Now that Sam Raimi has left the “Spider-Man” franchise over creative differences, it’s time for the filmmaker to find a new phase in his career. Will he follow his last film “Drag Me to Hell” with further returns to the horror genre he’s well known for? Or will he move on to other big Hollywood blockbusters? Here are some of the projects Raimi has lined up, either as director, producer or both:
“Warcraft”: Certain to be Raimi’s next directorial effort, this adaptation of the enormously popular video game franchise could be an even bigger deal than the “Spider-Man” series. The movie has an expected budget of more than $220 million (“Spider-Man 3″ cost $258 million), Raimi told MTV News last October that it will be as faithful as possible to the mythology of the game. “Saving Private Ryan” screenwriter Robert Rodat is currently crafting an original story based on the “World of Warcraft” universe. Raimi was set to helm this after wrapping on “Spider-Man 4,” but perhaps production on “Warcraft” will be moved up now that Raimi has left the superhero sequel.
“The Evil Dead”: Raimi’s cult classic comes up a lot in discussions of the filmmaker’s future. Talk of either a remake, to be helmed by Raimi himself, or a fourth installment of the franchise has been going on for years, but last we heard about an “Evil Dead 4″ was last summer, when Raimi told fans at Comic-Con that a potential sequel is years away due to his “Spider-Man” commitments. With one “Part 4″ out of the way, could this other “Part 4″ be given more attention? In the meantime, Grindhouse Releasing is on the road this month with its theatrical re-release of the original film.
“Sleeper”: If Raimi starts to miss working with superheroes, he could take on directing duties for this adaptation of the DC/Wildstorm comic book about a covert operative fused with an alien artifact that has given him special healing and pain-transference powers. Raimi and Tom Cruise were attached to the film back in 2008, with Cruise possibly starring. Raimi was set solely to produce, but now he could become more involved with the potential franchise-starter as director.
“The Substitute,” “Refuge” and Untitled Fede Alvarez Project: While Raimi’s directorial pipeline is uncertain, his slate as producer is worth a look. Following his most recent producing gig, on “Armored,” Raimi is overseeing three projects. First there’s the remake “The Substitute,” an inaugural entry from Raimi’s new family-friendly horror shingle Spooky Pictures to be directed by Scott Derickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”). The original film was about a substitute sixth-grade teacher who comes from outer space.
Raimi is also set to produce “Refuge,” a horror film directed by British newbie Corin Hardy centered around the Yeti legend. Then there’s the feature debut of Uruguayan director Fede Alvarez, whom Raimi will mentor in much the same way Peter Jackson supported Neil Blomkamp on the making of “District 9.”