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Yes, Sam Raimi! We knew you had it in you! After seeing the magic that was Drag Me to Hell, I think everyone was hoping it marked a return to form for the director, that he'd realized all the indulgent mistakes of Spider-Man 3 and would take that new knowledge on the set of Spider-Man 4.
And it turns, out, that's exactly he was thinking. ""I think having so many villains detracted from the experience. I would agree with the criticism," he said in the print edition of DVD & Blu Ray Review, as reported in The Coventry Telegraph (via Coming Soon). Yes, Sam Raimi has fessed up that he didn't like cramming Venom, Sandman and Green Goblin 2 into the same movie either.
Not only that, but he sees Drag Me to Hell as a learning experience that will carry over into the next Spidey adventure.
"I think I've learned about the importance of getting to the point and the importance of having limitations, and I'm hoping to take that into a production where I'm actually allowed to explore with more of the tools to pull it off with a little more splendor. I hope I don't lose that edge that I've just found. That would be my approach to Spider-Man 4: to get back to the basics."
This is pretty much the best possible news to hear, and the first reason I've been given to look forward to Spider-Man 4 at all. Having rewatched Drag Me to Hell recently and loving it, it's tremendously exciting to think about how Raimi might bring all those skills over into something bigger. I probably feel now how everyone who knew Raimi's work felt going into the original Spider-Man. Not a bad way to be at all.