Sam Raimi knows he screwed the pooch with Spider-Man 3. Since Marvel’s friendly neighborhood web-slinger is getting yet another cinematic reboot with 19-year-old actor Tom Holland, the director reflected on his own past with the superhero.
While the second of Raimi’s Spider-Man films became a fan favorite, the director told The Week in a recent interview, “I messed up on the third one.”
Despite Spider-Man 3‘s box office win, it was universally bashed by Marvelites. In the film, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) faced threats of Venomous Symbiote ooze, the Sandman, and another Green Goblin. Plus, there was a dance sequence in a jazz club that is still an easy target for message boards.
Raimi’s admission echoes previous statements he made on a Nerdist podcast last year. “I think [simply trying to raise the stakes after Spider-Man 2] was the thinking going into it, and I think that’s what doomed us,” he said at the time. “I should’ve just stuck with the characters and the relationships and progressed them to the next step and not tried to top the bar.”
Meanwhile, Spider-Man 3 actor Topher Grace defended his director in likening him to “the president of a small country,” for whom he has “huge respect.”
While Marvel and Sony announced Jon Watts as director for their new solo Spider-Man movie, after the hero makes his debut in Captain America: Civil War, Raimi would like another opportunity. “I think they’re so complete now, Marvel. They probably don’t need me anymore. But if they needed me? I’d love to. It’s great to be wanted.”