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Spider-Man 3: The Film That Destroyed The Tobey Maguire Franchise

Spider-Man: Homecoming is out this week, and if you haven’t seen it yet, please do – it’s pretty great. Sure, it has its problems, but film doesn’t? Spider-Man 3 sure had a few. Well. More than a few. 

At the beginning of the film’s development, Sam Raimi had only written the script to feature Sandman and Harry Osborn as the villains.

Per Raimi:

“But I had worked on the story with my brother Ivan, and primarily it was a story that featured the Sandman. It was really about Peter, Mary Jane, Harry, and that new character. But when we were done, Avi Arad, my partner and the former president of Marvel at the time, said to me, Sam, you’re so, you’re not paying attention to the fans enough. You need to think about them. You’ve made two movies now with your favorite villains, and now you’re about to make another one with your favorite villains. The fans love Venom, he is the fan favorite.”

He also mentioned how he was given creative control on the first two Spider-Man films – but not the third:

“They really gave me a tremendous amount of control on the first two films, actually. But then there were different opinions on the third film and I didn’t really have creative control, so to speak.”

So that makes it pretty clear that Venom was a character that Sony made him include – only to be pretty much wasted in the film. If you haven’t seen the film, you shouldn’t reading this, but if you have – you know that something was off from the get go. Raimi initially wanted to include Vulture in the film, but was convinced by then producer Avi Arad to include Venom.

Raimi had some very blunt comments (the last sentence of the quote anyway) about the matter back at 2006’s San Diego Comic Con:

“I had been objecting to the lack of humanity [in Venom]; in studying him I gained an appreciation for him,” he said. “Venom has always been a character that the fans love; that’s why he’s in here.”

The film itself just isn’t really that great. Say what you want about the previous Spider-Man films in this franchise, but this one just didn’t really have the same feel. Something was off.

It starts off with a little backstory about Flint Marko (Sandman) and without re-hashing the entire film, Spider-Man’s suit eventually gets taken over by the symbiote and turns him into Emo Peter Parker, who is a dickhead.

He does bad-ass things like dance and have emo hair:

He also exposes Eddied Brock, played by Topher Grace – a still mind boggling casting decision, who then wants to kill Peter Parker.

Emo Parker can’t take anymore of the symbiote, as it’s ruining his life, so he rips it off and then it goes to Brock and becomes Venom.

There’s a battle at the end with Spider-Man, Harry and Venom that is pretty underwhelming, as Venom kills Harry (once Harry tries to help Spider-Man) and then Spider-Man kills Venom. That’s the movie a nutshell.

The film’s reviews were mixed from fans and critics alike. It has a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 6.2 rating out of 10 on IMDb – very low in comparison to the previous two films that came before it.

Just from watching the film, you can get the idea that Raimi didn’t want to have the character in the film. You also get a glimpse at what happens when a studio interferes with a director’s vision. The director even said as much in a recent interview:

“It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well. I tried to make it work, but I didn’t really believe in all the characters, so that couldn’t be hidden from people who loved Spider-Man. If the director doesn’t love something, it’s wrong of them to make it when so many other people love it. I think [raising the stakes after Spider-Man 2] was the thinking going into it, and I think that’s what doomed us. I should’ve just stuck with the characters and the relationships and progressed them to the next step and not tried to top the bar.”

Initially, there were still plans to make a fourth Spider-Man film that would have featured Mysterio and Vulture (they even had concept art and storyboards), but Sony decided to pass once Raimi felt he couldn’t meet the deadline that Sony had presented to him.

Once that happened, they rebooted the franchise with Andrew Garfield, it underwhelmed at the Box Office, and now Spider-Man is in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – where he belongs.

One person who is still a huge fan of the original Spider-Man movies, however? Mary Jane herself, Kirsten Dunst. She even went as far as to negatively speak about the new versions of the character:

“We made the best ones, so who cares? I’m like, ‘You make it all you want.’ They’re just milking that cow for money. It’s so obvious. You know what I mean?”

She also said:

“I don’t care. Everyone likes our ‘Spider-Man.’ C’mon, am I right or what? Listen, I’d rather be in the first ones than the new ones.”

Honestly, I liked the first two Spider-Man films. Could it be nostalgia? Probably. After Spider-Man 2, though, it was all downhill from there.


That includes the Andrew Garfield films. Is it just me – or did those films have a very B-Movie-esque feel to them? I honestly don’t really remember much about them aside from Peter Parker crying all the time and C. Thomas Howell having that cringeworthy scene in the film.

But hey, like I mentioned before – at least Spider-Man is back home in the MCU – where he belongs.

Venom, however, is a different story, as Sony is making a solo movie outside of the MCU for the character. It could actually be good, though, as it has Tom Hardy in the starring role, will be Rated-R and will feature Carnage as the main villain.

We’ll see what happens. After all, it can’t be worse than what happened in Spider-Man 3 – can it? 

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