I started to write this article last week when I saw someone mention Raimi’s comments about Spider-Man 3 that appear in the May issue of Empire. But I couldn’t find the source online at the time, so let it go. (And I was going to write that post, in part, to joke about the fact that setting a summer delivery date for the Spidey 4 script was apparently news.)

I’m still a little wary about running these quotes, because they’re not currently on Empire’s site. The original quote input seems to come from this Coventry Telegraph piece. (If you’ve got the mag in hand and can confirm or proved selected scans, let me know. EDIT: Thanks to the couple folks who wrote in to say they’d read the quotes in the printed mag.)

The bottom line: Raimi doesn’t much like Spidey 3, either, the fact that it made a boatload of cash notwithstanding. “They really gave me a tremendous amount of control on the first two films, actually. But then there were different opinions on the third film and I didn’t really have creative control, so to speak.

The crux of that set of conflicting opinions was, as we all assumed/knew/magically understood, Venom. “I don’t even want to comment on Venom,” says Raimi, “because I know he’s a great character and all the fans love him. I never want to say anything bad about a much-beloved character because usually it turns out that I’m the one that doesn’t understand what makes it great.”

(None of which is surprising, based on statements quoted in EW and SciFiWire back in 2007, where Raimi explains his disinterest in the character.)

Is there reason to take these statements as a good indicator that the fourth film might at least be more streamlined and entertaining? “The best way for me to move forward on films, I realize…and this was a lesson I had to learn for myself…is that I’ve gotta be the singular voice that makes the creative choices on the film.” That’s good. This is better. “I love Spider-Man so much that I’d like to continue telling Spider-Man stories but only under those circumstances where I think I can honour him. I don’t think I can honour him any other way.”