Sam Raimi opens up about his rocky relationship with Venom in ‘Spider-Man 3’

Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 still rank among the greatest superhero movies of all time. Director Sam Raimi perfectly captured and updated the 1960s stories, maintaining Stan Lee’s philosophy and style while adding a unique spin of his own. And then there’s 2007’s Spider-Man 3.

Tales of the tension between Raimi and the studio executives are legendary, with Avi Arad demanding that Venom be added to the movie. This left an already busy movie about Sandman and Harry Osborn becoming the new Green Goblin feeling overstuffed, though at least we got some good gifs of Tobey Maguire dancing out of it.

Now Raimi has looked back at Spider-Man 3 and explained why he didn’t want Venom in the movie. Speaking with Uproxx, he confirmed that he hasn’t seen either of the Tom Hardy movies and said:

It was really more just that I didn’t understand the character that well. It wasn’t close to my heart. The best thing I like about Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Spider-Man is that they made relatable characters that I understand. Even if they were confused, like Norman Osborn, they still have goodness in their heart. They want them to do the right thing, or Peter Parker. Or even J. Jonah Jameson has goodness in his heart.

When I read about Venom, which I hadn’t read as a kid, I had to catch up on it when they wanted him to be in the movie. I didn’t recognize enough humanity within that character to be able to identify with him properly. That’s really what it boils down to.

Raimi’s MCU debut Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is picking up great reviews ahead of its release this Friday, so the famed horror director may soon be tapped again by Marvel for some more work. But Raimi set tongues wagging recently when he said he’d jump at the chance to reunite with Tobey Maguire for Spider-Man 4.

Perhaps this actually happening is unlikely, though the wave of positivity shown by audiences to Tobey Maguire’s appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home should give Sony and Marvel Studios some evidence that it’d be a hit.

But before all that will come an insanely fun-looking trip through the weirder corners of the Marvel multiverse in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will hit theaters on May 6.