Before two Amazing Spider-Man movies got fans’ dander up about sub par, over-stuffed, meandering entries into the Wall-Crawler’s cinema canon, there was Spider-Man 3. Following hot on the heels of Spider-Man 2, which was beloved by fans and critics alike, Spider-Man 3, despite its financial success, was an utter misfire. Pick your poison: too many characters, Nu Goblin, Spider-Strut, emo-Peter Parker, the movie’s rendition of Venom… Oh yeah. While many people appreciated Thomas Haden Church’s rendition of Sandman, no one was high-fiving Topher Grace for the way he played Eddie Brock/Venom. Still, Grace recently defended the film on the basis of you don’t know what it takes to make a movie like Spider-Man.
While doing an interview for his new film Truth, Grace recalled the summer he spent working on Spider-Man 3, and how director Sam Raimi had to cope with both huge expectations and the huge production he was stage managing.
“I know the movie did well for Sony, but I also know a lot of people weren’t happy with it. I think Sam is so talented. I remember one time I was on ninth unit. (Laughs.) Ninth unit? It’s like he’s running a small country. This summer, there was a movie like that where people are just slamming a big studio movie. I would love to see anyone who’s slamming one of those movies try to fit in Sam Raimi’s position. He was like the president of a small country — by the way, it had the gross national income of a small country, too. I have huge respect for him. I think, on a whole, he did such a fantastic job [on that trilogy].”
Grace wasn’t served the best by the way Eddie was written in Spider-Man 3, but I always found Raimi’s approach to the character interesting by casting him as Peter Parker-like in terms of appearance and ambition. All-in-all, Venom was a small part of the big problem that was Spider-Man 3, but having said that you do have to admire a talent like Raimi who can coral a massive production, which, as Grace correctly states, is almost its own industry unto itself. And if you think Eddie praying to God to kill Peter is bad, remember the Time Square attack in Amazing 2 where the musical track narrated Electro’s feelings? Yeah…
Spider-Man will return in next summer’s Captain America: Civil War.