Director Sam Raimi is well-known for directing the generally beloved and well-received original Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire as the titular hero. While the first two installments of the trilogy were standouts in the early days of comic book superhero movies, Spider-Man 3 received overall poor reviews from both fans and critics. The negative reception and backlash to the threequel halted plans for Raimi to direct the fourth film in the franchise. However, he is back to tackle Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In a recent interview, the director opened up about the stress of returning to helm another Marvel film:
I didn’t know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of Spider-Man 3. The Internet was getting revved up and people disliked that movie and they sure let me know about it. So, it was difficult to take back on.Sam Raimi
The Doctor Strange director, Scott Derrickson, ultimately backed out of the sequel due to creative differences. While the sting of Spider-Man 3 has certainly not gone away, Raimi ultimately decided to tackle Multiverse of Madness after learning that it had an opening:
My agent called me and said, ‘They’re looking for a director at Marvel for this movie and your name came up. Would you be interested?’ And I thought, ‘I wonder if I could still do it.’ They’re really demanding, those types of pictures. And I felt, ‘Well, that’s reason enough.’ I’ve always really liked the character of Doctor Strange. He was not my favorite, but he was right up there with the favorites. I loved the first movie, I thought [director] Scott Derrickson did a wonderful job, an incredible job. So, I said, ‘Yeah.’ They left the character in a great place. I didn’t think I would be doing another superhero movie. it just happened.Sam Raimi
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is certainly a massive and highly-anticipated film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Raimi’s work on Spider-Man 3 may always remain infamous, taking on the challenge to direct the Doctor Strange sequel could serve as the director’s redemption story for superhero films. The second entry in the franchise is currently eyeing a March release.