Spider-Man 3 is generally regarded as the weakest of Sam Raimi’s original trilogy of films about the web slinging superhero — even the director himself has said he ‘messed up plenty‘ — but cast member Topher Grace has come to the defense of both the movie and its maker.
Grace, who played Spidey’s many-fanged nemesis Venom (aka Eddie Brock) in SM3, recently told the Hollywood Reporter, ‘I know the movie did well for Sony, but I also know a lot of people weren’t happy with it.’
The actor likened Raimi’s responsibilities on the tentpole film to ‘running a small country’ and added,
‘This summer, there was a movie like that where people are just slamming a big studio movie. I would love to see anyone who’s slamming one of those movies try to fit in Sam Raimi’s position. He was like the president of a small country — by the way, it had the gross national income of a small country too. I have huge respect for him. I think, on a whole, he did such a fantastic job [on that trilogy].’
Released in 2007, Spider-Man 3 received mixed reviews but grossed $891 million at the worldwide box office. (For the sake of comparison, that’s greater than the 2007 GNI of Comoros and less than that of Samoa, according to the World Bank.)
Sony Pictures announced in January 2010 that plans for Spider-Man 4 had been cancelled due to Raimi’s withdrawal from the project. Raimi reportedly ended his participation due to his doubt that he could meet the planned May 6, 2011 release date while at the same time upholding the film creatively. Raimi purportedly went through four iterations of the script with different screenwriters and still “hated it”.
Sony went on to reboot the franchise with director Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, followed by a 2014 sequel. The studio is currently collaborating with Marvel Studios on a third big-screen incarnation of the wall-crawler.