Director Sam Raimi helped usher in a new era of blockbuster filmmaking in 2002 with the debut of Spider-Man. The Tobey Maguire franchise-starter broke box office records and set a new standard for superheroes on the big screen. Raimi is now set to make his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe 20 years later, with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. This beloved Marvel franchise likely wouldn't exist without Spider-Man's success, but Raimi doesn't believe he's the only one that deserves the credit for the groundbreaking achievement.
While speaking with /Film ahead of the Multiverse of Madness debut this week, Raimi was asked about his work on Spider-Man two decades ago and how it has impacted superhero movies today. According to Raimi, producers Avi Arad and Kevin Feige deserve just as much credit, if not more.
"I don't think about it like that, because the bigger picture is Avi Arad was really trying to get Marvel Studios going, Kevin Feige was his assistant at that time and he was heading Marvel Studios. He was the producer behind Blade, X-Men, and Spider-Man. He was trying to get the Marvel Universe, Marvel Studios going, and he did a wonderful job. He even worked on Iron Man and others. And then Kevin naturally took over as his assistant. I was fortunate to be able to direct the Spider-Man movies."
"But it really was a lot of people," Raimi continued. "It was the people at Sony Pictures – Amy Pascal and John Kelly were the executives there that went to the trouble of clearing the Spider-Man rights to be made into a movie. There was a lot of people. I think it was less about the individuals than it was just time finally for Stan Lee and Steve Ditko [and] Marvel's great cast of characters to break onto the big screen. I think it's about that generation of readers, who had finally grown up to be the age of executives and filmmakers, and they knew what the best stories out there were – that they were Marvel comics."
Raimi made three Spider-Man movies for Sony from 2002 through 2007. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be his first superhero movie since.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness arrives in theaters this Friday.