April 12, 2024

Sam Raimi wants to direct Secret Wars, which is why it’s a terrible idea

Sam Raimi is a Marvel legend who gave us two of the best superhero movies of all time, but you can’t trust him to make Secret Wars.

It is hardly controversial to call Sam Raimi one of the most talented filmmakers of his generation. As a young man, he pushed the boundaries of good taste with his splatter-speckled Evil Dead films (some of the best horror films of all time), and when he was at the height of his powers, he gave us Spider-Man 1 and 2 .

While not the first superhero films of the new millennium – X-Men (2000) gets that special honor – the first two Spider-Man films were crucial in helping the fledgling genre establish its reputation and perhaps laid the basis for films like Christopher Nolan. Dark Knight trilogy and the wider MCU.

The granddaddy of superhero movies

It’s no exaggeration to say that Hollywood and the superhero genre as a whole would be very different if it weren’t for Raimi’s Spider-Man films. But despite his incredible contributions to the genre that keeps the spandex business afloat, the news that Raimi is interested in directing Avengers Secret Wars – the culmination of Marvel’s Multiverse Saga – should have anyone invested in the ongoing storyline of the MCU breaks out in a cold sweat.

What’s the problem? Well, there are a few problems with Raimi taking the reins of what should be the greatest superhero movie of all time. The first is the most obvious: his last superhero film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, was at best fine and at worst an annoying avalanche of Easter eggs and references.

Sure, there were a few moments of his signature magical touch – the Deadite-inspired ghosts. Strange summons during the climax as he plays his own rotting corpse as a puppet, his vintage Raimi. Still, it felt like a Raimi film built by committee rather than the cohesive vision of a single filmmaker, and the result is less of a camel and more of a superhero movie with a hump. It kind of begs the question: what’s the point of hiring an author like Raimi if you’re going to hold his hand the whole time and make him conform to a pre-established look?

Spider-Man battles the Green Goblin in Spider-Man (2002)

Missing magic

But honestly, that’s besides the point. While I was disappointed that Raimi wasn’t allowed to have more fun with the Bleecker Street magician’s second film, it worked within the boundaries of what Marvel Studios wanted, and a lot of people had fun with it. However, that may not be true when he takes on the Avengers. You see, Raimi is actually a huge comic book fan. He loved Steve Ditko’s and Stan Lee’s run on The Amazing Spider-Man and has talked ad nauseam about his love of Ditko’s Doctor Strange drawings.

That’s why he wanted to work on these films; he genuinely enjoyed the source material. But here’s the thing: if he doesn’t care about something, it shows. Take Spider-Man 3 for example. Raimi has admitted that he doesn’t care about Venom’s character, and why should he? Raimi wasn’t reading comics when that character was introduced, and he has no attachment to Spidey’s nastiest villain.

That’s part of why Spider-Man 3 is bad (I’m sorry, Gen-Z readers, but being “memeable” doesn’t make a movie good) because Raimi had to be forced to include the character for commercial reasons , and he couldn’t make it work with his vision of Spider-Man, which is rooted in the early Ditko and Lee stories.

The same goes for Multiverse of Madness; it’s clear that Raimi loves the Ditko-inspired weird visuals, but is less interested in the multiverse stuff. That’s why it feels like the movie stops halfway through so you can walk through the equivalent of an autograph comic strip. Sure, it’s nice to see John Krasinski in Fantastic Four pajamas, but it’s ultimately a somewhat cynical ploy to get MCU stans and the terminal online to pat themselves on the back about fan casting.

Raimi didn’t even bother watching WandaVision before making Multiverse of Madness, despite it being the next chapter in Wanda’s story. Why? Well, he trusted his team to steer him in the right direction, which is commendable, but echoes the sentiment that if Raimi isn’t interested in something, he just won’t bother with it.

A better class of heroes…

That’s not what you want when someone puts the bow on a saga. Say what you will about the Russo Bros’ recent work, but there was a sense in their MCU films that they were committed to that universe and wanted to deliver the most satisfying conclusion to the Infinity Saga. I don’t think you can say the same about Raimi, and I can’t see him sitting through all of Phases 4 and 5 and properly engaging with the material.

I don’t doubt he’s sincere when he says he wants to make an Avengers movie, but I don’t think he wants to make the Avengers movie that fans are demanding.

Maybe this is the wrong way to approach filmmaking, and Marvel needs to take a risk on Raimi. It just seems to me that given the relatively poor reception of Marvel’s Phase 4 and Phase 5 thus far, Marvel can’t afford to take that opportunity. Finally, there’s a selfish reason for wanting Raimi to stay away from the Avengers: I want him to make more horror movies and that Spider-Man 4 movie with Tobey Maguire!

Do you love all things Marvel? Then check out our guide on how to best watch all the Marvel films in order. We also have detailed articles covering everything you could want to know about Deadpool 3 release date and Thunderbolts release date. As if that weren’t enough, we’ve also put together a list of the best new movies hitting streaming this month.

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