Rob Spake on five classic villains who should appear in Spider-Man movies… but probably won’t….
The build-up for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has begun and it’s going to be packed with villains. Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti have been confirmed as Electro and Rhino respectively, while Dane DeHaan has been cast as Harry Osborn leading to speculation about whether he could possibly don a Goblin’s costume, and there’s the hovering presence of Chris Cooper’s Norman Osborn as well. But Spider-Man has one of the most extensive Rogues Gallery of any hero and there are some we probably won’t get to see depicted on the big screen. Here are five that I’d love to see, feel free to add your choices in the comments below!
#5 The Vulture
The Vulture almost made it to the screen in Sam Raimi’s aborted Spider-Man 4. On that occasion Ben Kingsley was heavily rumoured for the part, and although Spidey punching an old man may not transition well from comic panels to live action I think there’s great potential in the character. Besides, if using Adrian Toomes is too uncomfortable for some there are plenty of other characters who have used the harness through the years, but I’d like to see one of Spider-Man earliest villains make an appearance.
I can imagine some incredible aerial fight scenes, which isn’t something we’ve really seen in any of the Spider-Man movies to date. The Vulture would open up a whole new dimension for dynamic sequences and would add an extra sense of danger for Spider-Man as he careens through the air. I also think it would open up development for another character – Aunt May. In the comics Doc Ock tried to wed Aunt May in one of the most bizarre storylines, but Sally Field is a great actress and I’d love her to have a more substantial role. If The Vulture romanced her, perhaps not even as part of a nefarious plot but simply because he genuinely cared for her, it would add even more complications to Peter’s life as he’d have to break his Aunt’s heart in order to defeat the supervillain, and there’s a great deal of angst to be mined from that as he already feels responsible for Uncle Ben’s death.
#4 The Chameleon
Considering he was Spider-Man’s first foe way back in Spider-Man #1 it’s somewhat surprising that, as far as I’m aware, he’s never been considered for one of the live-action films. While he doesn’t pose the greatest physical threat I love the idea that he could be posing as anyone Spider-Man encounters, and that because Spider-Man doesn’t know exactly who he’s looking for his Spider-sense’s effectiveness is reduced.
I also like the idea of a Spider-Man doppelganger running around causing havoc and giving the webslinger an even worse reputation. I think it would be a great opening to the movie if we follow Spider-Man to a crime scene assuming he’s going to save the day only to realise that we’ve actually been watching the imposter as he shoots someone (or commits some other dastardly deed.) Although Peter Parker isn’t a detective, having The Chameleon as a villain would showcase his intelligence as he tries to figure out who is imitating him and why, and it has the potential to be a suspenseful and tense film.
#3 Michael Morbius
One of the aspects of the Spider-Man films I’ve been critical of is that so many of the villains have been scientists-gone-bad. In this feature I tried to stay away from those types of characters but I decided to make an exception for Morbius for a number of reasons.
I think Spider-Man is one of those characters that can work in a number of different tones. Obviously so far on this list The Vulture would be more of a straight action film, The Chameleon would be more of a suspenseful thriller and Morbius would be a horror. There’s obviously a tragic aspect to the character so he’s more of a sympathetic antagonist rather than an outright villain, and again I think the main romantic angst of the film can come from Morbius and his love interest rather than Peter and his, although I’m thinking more along the lines of Buffy/Angel rather than Twilight. With his enhanced strength he poses enough of a physical threat to Spider-Man that the fights would be equal, but the one drawback is there are a lot of similarities with The Lizard, given that both were scientists trying to cure themselves.
However, I think one of the more interesting angles that could be explored, and would make this a proper horror film, is the transformation of Spider-Man into the Man-Spider. It wouldn’t be a stretch to have Peter’s mutation go farther, and it would be a nice twist to have Spider-Man be a villain in his own film. It would also give something for Gwen to do as well. We’ve already seen that she’s intelligent and has a position at Oscorp, and I’d like to see her save Peter for once.
#2 Kraven the Hunter
Kraven was the star of one of the most iconic Spider-Man stories – Kraven’s Last Hunt, but I don’t think an adaptation of that story would work. Since Spider-Man 2 I wanted a film where Kraven came to New York to hunt Spider-Man and The Lizard emerged at the same time, so Spider-Man had to stop Kraven from attacking him and The Lizard, and stop The Lizard while trying to get him to change back to Curt Connors. I’m still a bit sad that never happened, but I still think Kraven should be used in tandem with another villain.
I like the idea of him hunting Spider-Man while he battles another foe, taking notes about his strengths and weaknesses and then strikes when Spidey least expects it. I also like the idea that the appearance of Spider-Man gets the attention of this legendary hunter, and it would give an opportunity to show what people outside of New York think. I always think in film series where there’s only a single hero operating not enough attention is given to the worldwide impact their existence has. And yes, I do want him in his classic costume.
‘Wait, what, Mysterio? Is this guy serious?’ Indeed I am. I’ve longed for a Mysterio appearance, so much so that when I attended a preview event for The Amazing Spider-Man I actually suggested him as a potential villain to some people who were collection opinions for the studio. I waited eagerly when announcements were made about villains in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 but, alas, they did not take my opinions on board.
Ol’ Fishbowl Head isn’t taken that seriously but I think in the hands of a good writer he can be an effective villain. He can really torture Peter’s psyche and play on the webslinger’s doubts and fears in a way not many other villains can. I love the idea that along with fighting Mysterio Peter has to fight his own personal demons. I’d also love to see them actually treat Mysterio as a joke in the film (and as with Kraven I want to see the classic costume, as ridiculous as it is) until they realise that he’s actually really dangerous. And as anyone who has read Old Man Logan can attest; Mysterio can be dangerous.
I also think that in this period where there are so many 3D movies and movies want to be bigger and more of a spectacle than the last Mysterio is the perfect villain to deliver on that front. I mean, he’s a special effects artist! The whole film could be a visual extravaganza; the possibilities are endless!