Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 was the final chapter in his Spider-Man movie series, but unfortunately, it didn’t succeed as much as its predecessors – and Sam Raimi is well aware of why Spider-Man 3 failed. Peter Parker made his big screen debut in 2002 in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, which introduced Tobey Maguire as the title hero and saw him battle Norman Osborn/Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). The success of Spider-Man made way for a sequel, which is widely regarded as one of the best superhero movies ever made, but Spider-Man 3 failed to continue this streak.
Set a year after the events of Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3 followed Peter Parker as he comes face to face with three different villains: Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) and the Venom symbiote, Flint Marko/Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and his best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco), who follows his father’s steps and becomes New Goblin. Spider-Man 3 was a commercial success, being the highest-grossing movie of the trilogy, but it has been criticized for its story, and Sam Raimi knows well why it failed, and it’s all about the characters.
Sam Raimi Didn’t Believe In Spider-Man 3’s Characters (& It Showed)
In addition to criticism about its messy plot, Spider-Man 3 has been criticized for having too many villains, which resulted in underdeveloped characters and even created a couple of plot holes. Back in 2015, Sam Raimi admitted to Nerdist podcast (via Collider) that Spider-Man 3 “didn’t work well”, and even though he tried to make it work, he “didn’t really believe in all the characters”, and it truly showed. Raimi has already explained he wanted Vulture to be the villain in Spider-Man 3 but was pressured by produced Avi Arad to include Venom, and this was ultimately reflected in the final product, with Venom posed to be a main villain but not quite getting there.
In the same interview with Nerdist podcast, Raimi added that raising the stakes after Spider-Man 2 was their thinking going into Spider-Man 3, and he thinks that “doomed” them. Raimi continued by saying he “should’ve stuck with the characters and the relationships and progressed them to the next step” instead of focusing on topping the bar, which is definitely another thing that was reflected in the final cut of Spider-Man 3. The relationships between Peter, Mary Jane, and Harry felt rushed and forced instead of a natural continuation of where Spider-Man 2 left them, and ultimately, all the ambition and pressure mentioned by Raimi led to the failure of Spider-Man 3.
Will Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 Ever Happen?
Raimi’s Spider-Man movie series was supposed to continue with a fourth movie, but the project, along with a couple of spinoffs, was ultimately canceled. Tobey Maguire’s return as Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man: No Way Home reignited interest in a fourth Spider-Man movie from Raimi’s universe, and while Raimi has expressed interest in it, he has also shared that he has no plans to direct Spider-Man 4, but he’s definitely open to it if he’s offered the opportunity with a story he approves of. Spider-Man 4 could fix the mess left by Spider-Man 3 and give the story of Maguire’s Peter Parker a satisfying ending, while also answering the biggest questions that his return in No Way Home left.
Next: Spider-Man 3’s Most Unnecessary Villain Was Sandman (Not Venom)