Samuel M. Raimi (// RAY-mee; born October 23, 1959) is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He is best known for directing the first three films in the Evil Dead franchise (1981–present) and the Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007). He also directed the superhero Darkman (1990), the revisionist western The Quick and the Dead (1995), the neo-noir crime-thriller A Simple Plan (1998), the supernatural thriller The Gift (2000), the supernatural horror Drag Me to Hell (2009), the Disney fantasy Oz the Great and Powerful (2013), and the Marvel Studios film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022).
Samuel M. Raimi
October 23, 1959
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
|Relatives||Ted Raimi (brother)|
Ivan Raimi (brother)
Lorne Greene (father-in-law)
His films are known for their highly dynamic visual style, inspired by comic books and slapstick comedy. He founded the production company Renaissance Pictures in 1979 and Ghost House Pictures in 2002. Raimi has also produced several successful television series, including Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, its spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess and Ash vs Evil Dead starring long time friend and collaborator Bruce Campbell reprising his role in the Evil Dead franchise.
Early life edit
Raimi was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, to a Conservative Jewish family. He is a son of merchants Celia Barbara (née Abrams) and Leonard Ronald Raimi. His ancestors were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary. His younger brother Ted is an actor, and his older brother Ivan is a screenwriter and physician. His older sister, Andrea Raimi Rubin, is a court reporter. Another older brother, Sander, died at 15 in an accidental drowning in Israel; Raimi has said that the trauma knitted the remaining family closer together and "colored everything he's done for the rest of his life." Raimi also mentioned that Sander first introduced him to Spider-Man, igniting his love for comics.
Raimi graduated from Groves High School and later went on to attend both Michigan State University and Università Bocconi, where he studied English but left after three semesters to film The Evil Dead.
Raimi became fascinated with making films when his father brought a movie camera home one day. He began to make Super 8 movies with his friend Bruce Campbell, whom he met in 1975. 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 his debut feature film It's Murder!. During that time, he also shot the seven-minute short film Clockwork (1978), starring Scott Spiegel (who had appeared in Within the Woods) and Cheryl Guttridge. 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 third film Crimewave (1985), which he co-wrote with the then-unknown Coen brothers, shortly after. Intended as a live-action comic book, the film was unsuccessful, partly due to unwanted studio intervention. Raimi then 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), which parodied 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 commercially successful, spawning two sequels. Through it he was still able to secure funding for Evil Dead III, which was retitled Army of Darkness and largely steered away from horror towards fantasy and comedy elements. Army of Darkness, the final movie in the Evil Dead trilogy, commercially underperformed, yet on video became a cult classic.
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 grossed over US$800 million worldwide, spawning two sequels: Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3, both directed by Raimi and each grossing approximately $800 million. After the completion of the third Spider-Man film, he planned on producing two more sequels (although Sony Pictures planned three sequels) but could not find a satisfactory script. In 2022, reflecting on Spider-Man 3, Raimi told Rolling Stone: "It was a very painful experience for me. I wanted to make a Spider-Man movie to redeem myself for that. [The aborted] Spider-Man 4 — that was really what that was about. I wanted to go out on a high note. I didn't want to just make another one that pretty much worked. I had a really high standard in my mind. And I didn't think I could get that script to the level that I was hoping for by that start date." He, along with Marc Webb, were both brought on as creative consultants for Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: No Way Home, directed by Jon Watts.
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 produced for almost a decade). Raimi made cameo appearances in Miller's Crossing, The Hudsucker Proxy, and 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 worked in front of the camera in The Stand as a dimwitted hitman, John Carpenter's Body Bags as a murdered gas station attendant, 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. Raimi also produced the entire English-language The Grudge franchise, based on the original Japanese films.
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 for Paramount Pictures. Disney also approached him to direct W.I.T.C.H.: The Movie, based on the popular comic.
Blizzard Entertainment announced on July 22, 2009, that Raimi would be directing a film adaptation of the Warcraft video game series, but at Comic-Con International 2012, it was revealed that he would not be the director.
On September 23, 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 Derrickson under his new label Spooky Pictures. Raimi produced with his company Ghost House Pictures the British thriller flick Burst 3D, directed by Neil Marshall.
Raimi directed Oz the Great and Powerful, which was released on March 8, 2013, by Walt Disney Pictures and grossed $493 million worldwide. He said he would not be directing the planned sequel.
On December 11, 2006, the website SuperHero Hype reported that director Sam Raimi and Michael Uslan would co-produce a new film version of The Shadow 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."
Raimi, along with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, produced the remake of Raimi's The Evil Dead. First-time feature filmmaker Fede Álvarez wrote and directed, and Diablo Cody was also brought in to revise/rewrite the script. Raimi confirmed plans to write Evil Dead 4 with his brother; it was later specified that this film would be Army of Darkness 2. Alvarez revealed that Raimi would direct the sequel to Army of Darkness. However, in a 2014 interview, Bruce Campbell announced that Army of Darkness 2 is not happening, saying "It's all internet b.s. There's no reality whatsoever. These random comments slip out of either my mouth, or Sam Raimi's mouth, next thing you know, we're making a sequel."
On February 26, 2016, it was confirmed that Raimi is attached to direct the upcoming film World War 3 for Warner Bros. The film will be based on a possible future inspired by the book The Next 100 Years by George Friedman.
By January 29, 2018, Raimi was set to direct the first in the movie adaptations of Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicle series, The Name of the Wind, with Rothfuss and Lin-Manuel Miranda serving as executive producers.
On February 5, 2020, it was announced that Raimi was in talks with Marvel Studios to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Raimi confirmed his involvement in April 2020. This marks Raimi's return to the superhero film genre after more than 15 years following Spider-Man 3 in 2007 and his first feature film directorial effort since 2013's Oz the Great and Powerful.
In addition to film, Raimi has worked in television, producing such series as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its spin-off Xena: Warrior Princess, both featuring his younger brother Ted Raimi and long-time friend Bruce Campbell, American Gothic, Cleopatra 2525, M.A.N.T.I.S., 13: Fear Is Real, Young Hercules, and Jack of All Trades. In 2008, Raimi executive produced a syndicated TV series called Legend of the Seeker, based on Terry Goodkind's best-selling The Sword of Truth fantasy series. He also executive produced the Starz original television series Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Spartacus: Vengeance and Spartacus: War of the Damned. He directed the pilot episode of Ash vs Evil Dead for Starz.
Personal life edit
Since 1993, Raimi has been married to Gillian Greene, daughter of Canadian actor Lorne Greene. They have five children; their three eldest, daughter Emma Rose and sons Lorne and Henry, appeared as extras in Drag Me to Hell and during the final battle in Spider-Man 3.
|1977||It's Murder!||Yes||Yes||Amateur film|
Also producer and uncredited editor and sound mixer
|1981||The Evil Dead||Yes||Yes||Also executive producer|
|1987||Evil Dead II||Yes||Yes|
|1989||Easy Wheels||No||Yes||Credited as "Celia Abrams"|
|1990||Darkman||Yes||Yes||Also executive producer|
|1992||The Nutt House||No||Yes||Credited as "Alan Smithee Jr."|
|Army of Darkness||Yes||Yes||Also editor (credited as "R.O.C. Sandstorm")|
|1994||The Hudsucker Proxy||No||Yes||Also 2nd unit director|
|1995||The Quick and the Dead||Yes||No|
|1998||A Simple Plan||Yes||No|
|1999||For Love of the Game||Yes||No|
|2005||Man with the Screaming Brain||No||Story||Credited as "R.O.C. Sandstorm"|
|2009||Drag Me to Hell||Yes||Yes|
|2013||Oz the Great and Powerful||Yes||No|
|2022||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||Yes||No|
|1972||Out West||Yes||Yes||No||Also cinematographer|
|1975||The Great Bogus Monkey Pignuts Swindle||Yes||No||No|
|1976||Uncivil War Birds||Yes||No||No|
|The James R. Hoffa Story, Part II||Yes||No||No|
|Mystery No Mystery||Yes||No||No|
|Attack of the Pillsbury Doughboy||Yes||No||No|
|1977||The Happy Valley Kid||Yes||No||No|
|Six Months to Live||Yes||No||No|
|Civil War Part II||Yes||No||No|
|1978||Within the Woods||Yes||Yes||executive||Also editor|
|1979||William Shakespeare: The Movie||Yes||No||No|
|1985||The Sappy Sap||Yes||No||No|
|2017||The Black Ghiandola||Yes||No||No|
|1994–1997||M.A.N.T.I.S.||No||Story||Yes||Yes||Wrote story for "Pilot"|
|1995–2001||Xena: Warrior Princess||No||No||Yes||Developer|
|2008–2010||Legend of the Seeker||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|2015–2018||Ash vs Evil Dead||Yes||Yes||Yes||Developer||Wrote and directed episode: "El Jefe"|
|2020||50 States of Fright||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||3 episodes|
Executive producer only
|1994||Hercules and the Lost Kingdom||TV movie|
|Hercules and the Circle of Fire|
|Hercules in the Underworld|
|Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur|
|1995–1999||Hercules: The Legendary Journeys|
|2000||Jack of All Trades|
|2009||13: Fear Is Real|
|2011||Spartacus: Gods of the Arena|
|2013||Spartacus: War of the Damned|
Acting roles edit
|1977||It's Murder!||Uncle Jasper|
|1978||Attack of the Helping Hand||Milk Man||Short film|
|Shemp Eats the Moon||Angelo the Knife||Short film|
|1981||The Evil Dead||Hitchhiker||Uncredited|
|1982||Cleveland Smith: Bounty Hunter||Nazi||Short film|
|1983||Hefty's||Cook No. 2|
|1985||Spies Like Us||Drive-in guard No. 2|
|1987||Evil Dead 2||Knight hailing Ash||Uncredited|
|Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except||Cult leader|
|1988||Maniac Cop||News Reporter|
|1990||Miller's Crossing||Snickering Gunman|
|Maniac Cop 2||Newscaster|
|1992||Innocent Blood||Roma Meats Man|
|Army of Darkness||Knight in Sweatshirt and Sneakers||Uncredited|
|1993||Indian Summer||Stick Coder|
|Body Bags||Dead Bill||Segment: "The Gas Station"|
|Journey to the Center of the Earth||Collins||TV movie|
|1994||The Hudsucker Proxy||Hudsucker Brainstormer|
|The Flintstones||Cliff Vandercave Look-A-Like|
|The Stand||Bobby Terry||TV miniseries|
|1997||The Shining||Gas Station Howie||TV miniseries|
|2002||Spider-Man||Popcorn Throwing Wrestling Fan||Offscreen|
|2009||Drag Me to Hell||Ghost at Seance||Uncredited|
|2016||The Jungle Book||Giant Squirrel||Voice role|
- Sitges – Catalan International Film Festival Prize of the International Critics' Jury 1981
- Sitges – Catalan International Film Festival Best Director Award 1990
- Sitges – Catalan International Film Festival Time-Machine Honorary Award 1992
- Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film Golden Raven Award 1993
- Fantasporto Critics' Award 1993
- Cognac Festival du Film Policier Special Jury Prize 1999
- Saturn Award Best Director Award 2004
- Empire Award Best Director Award 2004
- Inkpot Award 2014
See also edit
- Luke Savage (March 7, 2013). "Sam Raimi interview: Oz, Warcraft, The Shadow, Spider-Man". Den of Geek. Dennis Publishing. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
...IMDB. They've added a name to me, they've called me Samuel Marshall Raimi, and I never knew I had a middle name. I have a middle initial, 'M'.
- "Sam Raimi: Director, Producer, Screenwriter". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on October 30, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
Birth Place: Royal Oak, Michigan, USA. Born: October 23, 1959
- "Sam Raimi Biography (1959-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved March 19, 2012. Source notes Raimi born "in Royal Oak (some sources cite Franklin), MI."
- Perno, G. S. (June 17, 2020). "Directors' Trademarks: Sam Raimi". Cinelinx | Movies. Games. Geek Culture. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
- Gibron, Bill (October 4, 2006). "Depth of Field: Sam Raimi – Horror's Stylistic Savior, PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved November 30, 2021.
- Pfefferman, Naomi (August 22, 2012). "Sam Raimi's latest horror flick draws on 'true' tale, Jewish exorcism". Jewish Journal. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
Raimi — who grew up in a Conservative Jewish home in Detroit....
- Aushenker, Michael (April 25, 2002). "Spider-Mensch: The Jewish roots of director Sam Raimi and 'Spider-Man'". Jewish Journal. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
He was raised by parents of Russian and Hungarian Jewish descent in a Conservative Jewish home that included older brother Ivan, now a screenwriter and physician; younger brother Ted, an actor, and older sister, Andrea.
- "Ted Raimi Biography (1965-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- Headapohl, Jackie (March 7, 2013). "Made In Michigan". The Jewish News. Detroit, Michigan. Archived from the original on November 1, 2019.
- "Sam Raimi: Man behind the mask". The Independent. UK. July 15, 2004. Archived from the original on August 6, 2017. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
Led by their father, who ran a furniture store, and mother, who owned a lingerie shop, the family became very close after Raimi's elder brother Sander drowned in a swimming pool at the age of 15. Raimi has said of that trauma: 'It colours everything you do for the rest of your life.'
- Hiatt, Brian (April 30, 2022). "From 'Spider-Man' to 'Doctor Strange': How Sam Raimi Conquered the Superhero Multiverse (Again)". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 1, 2022.
- Houser, Laura (February 16, 2013). "Macomb Co. Native Helps Organize Charity Premiere of 'Oz: The Great and Powerful'". Utica.Patch.com. Archived from the original on March 17, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
- "About". Film Studies Program. Retrieved September 7, 2023.
- Bao, Robert (April 1, 1999). "Feature: Spartans in Hollywood". Università Bocconi. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020.
- Riekki, Ron; Sartain, Jeffrey A. (March 4, 2019). The Many Lives of The Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise. McFarland. ISBN 9781476636047.
- Muir, John Kenneth (2004). The Unseen Force: The Films of Sam Raimi. Applause Theatre & Cinema Books. ISBN 9781557836076.
- Egan, Kate (2011). The Evil Dead. Wallflower Press. pp. 26–28. ISBN 978-1-906660-34-5.
- Campbell, Bruce (2002). If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor. L.A. Weekly Books. p. 161. ISBN 978-0-312-29145-7.
- Finke, Nikki; Fleming, Mike (January 11, 2010). "'Spider-Man 4' Scrapped; Sam Rami & Tobey Maguire & Cast Out; Franchise Reboot for 2012". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 4, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
- Fuge, Jonathan (November 26, 2021). "Spider-Man: No Way Home Brought in Past Directors Sam Raimi & Marc Webb as Consultants". MovieWb. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
- AMC staff (October 28, 2008). "Ten Things You Might Not Kw About the Evil Dead Trilogy". Filmcritic.com. Archived from the original on December 27, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
- Sigur, Matt. "'A Simple Plan' isn't your typical Sam Raimi movie, and that's why it's his best". Rogerebert.com.
- Markovitz, Adam (April 18, 2007). "'Hobbit' Forming?". Entertainment Weekly.
- "Blizzard Press Release 7-22-2009". Blizzard. July 21, 2009. Archived from the original on July 23, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2009.
- Topel, Fred. "Comic Con 2012 Exclusive: Sam Raimi Won't Direct the World of Warcraft Movie". Crave Online. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "Mandate Signs Sam Raimi to Oversee Refuge". May 13, 2012.
- "Raimi shall Launche Spooky Pictures with 'The Substitute'". October 2, 2009.
- "Neil Marshall Throwing the Gore Onscreen With 'Burst 3D'". June 29, 2010.
- Dargis, Manohla (March 7, 2013). "'Oz the Great and Powerful,' Starring James Franco". The New York Times.
- Oldham, Stuart (June 14, 2010). "Sam Raimi circles 'Wizard of Oz' prequel: helmer in talks for Disney's 'Powerful' pic". Variety.
- "Chatter: Who Should Replace Sam Raimi as Director of the Oz Sequel?". Fandango.com. March 11, 2013.
- "Cast Signed for 'Oz: The Great & Powerful' Sequel But Not Sam Raimi". firstshowing.net. March 11, 2013.
- "Exclusive: Sam Raimi's Pulp Fiction". IGN. June 14, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
- "Columbia & Raimi Team on The Shadow". SuperHeroHype. December 11, 2006.
- Rotten, Ryan (October 16, 2007). "Sam Raimi on Spider-Man 4 and The Shadow". Superherohype.com. Coming Soon Media, ltd. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
- "Official Press Release: The Evil Dead Remake". Shock Till You Drop. July 13, 2011. Archived from the original on November 23, 2011. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- "Sam Raimi's Next Project is Army of Darkness 2′' Not Evil Dead 4". Screenrant.com. March 11, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- Alvarez, Fede (October 26, 2013). ""@thielebenjamin: Hey @fedalvar will you be directing the Army Of Darkness 2 movie?" Sam Raimi will!". Twitter.com.
- "Bruce Campbell Wants to Set the Record Straight About Army of Darkness 2, And He Feels Bad for You". Shock Till You Drop. November 5, 2014.
- "Sam Raimi to Predict a Terrible Future in 'World War 3' for Warner Bros". Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- "Sam Raimi Ventures Into the Bermuda Triangle". February 16, 2017. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
- Kroll, Justin (January 29, 2018). "Sam Raimi to Direct 'Kingkiller Chronicle' for Lionsgate and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Exclusive)". Variety. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
- B. Vary, Adam; Kroll, Justin (February 5, 2020). "Sam Raimi in Talks to Direct 'Doctor Strange 2' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- Evangelista, Chris (April 15, 2020). "Sam Raimi Confirms He's Directing 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness'". /Film. Archived from the original on April 15, 2020. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
- Lawrence, Gregory (September 30, 2021). "Sam Raimi Gets Candid on Why He'd Make 'Doctor Strange 2' After "Awful" Reaction to 'Spider-Man 3'". Collider. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
- ""Spartacus: Blood and Sand" cast and crew". Retrieved January 30, 2010.
- "Sam Raimi Directing "Ash vs Evil Dead" Pilot". Retrieved January 30, 2010.
- "Sam Raimi Returns to Horror Film Roots With 'Drag Me to Hell'". ABC News. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
- "Inkpot Award". December 6, 2012.