It seems as if after “Spider-Man 3,” all the king’s horses and all the king’s men just couldn’t put Spidey back together again. Famously, series architect Sam Raimi tried with an attempt at a fourth film featuring John Malkovich as the Vulture, with Anne Hathaway in an unspecified role believed to be the Black Cat. Chatting with Vulture (the site, not the villain) as his next film “Oz The Great And Powerful” opens this weekend, Sam Raimi he finally opened up about the aborted project, which was canceled in favor of last summer’s reboot “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
Raimi, eternally the gentleman, avoids the opportunity to throw shade at Sony, claiming, “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.” Confirming he was displeased with “Spider-Man 3,” he shoulders the blame for the cancellation of part four. “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,'” he explained.
What’s interesting is that Raimi was privy to the studio’s interest in starting over, as James Vanderbilt had been working on a script for a new origin story as Raimi was working with a number of screenwriters on the fourth film. Still, he remained dedicated to ending the series on a “high note” and speaks glowingly of Hathaway, who he confirms would have been his Black Cat. And while he hasn’t seen her superhero skills in “The Dark Knight Rises,” Raimi does say, “I hear she’s great in it. I’m not surprised, because I loved what she was doing with the auditions for ‘Spider-Man 4.'”
Raimi also spoke about “World Of Warcraft,” which he was slated to direct before Duncan Jones (“Moon“) climbed aboard, and the portrait he paints of the circuitous path a ‘WoW’ adaptation must take is dizzying at best, and depressing at worst. “I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at [‘Warcraft’ developer] Blizzard, and it didn’t quite work for me,” says Raimi, who worked with screenwriter Robert Rodat (“Saving Private Ryan“). “I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert, so we pitched it to Legendary and they accepted it, and then we pitched it to Blizzard, and they had reservations, but they accepted it. Then Robert wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn’t know that. And they had never quite approved the original story we pitched them.” By the time Rodat re-enlisted for another draft, the studio was already fed up with the development time, and Raimi believes it was “mismanagement” on their part.
What say you, folks? Would the Raimi versions of “Spider-Man 4” and “World Of Warcraft” be worth watching? Weigh in below.