Why We Still Need SPIDER-MAN 3.1

Why We Still Need SPIDER-MAN 3.1

Seven years on, we are still waiting. Here is what we are waiting for...

The story of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 is a long and frustrating one. After two massively successful instalments, the Spider-Man franchise was the reigning king of the super-hero film genre. A third film was a no-brainer, and Raimi & co. set about developing Spider-Man 3 with a May 2007 release date. You might think that with two critical darlings and box-office smashes under his belt, the director had earned the faith of the studio by this point. You'd be wrong.

A story was broken that would pay off plot threads from the preceding films. Harry Osborne assuming his father's mantle was inevitable, and it was decided that a film about revenge and forgiveness would incorporate this plot and give Peter Parker another valuable lesson to learn. Here is the cover letter for the original 30-page story outline for Spider-Man 3, handed in by Sam and Ivan Raimi August 10th, 2004:

The studio executives were happy. The story provided a good amount of human drama and super-human conflict. The new villains would add the appropriate visual flair, and the continuing stories of Peter and his friends would go to new and interesting depths. There was one issue that reared its head however: Venom.

Eager to cash-in on a fan favourite character, the producers became fixated with the idea of inserting Eddie Brock and the symbiote into the story. Raimi was a fan of the earlier issues of the comic; unfamiliar with this character, and not particularly interested. The producers persisted. With a release date looming, script meetings and revisions would occur over the next few months, and Venom would often be the subject of debate. Sam and Ivan Raimi continued to develop their ideas for a Sandman/Vulture team-up, while Alvin Sargent worked separately on a story containing Venom. By March 2005, scripts were merged and Vulture was officially dropped in favour of Venom, but not before the character was story-boarded and Ben Kingsley was lined up for the part. If you ever thought Spider-Man 3 was juggling too many plots, this would be why.

But enough about what the script could have been, lets talk about what it was. The first completed screenplay was unveiled in June 2005 and underwent changes all the way through to June 2006, three weeks before shooting wrapped. Anyone who has read the official novelization -based on the original screenplay- will be aware of just how much material was cut from the theatrical release. While it is unclear just how much of this was shot, there is sufficient evidence that a number of significant sequences were indeed filmed and ended up on the cutting room floor. And there was some really good stuff.

The character that appears to have suffered the most from the cull is Sandman. Several of his scenes were cut, and those choices are baffling. The first scene took place after he robbed an armoured car during the Spider-Man celebration. Marko pays a visit to a doctor he was writing to from prison. He hands over some stolen money and intimidates Dr. Wallace into helping him cure his daughter Penny. Wallace tries to convince Marko that there isn't enough time or money to find a cure but he isn't listening. He'll get more money.

Another major scene comes after Spider-Man flushes Sandman into the sewers. Marko is seen at a play park watching over his daughter. He turns into an elaborate sand castle for her to play with. Penny sinks her hand into the castle, and a larger hand-print appears next to it. Penny and her mother leave without noticing.

Immediately after this scene is where an alternate Sandman/Venom scene takes place. Eddie is stalking Marko as he watches over his daughter, and comes to him with a proposition. This scene makes a lot more sense that the version used in the film, where Eddie somehow knew Marko's story with no explanation, and gives more weight to Marko's decision to team up.


The final Sandman sequence known to be shot takes place at the construction site finale. Penny and her mother appear during the conflict, and Penny convinces her father to stand down. This precedes Marko's conversation with Peter, and informs his peaceful surrender.


Sandman wasn't the only character to lose out. Eddie Brock had a number of cuts also, including the aforementioned alternate team-up scene, an extended rant in the church (as seen in a trailer), and a sequence where he attempts to visit Gwen at her home before he is told to leave by Captain Stacy.

Also glimpsed in the trailer is a scene where Mary Jane visits Harry and talks to him about forgiveness, cementing the film's theme (and probably superseding the conversation between Harry and his butler – rightfully mocked by all).

[Harry has a number of interesting beats in the novelization, namely some more interaction with his father and a scene where he ponders his own sanity when he snaps at his butler who appears to vanish. It's unclear whether these were shot however.]

And finally, there's this iconic shot from the trailer where Peter gets a sobering glance of the symbiote's monstrous form in his own reflection.


Spider-Man 3 is a mess of a film, but not without its redeeming qualities. There's ground-breaking effects, thrilling action sequences, a great score and some fun performances. It's fair to say that Raimi mishandled the symbiote story, however it was really a plot best handed to another director. Venom may get his due later, though it is a shame Raimi didn't finish his time on with the franchise on a high note. With the series rebooted, it is time to give closure to the old, release the extra footage, and give this maligned threequel a second chance to soar.

If you would like to see these deleted scenes, please take the time to sign the petition below:


SM3 extended is now on facebook and twitter. Spread the word.


What the hell, a couple more shots:


Posted By:
Member Since 5/16/2014
Filed Under "Spider-Man 3" 5/16/2014
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Zeponi - 5/16/2014, 11:54 AM
Great article.

I've already signed. :D
Jollem - 5/16/2014, 12:10 PM
i'd buy a copy
sintzu - 5/16/2014, 12:10 PM
i wish raimi fought for his idea like how nolan did with bane against the studio wanting riddler for rises

even with all it's faults it still turned out good unlike the web movies which are ok at best

Jollem - 5/16/2014, 12:23 PM
tasm 2
tasm 1
spider-man 2
spider-man 1
spider-man 3
Platinum - 5/16/2014, 12:26 PM
As much as I would like this it's not likely. As long as Sony keeps pumping out The Amazing Spider-Turds and people keep going they would never do something that could bring more favor to the the original trilogy and possibly affect their current box office.
Jollem - 5/16/2014, 12:32 PM
the iron man movies are shit
sintzu - 5/16/2014, 12:37 PM

if the box office numbers keep going down then hopfuly they will stop making them
henzINNIT - 5/16/2014, 12:40 PM
Sony have continued to re-release the Raimi trilogy alongside the newer films, most recently SM3 in 4k. It may be unlikely, but if we don't try, the chances aren't going to improve.
Interestein - 5/16/2014, 12:46 PM
Awesome article, I really wish we could've gotten this, and a continuing series. Such a shame.
PAF - 5/16/2014, 12:48 PM
I honestly believe Raimi half assed Spider-Man 3 just to stick it to the producers and the executives. There was a story EVERYDAY about them meddling. When negotiations for part 4 was happening he just said F*ck it, I'm out. He was truly passionate about Spider-Man. Sad it had to go this way.
PAF - 5/16/2014, 12:49 PM
And great article! Love pieces like this!
Enphlieuwince - 5/16/2014, 12:58 PM
Jollem - 5/16/2014, 12:32 PM

"the iron man movies are shit"

aXe - 5/16/2014, 12:59 PM
great article, but honestly MJ was a self centered bitch in this movie lol
henzINNIT - 5/16/2014, 1:01 PM
Thanks for the kind words about the article guys. I've never posted here before.

@PAF. The SM4 production puts the previous one to shame. Sam Raimi is too nice to say anything, but Sony did him dirty.
Odin - 5/16/2014, 1:26 PM
When I first saw the scene where butler tells Harry about night when his father died, I was sure that they were gonna show that Harry was standing alone and the butler was just one of his delusion, a kinda of an anti-Norman symbolizing how Harry finally accepted the truth, I think that's the way it was suppose to be.

So Spiderman 3.1 with some of the scene's replaced by alternatives, the street dance cut out completely, and maybe the butler-scene way I described it. The quality of movie would be improved by at least one star.
Indy - 5/16/2014, 1:32 PM
I buy it I like to see it!
PAF - 5/16/2014, 1:37 PM

Dirty is not the word. He really cared about the character. This is a perfect example of why the "Big Suits" should not get involved a lot. And with seeing how Amazing Spider-Man 2 came out, it looks like Sony hasn't changed much.
dethpillow - 5/16/2014, 1:53 PM
@Jollem&@Enphi -

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Indy - 5/16/2014, 1:56 PM
I miss Sam Raimi he really cared about Spider-man and peter parker to me he catcher the soul and sprits of the comics. It a shame sony would not give him more time for spider-man 4 so he could try make it special. I not fan of the reboot so much it has it moments but lacks the care and love it deserves.
SexySnorlax1 - 5/16/2014, 2:01 PM
I'd watch it
sintzu - 5/16/2014, 2:02 PM

being nice is the problim he should have said this is my movie stay away from it or i'm out and belive me they would have cause it was to big of a series to have him go and risk having the actors go with him but now spider-man is just another series where it dosen't make any diffrence in the industry wheter a movie of it comes out or not now it's marvel and wb who are making the diffrences and taking the comic book genre to the next level with the likes of the avengers and the dark knight heck the genre would be better off if sony where to stop putting out these mediocre movies

R.I.P spider-man movies (until marvel gets you back)

dethpillow - 5/16/2014, 2:03 PM
great article, i wish i could see a script of the original movie with Sandman and Vulture.

Kingsley as Vulture would've been crazy good. scary stuff.
i like what Raimi and his brother were saying about focusing on MJ and Peter.
except I never liked MJ in any of those films, it's maybe farfetched to think all of a sudden they would've turned it around on us.
the women in Spider-Man comics are great tho. Once I remember an article here speculating how much better Emma Stone would've been as MJ and Kirsten Dunst as Gwen. i think in some ways that really makes sense.

I think no matter what tho we would've had to deal with a Harry Goblin in Spider-Man 3, taking up a big part of the movie. I don't really know how I feel about that. there's good and bad to what they did just with him in Spider-Man 3 and I don't think that would've changed.

i'd love to see a new cut like you're talking about tho.
dethpillow - 5/16/2014, 2:07 PM
@sintzu - yeah, i agree that a director is ultimately responsible for stuff like that. it's actually a big part of their job, is finding some way to enforce their will on a movie, and it doesn't always have to do with simply making the movie.
that's why at the end of the day, i always respect Nolan, even if I don't like his style sometimes. however he does it, he manages to stay on top of that kind of stuff, and all of his movies really bear that mark on them. for the most part. he runs a tight ship.
sintzu - 5/16/2014, 2:08 PM

it's good that he ended the trilogy and left when he did cause no matter how much time they would have givin him they would have had they'r stuped hands all over the thing like what they did with 3 and the marc webb movies

3 was not perfect but compared to these new ones it's a masterpiece
sintzu - 5/16/2014, 2:10 PM

i hope more comic directors do the same cause we don't need anymore spider-man 3's being messed up just because a studio wanted to have a hand in it
PAF - 5/16/2014, 2:10 PM

You have to remember, back then the studios used carry their weight around a lot more than now (regarding franchises). They probably would have easily replaced him. The reason, I think why Raimi stuck around so long is because again he loved the character Spider-Man. It was one of his favorite childhood heroes.

Also, regarding your comment above with Nolan. Nolan laid out the rules with his pitch and WB had no choice but to give him the free reign because the Batman property was in shambles. So when it came time for him to fight for a character he wanted he didn't really have to fight.
sintzu - 5/16/2014, 2:14 PM

maby but not easily i'm sure if he pushed he could have gotten to some agreament with them

Indy - 5/16/2014, 2:24 PM
I agree. Its shame they should of left him alone he was doing fine until they started dictating on the films. sure fan want to see venom but at what cost they scarifies good story telling for fan services is not the way to go. teasing venom saving him for 4 could of work and just had Harry and sandman as villains could been better way to go but doesn't matter. They need to finish harry story the only thing is I would of like to see him in his father goblin suit Sam should of force franco to wear that suit like he was suppose to. Franco one came up with the snowboard look.
sKeemAn - 5/16/2014, 3:43 PM
The problem for me with this movie is Venom altogether. He should not have been in this. He is the type of character that takes time to build. An anti-hero that could have a solo flick.

These 3.1 scenes sound like they would have made the film a lot better. They should have let Raimi do Raimi. He was doing fine til they started dictating direction for him.
MightyZeus - 5/16/2014, 6:43 PM
Sure i'd watch it.

Raimi should have fought harder against Sony for what he wanted in the film.
henzINNIT - 5/17/2014, 2:02 AM

The original Vulture story would have streamlined this film so much. You could drop the black suit and Eddie Brock entirely. Vulture was going to be Sandman's cellmate, previously busted by Spider-Man and vowing revenge. Sandman was to break him out of prison. Natural team-up, none of that forced Venom/Sandman stuff.

Sony desperation to get to Venom as quickly as possible didn't just hurt the film, it wasted the character.
sintzu - 5/17/2014, 4:14 AM

why did they even care about venom when the movies where already amking alot of money ?
henzINNIT - 5/17/2014, 5:35 AM
@sintzu. As with all people with money, they wanted more, and thought Venom would do that.
ruadh - 5/17/2014, 7:43 AM
Really great write-up. I have gotten less into the Raimi movies as time went on. Even before seeing ASM, I watched the trilogy again and felt they were just too campy for me. I also felt 3 was really not that much worse than the other two. I do still think the train passengers' reaction to Peter in part 2 is one of the best CBM scenes ever.
sintzu - 5/17/2014, 10:48 AM

i'd take campy with epic action over boring with no action any day


the funny thing is it was never made as a trilogy and 3 was't made to be the last one

then again maby after the truble raimi had maby he decided to have it that way just in case he couldn't make 4 and if that's the case then good thinking on his part cause it would have been very bad if there was some big thing left at the end for 4 and end up not getting it like i think might happen if these amazing movies keep making less at the box office

ruadh - 5/17/2014, 3:52 PM
Eh, I'd rather just go watch something else aside from campy Spider-Man. For me, they are truly unwatchable.
Scorpion8125 - 5/17/2014, 5:49 PM
The fracking Sony execs killed the golden goose

The ASM movies have no soul.

Terrible plot development. Awful dialog lots of pretty big special effects scenes.

Like watching a Transformers movie.

Junk food for kids.

dethpillow - 5/17/2014, 9:42 PM
@henzINNIT - that sounds cool about Toomes and Marko being cellmates.
NeatoBurrito - 5/17/2014, 11:41 PM
wow im sad this didnt happen
henzINNIT - 5/18/2014, 2:29 AM
Remember to sign and spread the word guys!
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