinemaphile cinemaphile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iank View Post
I fail to see the slightest thing wrong with either. Fanboy bellyaching over nothing, I suspect.
and I fail to see the slightest thing wrong with Garfield or Stone. Just your fanboy bellyaching, I suspect.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:08 AM   #13
spanky87 spanky87 is offline
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I'm re-watching the first two this week for the first time in years. I did the original last night and I think it still holds up as a solid origin film despite a few dodgy cg effects. Some thoughts:

Has a real 'comic book' feel and some shots look like comic book panels.

Raimi handles the tone just right and any transitions from comedy to drama feel seamless and isn't jarring.

It's a very respectful adaptation of Spider-mans comic book debut in Amazing Fantasy 15.

Great set up of the Harry/Peter friendship and plants the seeds for events to come.

The Goblin costume is still kind of lame. Really wish Osborn could have invented some alternate mask.

Cliff Robertson gives a very endearing performance in his limited screentime and leaves an impression.

Hopefully tonight I can continue with Spider-Man 2, which I'm very excited to revisit. I forget which version I preferred so I think I'll go with the Theatrical. Spider-Man 3 i guess I'll skip since I've given that film so many chances over the years and it always disappoints.

Last edited by spanky87; 05-02-2014 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:09 AM   #14
L.J. L.J. is offline
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Raimi's Spiderman is my favorite. One of the few trilogies where the second one is better than the first. Even tho the films have aged some now I still enjoy them. Gladd they didn't continue the franchise with a fourth. The third movie isn't that good and would have been bad to just keep making bad sequels. Venom should have been the only villain in the third. To me The Amazing Spiderman is good, I do like this version. Just not as good as Raimi's.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:10 AM   #15
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The first film was my favourite, particularly because of Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin. I thought he played the part tremendously well and I thought it was a great origin story for Spider-Man despite not being totally faithful to the comics, but I was a newcomer (still can't really label myself a fan of Spider-Man) and I really enjoyed it.

As for the second one, I liked it more after watching it a few times. Initially I was disappointed at the lack of action, but then after taking in the story some more I began to appreciate the film. Plus the fight with Doc Ock on the train was awesome.

As for Spider-Man 3, I think it gets too much flak. The biggest mistake the film made was having too many villains. Too many cooks spoil the broth-three's a crowd. This film should have focused on just one villain as these characters didn't have enough development, particularly Venom. He was totally rushed and only appeared at the end. Still, I enjoyed it for what it was.

I only wish there was a Spider-Man 4 with the Lizard, Sam Raimi could have fixed the mistakes and may ended the series on a high. I'm gutted Sony never gave Spider-Man 4 a shot.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:15 AM   #16
cinemaphile cinemaphile is offline
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has anyone actually watched SM3 recently? forget the villains and such... the real offense was the jazz dancing, the strutting and pointing, etc... I was embarrassed for Maguire it was so awful.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:19 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemaphile View Post
has anyone actually watched SM3 recently? forget the villains and such... the real offense was the jazz dancing, the strutting and pointing, etc... I was embarrassed for Maguire it was so awful.
Depends on how you look at it really. On one hand it's incredibly cringe worthy and on the other it's a laugh and funny to watch.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemaphile View Post
has anyone actually watched SM3 recently? forget the villains and such... the real offense was the jazz dancing, the strutting and pointing, etc... I was embarrassed for Maguire it was so awful.
Honestly, those are the best parts of the entire trilogy for me. It's camp done right. I love that that's what Peter thinks is cool and what women like. Hilarious.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:45 AM   #19
Infernal King Infernal King is offline
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:46 AM   #20
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That should be a t-shirt.
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