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Sam Raimi explains why he returned to Marvel after Spider-Man 3 backlash

Spider-Man 3
(Image credit: Sony)

Sam Raimi has talked about returning to Marvel after backlash to Spider-Man 3. The director – who will next tackle Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness - previously helmed Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man trilogy, the third of which was badly received by fans and critics.

"I didn't know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of Spider-Man 3. The Internet was getting revved up and people disliked that movie and they sure let me know about it," he told Collider. "So, it was difficult to take back on. But then, I found out that there was an opening on Doctor Strange 2. My agent called me and said, 'They're looking for a director at Marvel for this movie and your name came up. Would you be interested?' And I thought, 'I wonder if I could still do it.'"

"They're really demanding, those types of pictures," the director continued. "And I felt, 'Well, that's reason enough.' I've always really liked the character of Doctor Strange. He was not my favorite, but he was right up there with the favorites. I loved the first movie, I thought [director] Scott Derrickson did a wonderful job, an incredible job. So, I said, 'Yeah.' They left the character in a great place. I didn't think I would be doing another superhero movie. it just happened."

After original director Derrickson stepped away from Doctor Strange 2, Raimi took over directing duties – which co-writer Michael Waldron has said made the movie scarier.

Raimi isn't the only person from the original Spider-Man trilogy returning to Marvel, either. Alfred Molina is back as Doc Ock in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and it looks like Willem DaFoe is reprising his role as Green Goblin, along with Thomas Haden Church as Sandman. Then there's that persistent rumor that Maguire is back as Peter Parker, too…

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness releases March 25, 2022, while Spider-Man: No Way Home lands this December 17. Until then, check out our complete guide to Marvel Phase 4 to see everything else the MCU has in store for us.

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.