that interested him. which was this Spider-Man comic book. And he wanted to tell me all about it: that was my first introduction to Spider-Man. It was memorable. because I wanted his attention and l was getting it with this Spider-Man comic book.‘
Thereafter. Raimi became an avid ‘Spidey‘ fan. reading every issue between the age of eleven and seventeen. when he went to university. Ask Raimi who his favourite artists on the strip are and his response is immediate: ‘1 love [John] Romita and Romita Jr. both of them.’
But thereafter. he gets flustered. ‘I couldn‘t choose.‘ he says. '1 have admired many of the different writers and artists. In 40 years there must have been a tremendous number. Spider-Man has grown beyond Stan Lee and is almost the property of fans around the world. because they‘ve grown up to now tell the stories. That‘s how I figure myself making this picture: the next one who is drawing this month‘s Spider-Man story.’
no. no. no. no. no.“ lies not charismatic. in fact he‘s introverted. He's not an action hero. he‘s a meek fellow. We watch him become a hero. And he becomes a hero. not because of who he is. but because he grows as a human being. from this slightly irresponsible young man to somebody who is willing to push aside his self interests and look beyond himself for the greater good of others [one of the most famous lines from the comic is spoken by Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben: ‘With great power comes great responsibilityf]. So. ljtlst explained who the character was and then Sony began to understand why Tobey was the proper choice.‘
Next problem: making the webslinger swing. Perhaps you recall the ropy l‘)7(ls Spider-Man television show starring The Sound (IfMusic‘s child star Nicholas l-lammond'.’ Remember the effects work'.’ Skinny stuntman in a daft-looking costume being dragged up the side of factory building by a wire'.’ Ropy. not webby.
It might not have been Raimi spinning the tale. though. During the film‘s long gestation period. James ‘l‘m the Titanic king of the world‘ Cameron was set to direct Arnold Schwarzenegger: eh‘.’ Big Arnie playing wee Peter'.’ What gives‘.’ In fact. Raimi‘s biggest challenge making the film — again. this comes back to ‘You‘rc not Superman. you know’ — was to convince the Hollywood money people that his star. Tobey Maguire. was right for the lead.
‘The difference of opinion only came early in the process.’ says Raimi about dealing with the suits
()nce Raimi signed on to the film. he was immediately terrified. ‘1 had no idea how we were going to pull off Spider-Man swinging through the canyons of the city.‘ he says. Raimi toyed with his homespun craly camerawork (which. in his western The Quick And The Dead. resulted in him mounting a camera on a rocket and firing it at Leonardo DiCaprio) until his producer told him he‘d be
‘He becomes a hero because he grows from this
at Sony Corporation. ‘They didn‘t really know who Spider-Man was. although they were very intelligent creative studio executives.‘ he adds hastily. ‘Never- theless. they didn‘t grow up
irresponsible young man to
somebody who is
willing to push aside his self interests’
arrested by the NYPI) boys in blue if he tried something like that. liventually. Raimi‘s visual effects designer. John Dykstra. solved the problem by convincing Raimi a computer generated Spider—Man needn't
reading and loving the character. So. they were thinking: “We‘ll cast a young Superman. Let's get some good- looking muscular guy. Somebody with sex appeal. somebody confident and somebody who has a history of action movies.”
‘I said [and here Raimi slows his speech to a crawl]: "No. no.
necessarily look. as Raimi puts it. ‘like something really artificial that will throw me out of the picture’.
And the CC} Spider—Man flipping and spinning and somersaulting about NYC looks great. Which allowed Raimi to concentrate on what most interested him about the film: the characters. ‘S‘pider-Mun is about trying to realise the real person within a comic book and bring him to life in the guise of Peter Parker.‘ he says. This was different to his earlier lilm. Dark Mun: