Spider-Man celebrated two big milestones this week. On May 3, 2022, Spider-Man celebrated its 20th anniversary while on May 4, 2022, Spider-Man 3 celebrated its 15th. While most were sharing pleasant nostalgic feelings about the first film, the look back at Spider-Man 3 was a bit more divided. It’s true that some have softened to the polarizing conclusion to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy but it’s clear fans still have issues with it. One major issue that kept popping up was the infamous “Evil Peter” Tobey Maguire dance that has since become a viral meme and gif. Despite some finding the moment cringeworthy, director Sam Raimi is coming in defense of the moment.
In the third film, the symbiote that would go on to merge with Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) and become Venom, first merged with Peter Parker (Maguire), and to signal the change in his personality, Peter proceeds to walk through the streets of New York with a new “emo” look and soon performs the dance that is now the stuff of legend. While promoting Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Raimi spoke about the scene with Fandom and he insists that the moment was always meant to be funny. He also said it was Peter’s take on being a “lame kid” imagining what it’s like to be “evil.” That being said, Raimi is aware that the moment didn’t land with moviegoers:
“Well, we meant it to be funny, actually. It was Peter Parker’s version — this lame kid — of what it must be like to be his evil self. But he’s so whipped. He’s so out of it that that’s his take on it. And that didn’t go over well with the audience. But that’s what we were trying to do. So I’m not surprised that people… I’m glad people find it funny! We we wanted it to be fun.”
The scene is definitely funny now but I certainly found it absolutely cringe-worthy when I first saw the film in 2007. Time really does make these things a bit easier to swallow and that’s certainly what has happened with that scene. I’m still not down with the “emo” hair but that’s a story for another day.
What are YOUR thoughts on the “Evil Peter” dance from Spider-Man 3?