Spider-Man 3 is a 2007 American superhero film produced by Marvel Entertainment and Laura Ziskin Productions, and distributed by Columbia Pictures based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. It was directed by Sam Raimi and scripted by Sam and Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent. It is the final film in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. The film stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J. K. Simmons, James Cromwell and Cliff Robertson in his final film appearance.
Set months after 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. When Peter abandons the symbiote, it finds refuge in Eddie Brock, a rival photographer, causing Peter to face his greatest challenge.
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, the director 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.
Spider-Man 3 premiered on April 16, 2007 in Tokyo, and released in the United States in both conventional and IMAX theaters on May 4, 2007. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, in contrast to the highly positive reviews of its predecessors, it stands as the most financially successful film in the series worldwide, Marvel's third most financially successful film after The Avengers and Iron Man 3, and Sony Pictures Entertainment's second highest-grossing film behind Skyfall, despite being the most expensive film of all time at release (the record was surpassed just three weeks later by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End). After the success of Spider-Man 3, Raimi was scheduled to direct the unproduced Spider-Man 4. However, disagreements between Sony and Raimi forced the director to leave the project, and Sony cancelled the film as a result. A reboot of the trilogy was released five years later.