Later in the week you'll be able to read a rather nifty little piece in which Sam Raimi offers us his latest insights and observations on filmmaking, the things he discovered while putting together Oz The Great and Powerful. When Raimi and I got together for that conversation, however, we did also talk about a few other things, including his surprise plans for an Evil Dead 4.
So, at the time of this conversation, Raimi had slept on his original comments and talked more with his brother. He was now also able to dig a little deeper into exactly how he feels about returning to the Evil Dead series.
So here's what he told me.
Those guys made me say that. I am thinking about it but a crowd goes "Come on Sam, do it!" so I said "Okay, I guess I was talking to my brother about it." But I feel like I was pushed into saying that, a little bit. In the hallway today I joked with Ivan [his brother] "Get working on that script!" but I really don't know.
I'm afraid that every time I talk about it people get really mad at me when I don't follow through with it. I would like to work on the script over the summer, that much is true. But the reason to come back and do it again is only that they're making me, those fans.
I was saying to Ivan "Why do they stay on this thing? Why do they keep at it?" and he said "They want to make a movie. You're a filmmaker and your fans are asking you to make the movie. What are you, an idiot? Make the movie!" I guess there's something I don't see. It makes sense when Ivan says it… but I didn't have a tremendous amount of passion until right now to bring to it.
I love working with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, I have so much fun making those movies, so… but the fans are really forcing me into it.
I asked Raimi if there's something else he'd rather do and was surprised by the candor of his answer.
No, I don't really have something else.
Oz the Great and Powerful was made for passion and love of L. Frank Baum's other world. Before that, Raimi made the Spider-Man movies out of his enthusiasm and affection for that character. I think it's pretty clear which itches were scratched by Drag Me to Hell – the ones that release the puss and goop as you scratch them.
Sam Raimi has been choosing projects that really grab him, that shake him up. It's the most respectable position he could be in. So now I hope that he finds something in Evil Dead 4 that lights his fire… and if he doesn't, even after working with his brother on a script, then I hope he finds something else that gets him excited instead.
Oz the Great and Powerful is out on Friday March 8th. I discussed it at length in this week's podcast and if you keep an eye on the site this week, you'll see plenty more from Raimi popping up.