Having kick-started his comic book movie career with Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man trilogy, director Sam Raimi will soon return to the genre with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness this summer. After directing two legendary wall-crawler outings in the early 2000s, his third outing was plagued by studio interference from Sony, leading to a critical flop and Raimi's departure from the planned fourth installment.
With a primary reputation as a horror director, Raimi's interest in the comic book genre doesn't begin with his Spider-Man trilogy. The filmmaker once pitched a Thor film to Fox alongside Stan Lee in the '90s that never saw the light of day. He also once had ambitions in the DC universe after pursuing the Batman: Forever directing gig that eventually went to Joel Schumacher.
Just a few months before Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness finally releases, Raimi has revealed his dream comic book projects and hinted a Spider-Man return could be on his horizon.
Sam Raimi Shares Interest in Spider-Man Return
During a recent interview with Empire, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness director Sam Raimi revealed which superhero movies he would like to direct next, putting a Spider-Man return on his list.
The legendary director put Batman at the top of his list stating that if he "ever saw the Batsignal up in the air" he would "come running" to the job:
“I’ve always loved Batman. If I ever saw the Batsignal up in the air, I’d come running."
Raimi went on to reveal his interest in tackling 1930s pulp hero The Shadow before stating that "Spider-Man would be ahead of Doctor Strange" on his wish list of future movies to tackle:
"If I heard that deep, gurgling laugh of The Shadow coming from the darkness, I would also tentatively step outside. And Spider-Man would be ahead of Doctor Strange, but I don’t want to put him down the list!”
Spider-Man: No Way Home recently saw Raimi's own wall-crawler return to screen with Tobey Maguire, alongside three of his iconic villainous creations. The director says he was "honored" to see his "old friends" coming back:
“I was honored. It’s like someone said, ’You know your old friends that have passed away? We’ve found a way to bring them back for a brief time.’”
Will Sam Raimi Direct Spider-Man 4?
Sam Raimi has long been interested in the comic book genre, having pitched a Thor movie with 20th Century Fox in the '90s before pursuing the Batman: Forever directing gig when Tim Burton departed the franchise. The horror director finally got his shot at a major superhero in the early 2000s with his legendary Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man trilogy, and he'll take his second dive into the Marvel world this year with Multiverse of Madness.
With The Batman franchise securely in the hands of Matt Reeves, Raimi's Batman directing hopes are unlikely to be fulfilled anytime soon. But now that Tom Holland's Spider-Man trilogy director Jon Watts is shifting focus over to the MCU's Fantastic Four, there may be an opening for him to return to the wall-crawler franchise.
Marvel Studios and Sony are currently preparing for a second trilogy starring Tom Holland's Spider-Man, although the actor has yet to officially sign on for a return. Even once the British star inevitably signs on the dotted line, the studios will have a tough time finding a director to live up to Jon Watts' three-time success.
After Multiverse of Madness inevitably proves to be a hit among fans and at the box office, Marvel may be keen to secure Raimi for more future projects. Obviously, Doctor Strange 3 would be a reasonable assumption, but by the sounds of it, Raimi may be more eager to tackle Spider-Man once again.
Given the immense popularity of Raimi's Peter Parker trilogy and assuming the Doctor Strange sequel ends up a success, the director may be the perfect candidate to direct Tom Holland in Spider-Man 4. But after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's No Way Home returns generated unprecedented reactions from fans, perhaps Sony may have an interest in resurrecting Raimi's original franchise.
Whatever the future holds for Raimi is a mystery, but for now, fans eagerly await Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which hits theaters on May 6, 2022.