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Original Spider-Man director Sam Raimi hails 'No Way Home' as 'delightful' and 'refreshing'

The man who gave us Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man trilogy has given No Way Home his seal of approval.

Sam Raimi Doc Ock Green Goblin Header GETTY PRESS

The man who gave us Tobey Maguire's iconic Spider-Man trilogy has officially given his seal of approval to No Way Home. Catching up with Variety, director Sam Raimi praised the return of the original Marvel characters — mainly Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, and Maguire's Peter Parker — he helped bring to the silver screen throughout the early-to-mid 2000s.

“It was so much fun,” he said. “I love No Way Home and the audience I was with went crazy. It was delightful to watch Alfred play his role, and Willem Dafoe, just seeing these guys take it to the next level. And Tobey was awesome as always. The best word I can say is it was refreshing for me."

SYFY WIRE was the first media outlet to get Raimi's exclusive thoughts on Tom Holland's third solo outing as Marvel's friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. Speaking with us not long after the premiere of No Way Home's first trailer, which broke all sorts of viewership records, the filmmaker voiced his excitement over the return of Doc Ock.

“That was beautiful," Raimi admitted on our Zoom call. "He looks great, the animation’s great. I’m assuming it’s not puppeted because when we did Doc Ock, we had puppets and animation for his octopus tentacles. But it was smooth and powerful and I loved his costume they kept [from the original]. I think it’s gonna be a great movie."

SPIDER MAN: NO WAY HOME PRESS

Sadly, he couldn't give up any specifics about his own foray into the MCU: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (penned by Loki head writer and executive producer Michael Waldron, and opening in theaters Friday, May 6). It was the same story with Variety, which also couldn't pry any plot details out of Raimi. With that said, he did address those extensive reshoots that took place at the end of 2021, explaining that the movie is on the road to picture lock.

“I think we’re done, but we just cut everything. We’re just starting to test the picture and we’ll find out if there’s anything that’s got to be picked up. If something’s unclear or another improvement I can make in this short amount of time left, I’ll do it. One thing I know about the Marvel team is they won’t stop. They’ll keep pushing it until it’s as close to being great as it could."

According to Benedict Cumberbatch, who's reprising his role of Doctor Stephen Strange, the purpose of the additional photography was to bag some extra content that the main production wasn't able to nab during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We're working incredibly hard to make a schedule work to realize the full potential of the film — bits we want to do better, but also bits that were just impossible to do on the day because logistics, COVID, etc.," he revealed in November.

Naturally, fans are back in speculation mode, constantly theorizing over what mind-blowing cameos audiences can expect from Strange's magical jaunt across the multiverse. Chris Evans as Captain America and Johnny Storm? The Fantastic Four? The X-Men? Tom Cruise as Iron Man? All of it's on the table right now.

“Marvel’s been a great team to work with,” Raimi finished during his Variety conversation. “I think that was a not-surprising surprise. I’ve been super-supported by the whole Marvel operations, starting at the top with Kevin Feige, and working all the way down to the crews that they work with. [They’re] super professional and have supported me every step of the way.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently playing in theaters everywhere. Over the weekend, it became the sixth highest-grossing movie in box office history, outpacing Jurassic World and Jon Favreau's 2019 remake of The Lion King. If No Way Home is able to move up another spot on the financial wrung, it'll displace Avengers: Infinity War.

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