Spider-Man Director Sam Raimi Looks Back on the Internet Backlash to Peter’s Organic Web Shooters

Sam Raimi’s contributions to the world of superhero movies are back into the spotlight, with the director returning to that world with next month’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Raimi first entered the Marvel universe with 2002’s Spiderman, the blockbuster film that made Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) into a global phenomenon. The film was praised for a number of aesthetic and narrative reasons — but apparently, one was met with vitriol from fans. In a recent oral history with variety, Raimi and screenwriter David Koepp spoke about the decision to keep Peter’s web-shooters organic, a decision that initially spun out of James Cameron’s script for the film. As the report reveals, after the web-shooter detail was initially leaked on message boards, it was not well received by fans.

“I was aware of it, and it wasn’t a good thing for me,” Raimi said of the reaction. “I didn’t have a great experience of the fans.”

“There was an internet culture that was just starting to flex its ability to be ugly,” Koepp echoed. “That was probably my first experience with what we’ve come to deal with all the time now, which is the distraction of people telling you what they think your movie should be before, during and after you’re making it, and doing it very publicly.”

“People had a lot of opinions about what we should and shouldn’t do, who we should hire as the director, who we should hire to play Peter, everything else,” producer Amy Pascal echoed. “But it was nothing in comparison to what it’s like now.”

“I don’t think that the fans thought I was the right person to direct Spiderman in general,” Raimi added. “And then the organic web shooters – when the fans found out I was going that way, they tried to have me removed from the picture.”

“I stand by the organic web slingers as a pretty cool idea,” Koepp revealed. “Wasn’t even my idea.”

Luckily, fans will get to see Raimi put his stamp back onto the Marvel universe with Multiverse of Madness — a challenge that he was willing to take on again.

“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,” Raimi told Collider back in 2021. “But then, I found out that there was an opening on Doctor Strange 2. 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.'”

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