It’s been fifteen years since the critically panned release of Spider-Man 3, but that doesn’t mean director Sam Raimi is done answering for it. One of the film’s most iconic moments comes when Tobey Maguire‘s Peter Parker finally succumbs to the dark desires of the Venom symbiote, but finds himself hilariously dancing down the street instead of performing any of the irredeemable actions one might have expected. The sequence has since become an internet phenomenon, with fans using gifs, videos, and images of Maguire‘s terrible dance moves for use in making memes and ultimately making fun of the film itself. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse even recreated the routine as a comedic reference to the character’s onscreen history.
In a recent interview with Fandom, Raimi was asked outright his thoughts on “Dancing Tobey” becoming so popular in the years since he directed the scene. His response was expectedly lighthearted and upbeat:
Well, we meant it to be funny, actually. It was Peter Parker’s version — this lame kid — of what it must be like to be his evil self. But he’s so whipped. He’s so out of it that that’s his take on it. And that didn’t go over well with the audience. But that’s what we were trying to do. So I’m not surprised that people… I’m glad people find it funny! We wanted it to be fun.Sam Raimi
Raimi is known for using over-the-top, often somewhat cheesy, techniques in his films. So, it lines up that he would have used such a goofy performance to convey Peter’s emotions in Spider-Man 3. It’s also nice that he isn’t hurt by the initial outcry against the dancing, and instead embraces the fun of laughing with his audience.
Raimi‘s next superhero project, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, releases on May 6th.