Sam Raimi on Why He Dropped Spider-Man 4 and World of Warcraft

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If you go back over a decade ago and look at Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films, you’ll notice that there weren’t many franchises around like there are now. Aside from from the Web Slinger, Brian Singer’s X-Men franchise and Blade was about all there was. Now, we have Marvel with their huge movie-verse, DC is trying to put something together, X-Men is still chugging along like a juggernaut (sorry) and numerous others. As we now know, Raimi opted out of doing a fourth Spider-Man film despite being pre-production and casting phases and Sony went forward with the reboot, which saw Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield step into the spotlight and a new franchise was born.

Recenlty, Raimi sat down to talk about his upcoming film OZ Great and Powerful, teaming with James Franco once again. In the interview with Vulture, the director is asked to speak on his exit from the franchise and why he left.

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.

He also mentions that he was actively pursuing Anne Hathaway to fill the role of  Felicia Hardy in the potential and ill-fated fourth film in his Spider-Man franchise. The other film that Raimi recently dropped out of was the highly desired (by fans, at least) World of Warcraft film that he has been attached to for some time. The film, centered on the massively popular RPG, has been in production for quite a while and is only now gaining more traction. Here’s what he had to say about that project.

Vulture: You’re no longer attached to the World of Warcraft movie, and now Duncan Jones is making it.
Raimi:I loved his movie Moon, and I think he’s a strikingly talented director. I bet that if anyone can do a great job with it, it’s him.

WoW_Box_Art1V: What was the biggest obstacle on that project?
SR: 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?

As you can see, the film was further along that most had thought, but the director/writer team couldn’t come up with something that the video game maker could agree with in regards to the story. However, you can’t blame Blizzard for wanting to make a movie that their fans want and are asking for. As mentioned, Duncan Jones, who wrote and directed the acclaimed Moon, has taken over the project and will likely add some much needed grit and emotion to the film. Many fans of video games know that adaptations of games haven’t translated well, but if there were one to work, it should be this one.

Knowing what we do about the now defunct Spider-Man 4 film, and having seen The Amazing Spider-Man, would you rather have Raimi continued with his project or are you happy with the reboot?

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Source : Vulture