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Raimi is best known for directing the original Spider-Man trilogy, which starred Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker opposite Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane.
The first two films by Raimi – Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004) – were received mostly positively. However, Spider-Man 3 (2007) was met with comparatively poor reviews from critics and fans.
Raimi has said that the “awful” experience made him hesitate before agreeing to direct the sequel to the 2016 Marvel film Doctor Strange.
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness film is slated for release in 2022, and sees Benedict Cumberbatch reprise his MCU role as the titular character.
“I didn’t know that I could face it again because it was so awful, having been the director of Spider-Man 3,” Raimi told Collider. “The internet was getting revved up and people disliked that movie and they sure let me know about it. So, it was difficult to take on.”
He added: “But then, I found out there was an opening on Doctor Strange 2. My agent called me and said, ‘They’re looking for a director at Marvel for this movie and your name came up. Would you be interested?’
“And I thought, ‘I wonder if I could still do it.’ They’re really demanding, those types of pictures. And I felt, ‘Well, that’s reason enough.’”
Raimi went on to say that he “loved the first movie” and that the film’s director Scott Derrickson “did a wonderful job, an incredible job”.
“So, I said, ‘Yeah.’ They left that character in a great place. I didn’t think I would be doing another superhero movie. It just happened.”
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will be Raimi’s first major film in nine years.
Following the release of Spider-Man 3, the director worked on 2009’s Drag Me to Hell and 2013’s Oz the Great and Powerful before turning his attention to TV instead.
The Doctor Strange sequel will see the return of franchise stars Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It is scheduled for release on 25 March 2022.