Sam Raimi was told there were “about 18 directors” Sony Pictures would “rather have” than him helming Spider-Man — before landing the job.
Raimi, 62, has revealed how he attended an interview for the job with Sony bosses, during which he spoke for an hour about the comics and then abruptly stopped talking, thanked the executives, and got up to leave because he “didn’t want to overstay [his] welcome”.
Speaking to Variety in a story celebrating Spider-Man‘s 20th anniversary, Raimi said: “My agent, Josh Donen, said, ‘They want to be honest with you. There’s about 18 directors they’d rather have than you on a list.’
“And I said, ‘Okay, well, tell them I’m number 19.’
“I was very aware of how they didn’t want me. So I really didn’t want to also overstay my welcome.”
Marvel Studios’ then president and CEO Avi Arad admitted the film’s bosses knew Raimi wasn’t in it for the money.
He said: “Sam was unique. Sam didn’t come into it for money. Sam was a guy who needed to make it.”
Raimi went on to helm Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3 from 2002 to 2007, starring Tobey Maguire as the web-slinging superhero and Kirsten Dunst as his love interest Mary Jane Watson.
Earlier this month, the Evil Dead auteur admitted he would love to make more Spider-Man films with Maguire and Dunst.
He told Fandango: “I love Tobey. I love Kirsten Dunst. I think all things are possible.
“I’d love to come back and tell another tale, especially with the great management they’ve got there.
“I don’t know what their thoughts are about that. I haven’t really pursued that. But it sounds beautiful.
“Even if it wasn’t a Spider-Man movie, I’d love to work with Tobey again, in a different role.”