EXCLUSIVE: Sam Raimi Talks ‘Spider-Man 4′ Villains!

It’s a comic fan’s fever dream: call up director Sam Raimi and tell him which villain he should select to do battle against the web-spinning wonderboy in “Spider-Man 4.” Alas, that just ain’t gonna happen. But we came pretty close.

In a chat with Raimi last week, we presented the results of our recent Who Should Be The ’Spider-Man 4′ Villain poll to the man himself. And he loved who readers picked. (FYI: The Lizard nabbed 29 percent of the vote, while Carnage came in a close second with 26 percent.)

“I love the Lizard,” said Raimi. “There’s a great story there in the Marvel comic books about Dr. Connors. I’m less familiar with Carnage.”

Raimi then took a long pause. “I’m not allowed to say at this point,” he confessed.

Spilling the identity of the villain months before the film’s prospective March shoot date was a little too much to hope for. But Raimi was keen to illuminate his thought process regarding how and why he and his creative team select a specific villain. As he explained, it has less to do with the mention of a particular villain in an earlier film (as is the case with the Lizard) or about connecting the fourth film to another planned Marvel adaptation (see Carnage in “Venom”).

Rather, the choice of a villain comes down to what makes most sense for the arc of Peter Parker’s character. And with screenwriter Gary Ross still working on a draft of the script, everything is still very much in flux.

“What we’re trying to do right now is really understand the journey Peter is going to go on this time and have the villain maybe be a counter to that growth, something that he has to overcome,” Raimi said. “Or maybe he has to grow in a way to overcome the villain, because there always seem to be stories of coming of age, of a young man growing up and learning things about life, so once we are identifying the exact movement that Peter has to grow to, I think the villain—and we’re trying this right now; we’re trying to choose a villain based on who would be the proper counter to that growth, so we really have dramatic conflict.”

So, while Raimi didn’t drop any specific names, we did get a chance to whisper in his ear about who fans hope will fight Spidey when the movie hits theaters in 2011. And as Raimi himself said, he liked what he heard.

“Everyone your readers—the guys who check out your website—mentioned are excellent characters,” the director declared.

And you thought your vote didn’t matter? For shame! Let us know what you think of Raimi’s response in the comment section or on Twitter!