Samuel Marshall “Sam” Raimi (October 23, 1959) is an American film director, producer, actor and writer. He is best known for directing cult horror films like the Evil Dead series, Darkman and Drag Me to Hell, as well as the blockbuster Spider-Man films and the producer of the successful TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess, Legend of the Seeker and Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
Raimi became fascinated with making films when his father brought a movie camera home one day and he began to make Super 8 movies with childhood friend Bruce Campbell. In college, he teamed up with his brother’s roommate Robert Tapert and Campbell to shoot Within the Woods (1978), a 32-minute horror film which raised $375,000, as well as the short comedic film It’s Murder!. Through family, friends, and a network of investors Raimi was able to finance production of the highly successful horror film The Evil Dead (1981) which became a cult hit and effectively launched Raimi’s career. He began work on his second film Crimewave (1985), intended as a live-action comic book—the film was not successful, due in part to unwanted studio intervention. Raimi returned to the horror genre with the seminal Evil Dead II (which added slapstick humor to the over the top horror, showcasing his love of the Three Stooges). With his brother Ivan Raimi (and crediting himself as Celia Abrams), Sam Raimi also wrote Easy Wheels (1989), a parody of the Outlaw biker film genre. A long-time comic book buff, he then attempted to adapt “The Shadow” into a movie, but was unable to secure the rights, so he created his own super-hero, Darkman (1990). The film was his first major studio picture, and was only moderately successful, but he was still able to secure funding for Evil Dead III which was retitled Army of Darkness, which turned away almost totally from horror in favor of fantasy and comedy elements. Army of Darkness was a box office flop, yet on video became a cult classic, Army of Darkness was the final movie in the Evil Dead trilogy.
In the 1990s Raimi moved into other genres, directing such films as the western The Quick and the Dead (starring Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman), the critically acclaimed crime thriller A Simple Plan (1998) (starring Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton), and the romantic drama For Love of the Game (1999) (starring Kevin Costner). Raimi achieved great critical and commercial success with the blockbuster Spider-Man (2002), which was adapted from the comic book series of the same name. The movie has grossed over $800 million worldwide, spawning two sequels: Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, both directed by Raimi and both grossing roughly $800 million each. After the completion of the third Spider-Man film.He plan to do Spider-Man 4 and 5 but he canceled it. Raimi is slated to direct a film adaptation of The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. Prior to directing the Spider-Man films, Raimi lobbied to direct Batman Forever when Tim Burton was ousted from the director’s chair, but was rejected in favor of Joel Schumacher, whose reputation at the time outshone Raimi’s.
Raimi frequently collaborates with Joel and Ethan Coen, beginning when Joel was one of the editors of Evil Dead. The Coens co-wrote Crimewave and The Hudsucker Proxy with Raimi in the mid-1980s (though Hudsucker was not filmed for almost a decade). Raimi made cameo appearances in Miller’s Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, as well as with Joel Coen in Spies Like Us. The Coen brothers gave Raimi advice on shooting in snow for A Simple Plan, based on their experiences with Fargo. He has also worked in front of the camera with Miller’s Crossing as a coldblooded gunman, The Stand as a dimwitted hitman, John Carpenter’s Body Bags in an unusual role as a gas station attendant (all three roles saw Raimi dying in distinct ways), and Indian Summer in what is perhaps his biggest role as a bumbling assistant to Alan Arkin. The film was written by his childhood friend writer-director Mike Binder and shot at the camp that they both attended when they were younger. He also produced The Grudge, The Grudge 2 and The Grudge 3. According to Entertainment Weekly, Raimi had expressed an interest in directing a film version of The Hobbit, the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2008, Guillermo del Toro was selected as the director, with Peter Jackson as the executive producer. Raimi may direct By Any Means Necessary, the next film based on the “Jack Ryan” CIA character created by Tom Clancy. Disney also approached him to direct W.I.T.C.H.: The Movie, based on the popular same-name comic.
Blizzard Entertainment announced on July 22, 2009 that Sam Raimi will be directing a film based on the Warcraft universe.
On 23 September 2009 he became the producer for the British supernatural thriller “Refuge” which is directed by Corin Hardy and published by Mandate Pictures. He will produce the remake of the Danish thriller The Substitute which will be directed by Scott Dickerson under his new Label Spooky Pictures.Raimi produced with his company Ghost House Pictures the British thriller flick Burst 3D, which is directed by Neil Marshall.
Raimi is set to direct Oz The Great and Powerful, a prequel to The Wizard of Oz, which will be released in 2013 by Walt Disney Pictures.
On December 11, 2006, the website SuperHero Hype reported that director Sam Raimi and Michael Uslan will co-produce a new Shadow film for Columbia Pictures. On October 16, 2007, Raimi stated that: “I don’t have any news on ‘The Shadow’ at this time, except that the company that I have with Josh Donen, my producing partner, we’ve got the rights to ‘The Shadow.’ I love the character very much and we’re trying to work on a story that’ll do justice to the character.” On January 29, 2010, it was reported that Sam Raimi was searching for a new project after it was announced that the Spider-Man movie franchise would be rebooted without him. The Shadow was said to be at the top of his list. On Thursday, August 5, 2010, it was reported that Quentin Tarantino – who was attached as a co-writer for the script – has now been attached to direct as well. However, Tarantino declined this rumor, reportedly saying “That’s totally made up.”
On July 13, 2011 it was confirmed that Raimi along with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert would produce the remake of Raimi’s classic, The Evil Dead. Raimi will turn writing and directing duties over to first-time feature filmmaker, Fede Alvarez. Diablo Cody has been also brought in to revise/rewrite the script.
First Published: Feb 4, 2012 – Last Updated: Jan 27, 2013