Why Spider-Man 4 helmer Sam Raimi heard your complaints about 3

Sam Raimi, who is developing Spider-Man 4, told reporters Monday that he is about four weeks away from reading a screenplay draft from writer David Lindsey-Abaire and added that he's taking fan concerns about the last installment seriously.

Raimi participated in a group interview in Beverly Hills, Calif., where he was promoting his upcoming horror movie Drag Me to Hell. The following Q&A features edited excerpts of the interview. Drag Me to Hell opens May 29.

Spider-Man 3 took a lot of criticism even though it was successful. Do you take that into consideration when you're developing the fourth one?

Raimi: Do I take the criticism into consideration? Yeah, absolutely. I don't make an artistic type of picture that I can say to myself, "Even if this crowd doesn't like it, it stands as a work of art and will be appreciated years later or has meaning without the audience." I simply am an entertainer, and I make films for audience appreciation. When they don't like it, I don't have a leg to stand on. You really want to please people.

What did you particularly take to heart? Would you go back to a single villain?

Raimi: I'm still working on Spider-Man 4. More properly, the writer is writing the screenplay right now. David Lindsay-Abaire, a New York playwright, is in New York supposedly writing. We'll see. I gotta call that guy. He should be done with his script in about four weeks, I think. I think I'd be better prepared to answer that question once I've read that script and know what the movie is.

Have you exhausted Spider-Man 3 co-writer Alvin Sargent?

Raimi: No, I think that Alvin is inexhaustible. He has got so many great stories and characters and great humor and drama within him that it would be impossible. But I wanted to work in a new way and a new direction. I had just read this great play that David Lyndsay-Abaire had written called Rabbit Hole, and I just really wanted to work with him on Peter Parker.

Was a fourth film an easy call?

Raimi: I only wanted to do it with Tobey [Maguire] because my interest is in living the character with Tobey in a deeper way than we ever have lived it before. There comes with the familiarity a knowledge of a lot of the basics. I think it's really going to allow us to delve deeply into him as a human being, which is really why I'm into it this time.

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