One of the most annoying things about a film franchise is it inevitably gives everyone involved a superiority complex of sorts. Once they've hit the big time, they suddenly get all coy about their future plans and end up talking about how instead of being extremely lucky to be working with such a talented group of people on such a wonderful film, now they're only interested if everything is precisely to their liking.
Tobey Macguire just did this recently and it reeks of selfishness if you ask me.
For me, there would have to be a great screenplay, a great story, something really worth telling. Some new territory for us to go on with Peter Parker. Sam would have to be involved. The right cast would have to be in place, and then I would consider it.
Considering this "franchise" turned Macguire into a big star, I think personally he's being a bit of a dick here. I'm betting he begged, pleaded, and if necessary would have done the first film for free if it came down to it. Who wouldn't? If the movie does well, you're instantly one of the hottest properties around, and with studios that have an allergic reaction to trying new things, it's a given that they'll milk it for as many sequels as possible -- with or without the talent that make it a success in the first place.
Movies like this don't just launch your career, they can make you wealthy enough to retire ten times over if you just stick with it for a while.
Look at Alien and Aliens, you couldn't ask for two better people than Ridley Scott and James Cameron to do those films, but when their interest waned, it didn't exactly kill off the studios thirst for more. Wise or not, three more films were made (two sequels and a spinoff that is about to have its own sequel) and I don't see that slowing down.
What you also didn't see were the stars of those two films saying crap like "well I might be interested in doing another one if I personally approve over every little thing." If Macguire drags his feet, I doubt Columbia would hesitate to leave him in the dust.
Unfortunately, he's not the only one being a little ungrateful.
For me to come back, I'd have to-when I'm done with all of this-have a breather and then look at the character and say, 'Where does he next have to grow to? Where can he now develop in a meaningful way?'" Raimi said in a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., over the weekend. "And if I could recognize, honestly, a real deficit that he and we could fashion a story [around], ... where this young man could learn his next life lesson in a meaningful way, and that we could make good story out of it, then I would die to direct the picture. ... I honestly don't think I could do a good job unless I understood that about Peter for the fourth one. That's why I can't actually answer that question, either
Never mind that Spider-Man propelled him from quaint horror director to an A-list director and writer that can get any project he wants. Never mind that this franchise continues to make him more each year than most Americans make in their entire life.
I will admit, it's honorable in a way for Raimi not to want to get involved if he doesn't think he can put out a good product, but there is a point at which I could care less what he thinks -- he owes the franchise his A-list career. If they want him back (Macguire included) then he needs to check this crap at the door and say thanks.
And I'm really more pissed at Macguire than Raimi over this, I love Sam Raimi, but Macguire is an actor, and actors above all other trades tend to be egotistical with over inflated senses of self importance. Put one hit under their belt and suddenly they only work at their own leisure, only when they approve of the script, of their fellow actors, of the director, they'll only do the job they are paid obscene amounts of money for if and only if they get their way.
It really does grind at me how ungrateful these people can be. There has to be tens of thousands of writers, directors, and actors that would give up everything they have to be a part of something like this, and these two guys are ready to just piss it away.
The studio [Sony's Columbia Pictures] will make more Spider-Man movies one way or another, and you know, you never know until you're there, so it's hard to say what people's mind frames are
I'd be willing to bet that if Columbia decided to go with someone else, and Macguire were actually convinced this was going to happen, he'd change his tune real quick. Raimi is a different story, he may not have been A-list talent until this, but he had a successful career making great flicks, unlike Macguire, and has maybe earned the right to be a little fruity about it all.
Regardless, this hardly seems to jive with a report a day or two ago that said according to Raimi, Columbia was already thinking about a the fourth and fifth installments right now.
Raimi also confirmed a rumor that he's been considered to direct The Hobbit, since Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is currently in the midst of a legal fight with New Line and sitting in the penalty box.
As for his interest in the film, Raimi repeated that he would only sign on with the OK of Peter Jackson, the Rings director who has been blacklisted by New Line as a result of a lawsuit over Rings revenues. "I'd have to know that he was OK with it," Raimi said. "It's really his picture and Bob Shaye's picture."
That's a nice thing to do between directors, but it's utter missing reality at this point. New Line owns the film rights to the property for the time being, meaning it is their film. Since Jackson is on the outside, he has nothing to do with it whatsoever. Raimi can act like that isn't the case, but it's a delusion. This is New Lines film, period.
Read the rest of the Spider-Man 4 stuff at SCI FI Wire.