Sam Raimi, director: “I never thought that superheroes would dominate the imagination of moviegoers”

Sam Raimi (Royal Oak, 1959) does not skimp on positive definitions when talking about his new titanic work. “Coming back for this movie was everything he expected,” he says in dialogue with Worship, not hesitate. In fact, he didn’t think much of it either some time ago when his agent called him and suggested directing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessthe film to which he refers, already in theaters and that serves as a reason for his encounter with this medium.

A work that rises within the most anticipated of Marvel, but that at the same time is marked by a determining fact outside of fiction: it is the return of the American director after a nine-year break in his career. And all under high expectations; the man in charge has a style idolized by many, an extensive filmography and is well known to those who have surveyed the cinematographic offer over the last four decades.

In fact, for devotees of B-movie, it’s an immovable synonym of the evil dead, the franchise of horror, humor and chainsaws starring Bruce Campbell. He is also the director who in the 90s embraced the western, the drama and was a pioneer in superhero movies when it was just establishing its foundations with films like Spider Man (2002), his most remembered work.

Photo: ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Now, the new film follows Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), who embarks on a journey through alternate realities on the run from a new threat that seems to surpass his mystical might. An adventure driven by América Chávez (Xochitl Gomez) and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), which expands the already extensive spectrum of stories and characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I felt very pressured, or rather expectant to please the fans (…) I tried to meet their expectations by listening to myself, not trying to guess what they wanted, but trying to find out what I thought was great about Dr. Strange, what I wanted to see in a story. I hope that just because I’m a human being and I’m connected to everyone else, the things that I thought might be interesting, the audience will find interesting as well,” he comments.

-20 years ago premiered Spider Manhow different was the experience between making that movie and this one?

It was something different and a little more difficult, because we had to make the tools from scratch. There were no superheroes made in CGI back then, but now there are many companies that can help with technology and lend a hand towards visual effects that just didn’t exist in the year 2000. It’s been a lot easier, but also the expectations are higher today. . The public has seen many effects. How can you use them in a way that serves the story, the character, and remains fresh for the audience?

Photo: ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

-Have you ever imagined that the superhero genre would become so relevant in the industry?

No, I never thought they would dominate the imagination of the general population of moviegoers. But everything in Hollywood, or in the movie business, works based on trends. I think they are very popular now because of the unique care that the creators and supervisors at Marvel have put into protecting the integrity of the characters.

Raimi’s new nuances can be seen on UCM tape 28, his first blockbuster since Oz the powerful (2013). Of course, during his period of silence, the restless spirit of the director of dark-man focused on other tasks, such as reviving his most mythical saga on TV with Ash vs. evil dead in 2015 and guiding independent horror proposals with his company Ghost House Pictures (Do not breathe, the curse is reborn).

Photo: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni

-You. has produced smaller tapes, different from Doctor Strange How important has that work been over the last 10 years?

In the last decade the horror films that I have produced have been very important. I took this time off from directing so I could reinvigorate myself, approach filmmaking with fresh eyes, and learn from these younger filmmakers. So I watched them direct the actors, what was recorded daily, and watched them make decisions that I wouldn’t have made, but turned out to be better than the ones I would have made. I went back to school, so to speak, and spent a lot of time in my garden, learning the “secrets of the universe”.

“After years of studying my young creators, spending time with my family, raising my kids and being in the yard, I’ve been refreshed and feel like I’m now ready to make some movies.”

-Have you ever felt overwhelmed or tired of directing large projects?

I never felt tired. Of course I always felt overwhelmed (laughs). I just didn’t want to get into a position where I didn’t excite the audience, I didn’t want to repeat myself, I wanted to come in with a fresh approach and that’s more than anything why I’ve taken that time away.

Photo: ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

-Today many directors release their films in streaming. What does he think about that? Are you worried about the traditional experience of going to the movies?

I know the last few years have been tough on venue owners and I’m so sorry. But I think the cinema experience is very dynamic, to be able to share a story with your neighbors, people you don’t even know sitting to your left and right, to experience and connect with the human being on the screen, that we all feel our hearts broken in the very moment, or that we laugh at something that we, as a community, find funny, are experiences that streaming cannot give us. So I think as long as the integrity is there to make a great human story on screen, the movie experience is alive and well.

-Would you be interested in developing projects for platforms?

I’ve always been interested in telling stories, but I hope and believe that I’m more geared towards being a theatrical film director. I really want to make entertainment for a big crowd, sit back and see how they experience it.

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