Samuel M. Raimi is an American filmmaker, actor, and producer, primarily known for creating the cult horror Evil Dead series, and directing the Spider-Man trilogy. He also directed the 1990 superhero film Darkman, the 1998 neo-noir crime-thriller A Simple Plan, the 2000 supernatural thriller film The Gift, the 2009 supernatural horror film Drag Me to Hell, and the 2013 Disney fantasy film Oz the Great and Powerful. Raimi has also produced several successful television series, including ' and its spin-off '. He founded the production company Renaissance Pictures in 1979. His current project includes Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness which is scheduled for a release on March 25, 2022.
Early lifeRaimi was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, to a Conservative Jewish family. His ancestors were Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary. He is the elder brother of actor Ted Raimi and the younger brother of screenwriter Ivan Raimi. His sister is Andrea Raimi Rubin. Another older brother, Sander Raimi, died at 15 in an accidental drowning; Sam Raimi has said that the trauma knitted the remaining family closer together and "colour everything for the rest of life."
The fourth of five children born to Celia Barbara and Leonard Ronald Raimi, Raimi grew up in Franklin, Michigan. He graduated from Groves High School and later went on to attend Michigan State University, where he majored in English but left after three semesters to film The Evil Dead.
FilmRaimi 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, 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 7-minute short film Clockwork, 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 which became a cult hit and effectively launched Raimi's career.
He began work on his third film Crimewave, which he co-wrote with the then-unknown Coen brothers, shortly after. Intended as a live-action comic book, the film was not successful, due in part to unwanted studio intervention. Raimi then returned to the horror genre with the seminal Evil Dead II. With his brother Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi also wrote Easy Wheels, 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. The film was his first major studio picture, and was a commercial success, spawning two sequels. Through it he was still able to secure funding for Evil Dead III, which was retitled Army of Darkness and turned away almost totally from horror in favor of fantasy and comedy elements. Army of Darkness, the final movie in the Evil Dead trilogy, was a box office disappointment, 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, the critically acclaimed crime thriller A Simple Plan , and the romantic drama For Love of the Game .
Raimi achieved great critical and commercial success with the blockbuster Spider-Man, which was adapted from the comic book series of the same name. The movie has 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 but could not find a satisfactory script.
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. 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 American-made 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 Sam Raimi will be directing a Warcraft film. However at Comic-Con International 2012, it was revealed that he would not be the one directing the World of Warcraft adaptation.
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 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 directed Oz the Great and Powerful, which was released on March 8, 2013 by Walt Disney Pictures. 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.
On February 16, 2017, it was reported that Raimi will be directing a thriller about the Bermuda Triangle for Skydance Media, with the script being written by Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard.
On January 29, 2018, it was announced that Raimi was set to direct the first movie in the big-screen adaptation of Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicle series, The Name of the Wind, with Rothfuss and Hamilton creator 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, which Raimi confirmed his involvement in April 2020. This is marking Raimi's return to the superhero film genre for more than 13 years following Spider-Man 3 in 2007.
TelevisionIn addition to film, Raimi has worked in television, producing such series as ' and its spin-off ', both featuring his younger brother Ted Raimi and long-time friend Bruce Campbell, American Gothic, Cleopatra 2525, M.A.N.T.I.S., ', 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 is also the executive producer of Starz original television series ' and ', ' and . He directed the pilot episode of Ash vs Evil Dead for Starz.
Personal lifeRaimi has been married since 1993 to Gillian Dania Greene, daughter of actor Lorne Greene. They have five children, three of whom appeared as extras in Drag Me to Hell, and in Spider-Man 3 during the movie's final battle.
Raimi has donated to both Democratic and Republican politicians. In 2004, he donated to George W. Bush's presidential campaign, and has also donated to Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California.
|1989||The Dead Next Door||J.R. Bookwalter||Executive producer|
|1991||'||Josh Becker||Executive producer|
|1993||Hard Target||John Woo||Executive producer;|
Also second unit director and ghost directed certain segments
|1998||Young Hercules||T.J. Scott||Direct-to-video|
|2002||'||Robert G. Tapert||Direct-to-video|
|2004||The Grudge||Takashi Shimizu|
|2005||Boogeyman||Stephen T. Kay|
|2006||The Grudge 2||Takashi Shimizu|
|2007||The Messengers||The Pang Brothers|
|2007||30 Days of Night||David Slade|
|2007||'||Sebastian Gutierrez||Executive producer|
|2012||The Possession||Ole Bornedal|
|2013||Evil Dead||Fede Álvarez|
|2014||Murder of a Cat||Gillian Greene|
|2016||Don't Breathe||Fede Álvarez|
|2020||The Grudge||Nicolas Pesce|
|1972||Out West||Also cinematographer|
|1975||The Great Bogus Monkey Pignuts Swindle|
|1976||Uncivil War Birds|
|1976||The James R. Hoffa Story, Part II|
|1976||Mystery No Mystery|
|1976||Attack of the Pillsbury Doughboy|
|1977||The Happy Valley Kid|
|1977||Six Months to Live|
|1977||Civil War Part II|
|1978||Within the Woods||Also editor|
|1979||William Shakespeare: The Movie|
|1985||The Sappy Sap|
|2017||The Black Ghiandola|
TelevisionExecutive producer only
|1994||Hercules and the Lost Kingdom||TV movie|
|1994||Hercules and the Circle of Fire||TV movie|
|1994||Hercules in the Underworld||TV movie|
|1994||Hercules in the Maze of the Minotaur||TV movie|
|1997||Spy Game||Also creator|
|2000–2001||Jack of All Trades|
|2008–2010||Legend of the Seeker||Also creator|
- 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