Doctor Strange 2 Director Sam Raimi Defends Spider-Man 3's 'Bully Maguire'
Over a decade a half after Spider-Man 3, director Sam Raimi, whose upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is nearing release, continues to defend Peter Parker's infamous dance sequence and dorky, symbiote-driven scenes. The very scenes that resulted in the widely-used "Bully Maguire" meme.
In an interview with Fandom, Raimi was asked about the inclusion of the scene in which Peter dances down the streets of New York, possessed by the Venom symbiote. The director first commented on the gifs and memes, stating, "It’s hysterical to watch that stuff." He then explained that it was never meant to be a serious scene. "It was Peter Parker’s version — this lame kid — of what it must be like to be his evil self. But he’s so whipped. He’s so out of it that that’s his take on it. And that didn’t go over well with the audience. But that’s what we were trying to do. So I’m not surprised that people… I’m glad people find it funny! We we wanted it to be fun."
Actor Tobey Maguire has never expressed his thoughts on the meme, though he has previously provided his explanation of the sequence in commentary available on the Spider-Man 3 DVD, alongside Raimi and co-stars. There, Raimi and Maguire confirmed the montage surrounding the scene was inserted quite late in post-production and there was uncertainty surrounding the street scene and the cookie scene, in which Peter eats cookies baked by his landlord's daughter, Ursula.
Released in 2007, Spider-Man 3 was not originally planned to be the final film, but after the fourth instalment was abandoned, Sony Pictures released a reboot with 2012's Amazing Spider-Man. Unlike its iconic predecessor, Spider-Man 3 garnered mixed reviews from critics. However, it was a hit at the box office, grossing $894.9 million worldwide on a budget of approximately $350 million.
However, Raimi previously admitted he felt the final product was awful. In 2014, the Spider-Man 3 director stated, "It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well. I tried to make it work, but I didn’t really believe in all the characters, so that couldn’t be hidden from people who loved Spider-Man." But that hasn't necessarily deterred him from directing future superhero films.
When asked about returning to the fourth instalment in his Spider-Man saga, Raimi recently teased, "Anything is possible [...] in the Marvel universe, any team-ups. I love Tobey. I love Kirsten Dunst. I think all things are possible." He later said, "I currently don't have any plans to make Spider-Man 4... And they're so successful with the new Spider-Man series that I don't know if that's gonna happen or not. I haven't pursued that."
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing in theaters now.