Unlike quite a few snow-sniffing filmmakers, ones who seemingly just adopt projects so they can eradicate the possibility of someone else making a win of their loss, Sam Raimi usually only commits to projects he can envision himself bringing ‘something’ to. That’s how I see it, anyway. And that rule, the ‘if you can bring something to it, do it’ one, is essentially the reason we only ever get a new Raimi project every few years (“Oz : The Great & Powerful” is Raimi’s first since “Drag Me to Hell”) but more so, are yet to see a fourth “Evil Dead”; Sam’s not a ‘just for the sake of it, let’s do it’ guy. Many are. Many claim not to be.
Not to say Raimi hasn’t been attached to dozens of projects that have never come to fruition, he has. Thing is, Raimi felt he could bring something to each of those projects, and was enthusiastic about each of them for different reasons; if they fell apart, it wasn’t necessarily because he couldn’t make them happen – in most cases, he walked because things went awry, or his original vision for said film was mucked. For instance, he was a huge fan of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, and was enthusiastic about doing a spy film, so was – for a while there – toying with the idea of doing a Jack Ryan reboot movie (long before Kenneth Branagh came aboard). And the only reason Raimi abandoned the project was because a fourth “Spider-Man” movie was on the cards, and the filmmaker felt he owed ‘Spider-Man’ fans – having disappointed them with “Spider-Man 3″ – so chose to do it over the Ryan project.
“World of Warcraft” is another project Raimi was very excited about doing. It’s still happening, but with “Moon” director Duncan Jones steering the ship. What happened there is that the filmmaker felt uneasy about how production co was handling things. As a result, he felt he had to walk away.
Raimi spoke of the “WOW” kerfuffle in a new interview with Vulture.
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??
I remember speaking to Raimi shortly before “Spider-Man 4″ was to get underway and I could tell he was under an enormous amount of pressure to get that film prepped, shot and ready for a release date that was already set. There was some definite worry in his voice.
Not surprisingly, and despite having lined up a good cast – including Anne Hathaway and John Malkovich as the villains – for the third sequel to his “Spider-Man”, Raimi quit the project. He wasn’t going to be able to deliver something decent in the amount of time he had to do it so decided not to do it at all. And much respect to him.
In the same interview with Vulture, Raimi explained that he and Sony parted ways very amicably.
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 co-chairman] 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.”
Raimi’s “Oz : The Great & Powerful”, which I really enjoyed, opens this week.
- Routh gets Lost, West in the Money - February 26, 2015
- Billy Lynn nabs Alwyn, eyes Hedlund - February 26, 2015
- Spidey could remain Peter Parker after all - February 26, 2015
- Virginia Madsen to experience Joy - February 26, 2015
- Voges, Zombie reunite for 31 - February 26, 2015
- Schwarzenegger back for Terminator 6 - February 26, 2015
- When does the next Star Wars trailer hit? - February 26, 2015
- Disney XD’s Ducktales reboot sure to be a Quack-up! - February 26, 2015
- Top Five - February 26, 2015
- Ghostbusters reboot inspired by… The Walking Dead!? - February 26, 2015
Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.