Sam Raimi to meet with Kirsten Dunst about Spider-Man 4

Spider-Man director Sam Raimi told reporters that he will meet with Kirsten Dunst soon to talk about her reprising the role of Mary Jane Watson in the upcoming fourth installment of the superhero franchise.

"I'm hoping that she is going to come aboard, and I've got a meeting coming up with her," Raimi said in a group interview last week in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting his upcoming horror film Drag Me to Hell. "I think she would like to. But I don't want to speak on behalf of her."

Following is an edited version of our interview with Raimi, who also talked about a proposed new Evil Dead movie. Drag Me to Hell opens May 29. Spider-Man 4 is eyeing a May 6, 2011, release.

With the advent of The Dark Knight and Watchmen, do you expect that Spider-Man 4 will be a little darker and edgier, too?

Raimi: Whatever it is, I think will be a direct result of the best style to bring about our writer's screenplay. And as soon as I read that, I will know what that is. Edgy could be a direction, but I don't think it will be applied without really understanding the character's journey from the inside out first and then figuring out the best way to bring that about.

And then, as far as the other influences, making it different from the other films, ... I hope we don't react to these very good and sometimes bad superhero movies around us. I hope that we just [look] ever deeper into the truth of who Peter Parker really is—as a human being and the unique character, and that we celebrate that, which is a lot of the reason I want to make this next picture. I still believe I have an understanding of Peter Parker as the character that I have not quite put onto the screen yet.

I'm not talking about Tobey Maguire's performance, which I very much love; I'm talking about my understanding of the character. I feel like sometimes a kid at the piano recital. And I know this piece really well. I know it by heart. And I sometimes get it right, and sometimes I don't. But I want a chance to really play it the way I feel it. So I'm hoping it's a really good screenplay and I can express the character through that. I've got a really good writer [David Lindsay-Abaire]. ...

I heard that you wrote Drag Me to Hell [with brother Ivan Raimi] a long time ago, as a Bruce Campbell vehicle. ... If you ever make another Evil Dead movie with Bruce, will you keep it low-budget like those original films? And what would the story be?

Raimi: We wrote part one thinking that that was the end, I guess, kind of like that. I think this is the end where it was over, and because we couldn't get any other job in Hollywood, somehow, Bruce Campbell survived into the next Evil Dead 2. So we made Evil Dead 2, and that one was written with the knowledge that we would want to make a third one. So, I'm sorry, what was it that you are asking?

I was just wondering, what would be your storyline for the fourth one? Do you know what that is yet?

Raimi: I don't have that. I don't have just some ideas written down, but I said that last month, and there was a very negative reaction from the fans: "Why does he keep talking about that movie? Where is that movie?" It's just because people ask me, but I don't really have anything at all worked out right now.

What about the idea of limiting yourself to a lower budget for an Evil Dead movie, like on Drag Me to Hell, where you didn't have a lot of cranes, wires, CG and so on?

Raimi: It is it's much more viscerally exciting as a director to work on the lower-budget picture like this. This one particularly. I mean, everyone came at it with so much love and attention to detail, versus a much more professional, top-of-the-line, big-game approach. Which is great, because it's like conducting a big orchestra. On the Spider-Man pictures [we have] the best orchestra in the world, and this is like playing in a jazz band. Each has their own rewards.