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With One Simple Pitch, Sam Raimi Landed Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man

Despite being far from the studio's first choice, Sam Raimi reveals the pitch that landed him the job directing Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man film.

While it's difficult to envision this seminal picture without Raimi at the helm, he wasn't the studio's first option. Many directors were interviewed for the job, including David Fincher, Chris Columbus, and Tim Burton, the director of Batman. Even James Cameron had prepared a script for a Spider-Man picture at one time during the film's production, but it never saw the light of day. Of course, after considerable deliberation, Raimi was chosen as Spider-Man's, director and the rest is history.

Raimi and former Columbia Pictures Chair Amy Pascal disclose the Spider-Man proposal that landed him the job in a recent story published by Variety to commemorate Spider-20th Man's anniversary. Raimi adds he thought the material needed to be handled by someone who could identify to Peter Parker, who "wasn't this idealized child" who was ridiculed in school and came from a shattered home. Raimi offered a tale that was "a soap opera about a kid who loves a girl" when he walked in for his meeting, according to Pascal, and this was the aspect of Spider-Man that he wanted to focus on. Raimi was offered the position when she agreed that this was the precise film the studio wanted to shoot. See their full quotes below:

Sam Raimi: Peter Parker wasn’t some idealized kid. He came from a broken home and he wasn’t the best-looking. So you could really identify with him. They probably did recognize that we need to have someone tell the story that can also relate to this kid. And I certainly could.

Amy Pascal: He came in and said it’s a soap opera about a boy who loves a girl, and that’s what I want to focus on. John Calley and I just looked at each other and said, “Well, that’s the movie we want to make too."

He definitely delivered on his promise: the bond between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson (Dunst) is central to Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Every narrative featuring a supervillain that Spider-Man must encounter is viewed through the eyes of a person attempting to live a normal life and be the partner he wants to be with the girl he loves while also saving the world. Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy is first and foremost a character study, which may explain why it has been so well received by fans.

This is a tendency that has persisted in the finest superhero films of the previous two decades, and one that Raimi's next superhero feature, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, will hopefully continue. No matter how action-packed a picture gets, the filmmaker understands the significance of focusing on character, and it appears that with this new feature, he is preparing to take fans on yet another unique experience. Fans may always watch Raimi's superhero soap opera Spider-Man till Doctor Strange 2 is out.

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