Sometime next year, Sony and Marvel will go into production on their new Spider-Man reboot, starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker, the third different incarnation of this beloved comic book character in the past 15 years. One of the reasons Spider-Man was rebooted in the first place was 2007's Spider-Man 3, which was deemed a failure by many, despite taking in $890.8 million worldwide and scoring a 63% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While promoting his new film Truth, which opened in limited release last weekend, Topher Grace, who played the villain Venom in Spider-Man 3, acknowledged that many fans weren't happy with the sequel, although he had nothing but praise for director Sam Raimi.
"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]."
Topher Grace's statement comes several months after Sam Raimi himself admitted that Spider-Man 3 is "awful." The director says he didn't care about any of the characters, and the pressure to raise the stakes after the beloved Spider-Man 2 helped lead to the sequel's demise. The filmmaker believes he should have stuck with the characters' relationships and not try to "top the bar" in the sequel, which featured three different villains, Topher Grace's Venom, Thomas Haden Church's Sandman and James Franco as the Green Goblin.
It's worth noting that Spider-Man 3's $890.8 million worldwide gross was much higher than The Amazing Spider-Man ($757.9 million) and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($708.9 million). Ironically, its worldwide box office total is the highest of the original trilogy, but its domestic take of $336.5 million was the lowest of that series. Given the immense fan base already in place through the Spider-Man comics, the fact that none of the previous five movies have made over $1 billion worldwide is somewhat surprising.
While Topher Grace doesn't specifically mention the movie people were "slamming" this summer by name, he's clearly referring to 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four. That superhero reboot was universally panned by critics (9% on Rotten Tomatoes) and failed at the box office as well, pulling in a paltry $56.1 million domestic and $166.6 million worldwide, from a $120 million budget. What do you think about Topher Grace's statement regarding Spider-Man 3?