Director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell go way back. After shooting The Evil Dead together in 1979, Campbell has gone on to appear in all of Raimi's directorial efforts. He had a memorable cameo in each of the three Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies, constantly foiling Peter Parker at wrestling rings, theaters, or restaurants. Campbell and Raimi created perhaps their most memorable cameo yet in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, with the debut of fan-favorite street vendor Pizza Poppa.
Campbell appeared in an alternate universe as a man selling pizza balls on the sidewalk. Pizza Poppa, who always gets paid, stole the scene and spend multiple weeks punching himself in the face, thanks to a spell from Doctor Strange. Following the film's release, Campbell told The Hollywood Reporter that he was surprised to see his role make it into the movie, given all of the changes and rewrites.
"I can't believe I made it into the movie," Campbell said. "I used to joke that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn't sure he was going to be in the movie because they were constantly reworking the storyline and Sam had to shoot additional stuff that wasn't in the original script, so it's a shell game."
Campbell went on to joke about his criteria for the cameos Raimi creates for him in Marvel movies. The actor's only requirements are that he somehow gets in the way of the main hero and appears at pivotal time. Pizza Poppa accomplishes both.
"You know, the only criteria I ever need is that the character has to be pivotal. In the first Spider-Man, I named Spider-Man. In the second one, I'm the only character to defeat Spider-Man by not letting him into the theater. And in Spider-Man 3, he comes to the maître d' for help with his proposal to Mary Jane," Campbell explained. "How many superheroes come to mortals for help? Like, zero. So, I set a precedent. And if you do put me in there, it'll change the movie forever. Sam is aware that I've made his movies iconic."
He continued, "The other criteria, honestly, is the only reason to be in these movies, and that is to harass the star. If you look at all the Spider-Man films, all I'm there for is to fuck with the lead guy. That's it. I belittle him, make fun of him, confront him and harass him. Of course, he's always victorious, but you have to create obstacles for your hero and make the journey harder. That's my job."
If Raimi does return for another movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will be interesting to see whether he brings back Pizza Poppa or gives Raimi a brand new role, like he did in the Spider-Man films.
Where does Pizza Poppa rank amongst Bruce Campbell's Sam Raimi cameos? Let us know in the comments!0comments