In our review of SPIDER-MAN 3 we noted that the Venom storyline didn’t seem to be developed as much as it should. Reading this interview with director Sam Raimi at CBR supplied some clues as to what happened along the way.

Q: I understand you were reticent about having all of these villains in the film.

A: There are so many fears I have making this movie, that’s just one of them. That’s just one in my vast array of things that I’m terrified people won’t like. I had worked on the story with my brother Ivan. Primarily, it was a story that featured the Sandman. It was really about Peter, Mary Jane, Harry and that new character. When we were done, Avi Arad, my partner and president of Marvel at the time, came to me and said “Sam, you’re not paying attention to the fans enough. You need to think about them. You’ve made two movies now with your favorite villains and now you’re about to make another one with your favorite villains. The fans love Venom. He is the fan-favorite. All Spider-Man readers love Venom. Even though you came from ’70s Spider-Man, this is what the kids are thinking about. Please incorporate Venom. Listen to the fans now.”

So, that’s really where I realized, “Okay, maybe I don’t have the whole Spider-Man universe in my head. Maybe I need to learn more about Spider-Man. And maybe incorporate this villain and make some of the real die-hard fans finally happy.”

When you see the love and care that is lavished on every frame of Sandman in SPIDEY 3, as opposed to the much briefer, somewhat broad approach to Eddie Brock/Venom, you see that perhaps Raimi’s heart wasn’t in it as much as it might have been? At any rate this might explain the many many plot threads that crowd the movie.

Just to make it clear, I LIKED SPIDEY 3. I didn’t think it was as crisp as 1 and 2, but it is by no means a bad film. But just to repeat my familiar refrain,IT IS TIME FOR EVIL DEAD 4! As his hilarious cameo in SPIDEY 3 shows, Bruce Campbell has aged line fine wine or teak and can make just about anything funny these days. IT IS TIME!!!!!!


  1. I’m somewhat relieved that the Venom plot was tacked on. I’ve hated that villian since the first day it came out. It marks the period when I dropped Spiderman till the Bendis version came out.

  2. Spidey 3 isn’t bad, it’s just a mess. Somewhere there is a cut that is either 30 minutes shorter or 30 minutes longer that is really good. All the elements are there, just not enough of any of them.

  3. Sam Raimi reportedly said he asked Ivan to write ED4.

    “I’ll believe when I see it, especially since writer/director Sam Raimi’s been saying it for years now, but Spider-Man director tells The Herald Sun that he’s trying to recruit his brother Ivan to write the screenplay for a third sequel to his indy horror classic The Evil Dead, “I’m trying to get my brother, Ivan, to write the screenplay with me [for The Evil Dead 4]. He wrote Army of Darkness, the third one, with me and we have been talking about another one, but we haven’t started work on it”, says Raimi. Does this mean we won’t be seeing the remake for the original Evil Dead? I hope so… write your thoughts inside!”

  4. I’m quite relieved to hear the Venom story was tacked on by the producers. It restores my faith in Raimi. The movie would’ve been a lot better with the Sandman focus. Plus, yeah not all of us love Venom and there are a whole hell of a lot of villains I would have loved to see make it to the big screen before Venom (Vulture, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter, Hobgoblin, the Chameleon, and the Black Cat to name a few).

  5. I thought it was a good movie. Not as good and #2 and less villains would have improved it. Venom should have been a movie all on it’s own.

    Here’s hoping Avi is listening to the fans NOW and learns not to repeat the same mistakes that took the previous Batman franchise down, jamming too many villains into the movies.

  6. committee writing sucks ass, but hey, it’s a studio movie in the end – with an author that serves the property well – but a studio movie nevertheless and with truckloads of money gambled…

    but yeah, Venom could have a movie sequel to be shown. as a fan I’d love to see Bruce as Mysterio, myself… it’d make for great hallucination scenes with Raimi onboard.

    but yeah, Evil Dead 4!

  7. I loathe the Venom character, he should never have been shoe-horned into the story.

    It’s depressing that Avi Arad didn’t have enough faith in Raimi (especially after delivering two great Spidey films) to pursue his own vision and stick with Sandman as the sole focus.

    Me, I can’t wait for the inevitable fan edit which removes Venom from the film entirely.

  8. As soon as I heard that so many villains would be in this movie, I knew that the Law Of Batman and Robin would apply. Too many villains thins conflict, creates too many plot lines, and steals the spotlight from The Hero.
    I don’t care for Venom, but he offers a villain who knows the secret identity, and who can possibly be better than the hero (see: Superman II). SM3 should have ONLY been about the black costume, the effect on who wears it, how power can corrupt, and public perception of heroics. You also get two plots in one: Man Vs. Himself, and Man Vs. Nemesis.
    And they should have used Col. Jameson as the catalyst for bringing the suit to earth; the Blue Area of the moon is explored, the suit stows away on the ship, Spidey rescues the reentry spacecraft, Jonah is angry, the suit selects Peter. Venom gets the suit, ends justify the means, takes vigilante justice to extreme, wins public approval, and Spidey must battle public opinion as well.

  9. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me Venom and Sandman teaming up. Venom and the Gobin? Yes. Both hate Peter and can’t seem to kill him on their own. Sandman? Um… no real grudge there.

    I really did enjoy the film and was glad to see some strange risky scenes like the jazz club dance and Peter trying to charm the gals on the street. When do you see scenes like that in a superhero film? As good as Batman Begins was everything was by the numbers. This flick got quirky. And that works with Spider-Man.

  10. Yeah, something I noticed in Spider-Man 2. There is a scene where Spidey is watching from a distance, and he notices John Jameson Jr, jumping from a doc to get to Mary Jane. The jump is CGI and a little out there for a normal person, and Toby flashes a question mark expression.

    I thought they were just going to make John Jameson Venom.

  11. The Sandman story was great -the Venom story was not. Sam Raimi should have gone with his first instinct and ignored Avi Arad’s bad advice after all it is Sam’s vision that made the first 2 films big hits. Lesson for all directors/artists -go with your gut even if you have to ignore and over-ride some other execs.

  12. Yes: Spider-Man 3 is not a bad movie, but is not better than the two before. Even when Sandman is not of my favorites, his story in the movie is great and the Venom one is as shallow as the character.
    So, yeah, Mr. Raimi we are waiting for Evil Dead 4, not Army of Darkness 4. And please, Mr. Avi Arad, just put the money and let someone else do the work. Ok?

  13. I think the animated series did just that … Col. Jameson’s shuttle brings the symbiote back to earth. Spidey encounters the symbiote while recuing the astronauts. Naturally Jameson thinks Spider-Man is responsible for the mishap, or doesn’t care and just wants to sell newspapers.

    It would have made more sense. I mean, it was quite a coincidence that Pete and Mary Jane were in the right spot when that meteor landed. The animated series had it right … the symbiote create a situation that Spider-Man must respond to.

    At this point — since I always enjoyed “Captured By J. Jonah Jameson” both the original comic and the 1960s cartoon — I would have used Jameson’s accusation as a method to introduce the Spider Slayer! Even if the robot were just a brief plotline, wrapped up within 20 minutes, it would have been cool to see the robot chasing Spidey. It would have given us an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the Daily Bugle staff for a longer period of time. Imagine JJ (the great JK Simmons) at his desk, guided by Harry Osborn, chasing Spider-Man through New York from the comfort of his desk.

    Once Spidey defeats the robot, Jameson could fling the laptop/consul/whatever across the room and denounce Osborn as an idiot (passing the buck for his own failure). Harry tried the circutous route … but then he’s ready to go after him personally as the Goblin.

    Just the frustrated comci/screen-writer side of my brain thinking aloud.

  14. seeing the film for a second time, i liked the venom story much more. sure, he’s a bit tacked on, but as tacked on characters go, he was still remarkably well fleshed out. topher did a great job i thought, and the part where he asks god to off pete is both disturbing and hilarious.
    yes, this one had a lot going on, but i thought it was as good as the first one, maybe even a bit better.
    the venom/sandman team up was definitely rushed, but it made sense. sandman’s grudge against spidey was that spidey kept stopping him from getting the money he needed for his daughter. oh, and spidey, y’know, tried to KILL HIM.

  15. Bruce Campbell has indeed aged like fine wine or teak. He’s gotten funnier, and more entertaining. There should be more Evil Dead.