Stephen M. Silverman
July 06, 2004 03:00 PM

As the box-office returns for Spider-Man 2 manage to climb even higher than the hero in the red suit does, the action-adventure’s directorsays he can’t sit back and smell the roses because he’s already devising Part 3.

“We were working on it at the hotel last night and this morning,” Sam Raimi, 44, tells the Associated Press in Tokyo, where he is laying the groundwork for the Japanese release of S-M 2. “But I don’t know what is going to happen yet.”

Already topping the 2002 original’s first week box-office take with a record $180 million, the sequel, buoyed by positive reviews, is on track to set the speed record for grossing $200 million.

“The box office is just a surprise. I’m flabbergasted,” says Raimi, who also admits to feeling the burden of repeating the success of the original movie. (Spider-Man made $820 internationally, the fifth highest-grossing film of all time.)

But, he also conceded, this time he wanted to present a strong story and create a hero with a “moral center. … Spider-Man is a role model who children can look up to.”

Says Raimi: “There was a lot of pressure, but I felt so much more pressure just to please the fans. We don’t think about it as a big and loud production as much as a love story.”

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