Sam Raimi

Sam Raimi

Short Biography: 
Filmmaker Sam Raimi is most famous for his early movies in The Evil Dead series and for the blockbuster Spider-Man movies. Raimi is known as a movie enthusiast who began making his own movies before he was a teenager. In 1978 he and some friends, including actor Bruce Campbell, made Within the Woods, a short horror film they used to raise money to make a feature. For a few hundred thousand dollars, they made The Evil Dead, an over-the-top horror movie that got raves at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival and has since become a cult favorite. Raimi's distinctive visual style and the success of The Evil Dead 2 (1987) led to his first big studio movie, the 1990 thriller Darkman (1990, starring Liam Neeson). Since then he has become one of Hollywood's most successful directors, thanks to the box office success of Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004, both with Tobey Maguire). He has also directed Army of Darkness (1993) and The Quick and the Dead (1995, starring Sharon Stone), as well as more "serious" films, including A Simple Plan (1998, starring Billy Bob Thornton), The Gift (2000, starring Cate Blanchett) and Drag Me to Hell (2010) As a producer, Raimi had big hits on television with Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (1995-99, with Kevin Sorbo) and Xena: The Warrior Princess (1995-2001, starring Lucy Lawless).
The Interview: 

Earlier today, Collider got the opportunity to chat with horror master Sam Raimi on the phone, to discuss the creepy thriller The Possession, which he is producing.  Based on a true story, the film (starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick) shows what happens to one family who must save their youngest daughter from a malevolent force, known as a Dibbuk, that wants to devour her body.

While we will run the full interview closer to the film’s August 31st theatrical release, we did want to share what Sam Raimi had to say about the upcoming remakes of The Evil Dead and Poltergeist.  Having seen almost all of the dailies for The Evil Dead, he said the film is really bloody and really goes for it, that it will definitely be R and could maybe be worse, that there were a lot of ways to improve on the original film, and how exciting it is to see what director Fede Alvarez brought to it.  He also said that David Lindsay-Abaire is currently working on the screenplay for Poltergeist, and that he hopes to have a draft by around the first of October.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

evil-dead-remakeCollider: One of the great things about your Evil Dead movies is that you weren’t afraid to show blood and gore.  Will the remake be as bloody, or is it more of a PG-13 release?

SAM RAIMI:  It’s really bloody.  It’s so bloody, it will make your head spin.  I’ve seen almost all the dailies and they’re really going for it.  It’s gonna be grisly and intense and non-stop.

Does that mean it will have to be R-rated then?

Raimi:  Definitely R.  Maybe worse.

How involved were you with the film, and what can fans look forward to with the remake?

Well, I always thought that Evil Dead was a little campfire story that you tell at a camp to kids to scare them at night.  But, I don’t think anybody thought it was a beautifully produced, theatrical experience.  It was shot in 16mm, all the effects were done for a quarter, and I always thought it could be done in a big screen movie type way that was really high quality with photographic effects.  It could still be just as gritty, but it could be done in stereo and not just mono, and it could be done in 35mm versus 16mm.  There were a lot of ways to improve it.  There could be much better writing than I was capable of, at the time, as an 18-year-old kid writing that screenplay.  And honestly, the directing could be a lot better, and the characterizations could be better.  I was very happy with it, but it was something that was crudely done and I thought deserved re-exploration.  I thought it would be fun and, in fact, it has turned out to be a tremendous amount of fun because it’s like an old melody that you write and you’ve brought in this really great, cool, young, hip jazz musician, and he’s riffing on it and showing you places it could go that you never dreamed.  It’s very exciting for me.

Do you have a status update on the remake of Poltergeist?

RAIMI:  Probably nothing new that you don’t know.  David Lindsay-Abaire is working on the screenplay, and I’m hoping to have a draft by around the first of October.