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‘Dark Knight’ upped ante for ‘Spider-Man’



Published: Fri, May 29, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Germain

CANNES, France — Like other superhero fans, Sam Raimi agrees that “The Dark Knight” raised the bar for every comic-book movie to come.

Raimi figures it can only benefit the next chapter in his “Spider-Man” franchise, the first installment of which had been the top-grossing superhero flick until “The Dark Knight” blew it out of the record books last year.

“‘The Dark Knight’ was brilliant, and the audience seemed to love it, and I think it rightfully raises expectations for the other superhero pictures,” Raimi said in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival, where his horror tale “Drag Me to Hell” played. “Which is a great thing for everybody. For the filmmakers, for the audience.”

Raimi said he expects to have the script for “Spider-Man 4” in hand within a few weeks. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire is writing the screenplay for the film, due in theaters in May 2011.

The director said he has discussed the story with Tobey Maguire, who stars as Peter Parker and his alter ego Spidey.

“I’m interested in making the best of the ‘Spider-Man’ movies ever, and Tobey’s really excited,” Raimi said. “I’m really looking forward to that collaboration.”

A part has been written for Kirsten Dunst, and Raimi said he hopes she will return as the love of Peter’s life, Mary Jane Watson.

After glowing reaction for the first two movies, critical response for “Spider-Man 3” was so-so.


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