Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have been firm friends for 45 years, and they were integral to each others success thanks to the Evil Dead trilogy. The duo have collaborated on twelve projects dating from Raimi’s college film It’s Murder! in 1978 when Campbell played the marquee role of Man on Bicycle to a brief cameo as a guard in 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful.
In fact, the majority of Campbell’s appearances in Raimi’s movies have been very brief, but the most famous are his trifecta of minor supporting characters in the Spider-Man trilogy. The cult favorite actor played the ring announcer for Peter Parker’s wrestling debut in the first installment, a rude usher in the sequel and a waiter in the third chapter, which isn’t what you’d call groundbreaking stuff.
However, in a recent interview when asked to pick which Spider-Man cameo was his favorite, the 62 year-old was adamant that he was in fact the single most important person to be found in the blockbuster superhero series, and he backed it up with a pretty logical explanation.
“Well, I don’t know it’s hard to lineate because they’re so critical. The first one I named Spider-Man. If I wasn’t in the movie a billion-dollar franchise would be called The Human Spider. He wants to get in the theater in the second one, past the snooty usher who won’t let him in because he’s late, because it will spoil the illusion, so I think I’m technically the only character who’s ever defeated Spider-Man. And in part three, a superhero comes to a mortal for help. He wants me to help him propose to his girlfriend so it’s sort of a landmark case where a superhero goes to a mortal for help which is pretty rare. So I can’t delineate because they’re all critical to the Spider-Man universe.”
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Campbell might be reaching a little bit when discussing the importance of his three memorable but ultimately unimportant cameos, although his answers are obviously tongue in cheek. However, when you look at it from his point of view, he’s definitely got a point after coming up with the Spider-Man moniker to add a little bit of razzle dazzle to the unassuming Peter Parker’s first taste of the limelight.
In any case, Sam Raimi’s first movie in nine years will see him tackle Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with the chances of Bruce Campbell dropping by looking very high, and it’ll be interesting to see how important his next cameo turns out to be in the grand scheme of things.