Here's How Sam Raimi Reacted To Seeing Tobey Maguire Play Peter Parker Again In Spider-Man: No Way Home

20 years ago today, horror maestro and auteur filmmaker Sam Raimi debuted "Spider-Man," and the world of superhero cinema has never been the same. The success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Comics film adaptations all owe a great debt to "Spider-Man," as Raimi proved there was a huge market for these kinds of stories. It was the first film to reach $100 million in a single weekend, and at the time was the most successful film based on a comic book ever made. Raimi went on to create two sequel films (one infinitely better received than the other) with Marvel introducing "Iron Man" the year following "Spider-Man 3." The rest, as they say, is history.

Raimi notoriously had a rough go of things with the studio heads during "Spider-Man 3," and stepped away from superhero films for fifteen years. Now, Raimi is back with "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," a return to the cinematic universe he was formative in creating. While this is his first time back in the director's chair, it is in no way the first time his impact has been showcased in the MCU. "Spider-Man: No Way Home" may have led with Tom Holland's Peter Parker as the star, but thanks to the magic of the multiverse, both Andrew Garfield of "The Amazing Spider-Man" series and Tobey Maguire from Raimi's original "Spider-Man" series assisted Holland's Parker in an epic battle to save the universe. Raimi was already well into post-production when the film debuted, but seeing his Peter Parker on the screen once again was the perfect welcome wagon from the MCU.

'There's my old friend'

During a moving interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Raimi expressed how it felt seeing Tobey Maguire on the big screen as Peter Two in his Spidey suit after all these years away. "It was very emotionally moving," Raimi said. "I probably felt like the audience felt, 'Oh, there's my old friend, the old hero, who I haven't seen in 15 years. He's back.'" Raimi had planned for a fourth "Spider-Man" film with Maguire, but after the production nightmare that was "Spider-Man 3," those plans went out the window. Raimi loved working with Maguire and co-star Kirsten Dunst, going on record to say he'd love to revisit that world with them both, or even work on a non-superhero project with them.

Raimi greatly enjoyed Maguire's performance in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" saying "It looked like he had lived kind of a hard life as Spider-Man." As the oldest Peter Parker in the film, Raimi was absolutely right. The Parker of Peter Two's universe has spent decades keeping the world safe from super-villainy, and that's going to wear a person down. "It was really emotional and so well done," Raimi said, "But it was also like spending an afternoon with old friends who I hadn't seen in 15 years. It was beautiful."

"Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" hits theaters on May 6, 2022.