It’s a big week for Sam Raimi. The filmmaker is out promoting his newest feature, Oz: The Great and Powerful, but he’s also revealed plans to work on a script for the long-awaited Evil Dead 4, and taken time to discuss his feelings about his aborted Spider-Man 4 and World of Warcraft projects in this Vulture interview. Check out the highlights below, then be sure to stick around to see Terrence Howard explain how Iron Man killed his career…
When asked about the breakup with Sony Pictures that led to the canning of Spider-Man 4, Raimi explains that the split was surprisingly amicable.
“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. I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all. 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.' And [Sony cochairman] Amy Pascal said, 'Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio's money, and I appreciate your candor.' So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios.”
The filmmaker clearly still feels some affection and attachment to Spider-Man as a whole, and explains that he still hasn’t seen Marc Webb’s reboot from last year.
“I didn't see the Spider-Man reboot. I know Marc Webb is a great director, and I love Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, but as much as I love those people and Amy and Laura Ziskin and Avi Arad, I just don't want to go to my girlfriend's wedding, with all due respect. I guess that means I'm a bad loser? I just love her too much! I just have to wait. It would be hard to see her with someone else… with all those other men!”
When Raimi was linked to a World of Warcraft movie a few years back, gamers got pretty excited – but the project just never managed to come together. We still have no idea what Raimi and writer Robert Rodat envisioned for the film, but the director does explain why their take never got off the ground (it’s now in the hands of Moon filmmaker Duncan Jones).
“Robert Rodat was working on the script, and it was taking a long time. I think they were getting a little antsy at Legendary, the production company. Actually, what happened was even more complicated, so let me go back a little bit. First, they asked me if I wanted to make it, and I said, 'Yes, I love World of Warcraft, and I think it would make a great picture.' So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at [Warcraft developer] Blizzard, and it didn't quite work for me. 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. Those reservations were their way of saying, 'We don't approve this story, and we want to go a different way,' so after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over. And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out. Honestly, I think it was mismanagement on their behalf, not to explain to us that the first story was vetoed long ago. Why did they let us keep working on it? Were they afraid to tell me?
Hopefully they at least got a big fat check for their efforts…
Check out the rest of the Raimi chat over at Vulture.
In other news, Terrence Howard is out doing press for his newest film, Dead Man Down – and he’s spending a lot of time talking about his experience working with Marvel on Iron Man.
When the actor was asked what the worst thing he’d ever seen was, he replied with the following gem:
“Worst thing I witnessed was Iron Man killing my career.”
Boom! That sounds like a gauntlet being dropped to us.
This new level of candidness is a marked change from the actor’s earlier stance on the breakup (inspired by Marvel’s desire to adjust Howard’s salary for Iron Man 2 and reports that director Jon Favreau wasn’t entirely happy with the actor’s performance). Back in 2010, Howard was telling E! that it was a friendly parting of ways.
Whatever the case may be, it appears as though Howard does still feel some ill will toward Marvel for cutting him out of the franchise (he was replaced by Don Cheadle) – and after a comment like that, we figure it’s probably a safe bet that we won’t be seeing the actor in any of Marvel’s upcoming projects.