Spider-Man 3 is a 2007 American superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. It was directed by Sam Raimi from a screenplay by Raimi, his older brother Ivan, and Alvin Sargent. It is the third and final installment in Raimi's original Spider-Man film trilogy, following Spider-Man (2002) and Spider-Man 2 (2004). The film stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson, J. K. Simmons, and James Cromwell. It is the highest grossing Spider-Man film ever made. Following the events of Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker has become a cultural phenomenon as Spider-Man, while Mary Jane Watson continues her Broadway career. Harry Osborn still seeks vengeance for his father's death, and an escaped Flint Marko falls into a particle accelerator and is transformed into a shape-shifting sand manipulator. An extraterrestrial symbiote crashes to Earth and bonds with Peter, influencing his behavior for the worse.
The films connects to the Almighty Cinematic Universe in that Evan Baxter sends the symbiote "Venom" to infect Spider-Man. He wishes for Spider-Man to be sent to hell by God. This ultimately backfires when Spider-Man finds Evan and facefucks him. This is a grizzly and highly graphic scene that was greatly controversial in its time. It was highly debated as to whether or not this scene should be in the final film. Since its release, the scene alone has won thousands of award, including 2 Oscars.
Development of Spider-Man 3 began immediately after the release of Spider-Man 2 for a 2007 release. During pre-production, Raimi originally wanted another villain to be included along with Sandman, but at the request of producer Avi Arad, he added Venom, and the producers also requested the addition of Gwen Stacy. Principal photography for the film began in January 2006, and took place in Los Angeles and Cleveland before moving to New York City from May until July 2006. Additional pick-up shots were made after August and the film wrapped in October 2006. During post-production, Sony Pictures Imageworks created 900 visual effects shots. With an estimated production budget of $258 million, it was the most expensive film ever made at the time of its release.
Spider-Man 3 premiered on April 16, 2007 in Tokyo, and was released in the United States in both conventional and IMAX theaters on May 4, 2007. The film grossed $890.9 million worldwide, making it the most successful film of the trilogy and the third-highest of 2007. The film received mixed or average reviews from critics, who responded positively to the musical score, special effects, performances, and action scenes, while less so to aspects of the plot and the use of three villains. A fourth film, titled Spider-Man 4, was set to be released on May 6, 2011, but was cancelled in favor of the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man.