We know, we know: the wounds from “Spider-Man 3” are still raw (see: the emo-Peter-jazz-club dance scene, the Harry-and-MJ-making-omelets dance scene, all the scenes). We were just as skeptical when Sony announced its reboot of the webslinger saga a mere five years after the threequel disaster. To add to our growing fears, Sony booked indie romcom king Marc Webb for the job, who then cast a little-known Brit for the role and totally ignored feisty Mary Jane Watson in favor of geeky Gwen Stacy.
And then “The Amazing Spider-Man” turned out to be, uh, amazing. Andrew Garfield played a perfect Peter Parker, equal parts angsty teen and adorable hoodie-wearer. His chemistry with Emma Stone’s brainy babe Gwen was only outshone by his chemistry with Rhys Ifans a.k.a. Dr. Curt Conners a.k.a. scaly super-villain the Lizard.
And, okay, “The Amazing Spider-Man” did sort of suffer from reboot rehash syndrome, because the first hour felt a bit like an alternative opening of the original “Spider-Man.” Except Garfield’s Peter is more likable, more relatable and 1,001 times more attractive than Tobey Maguire’s. Stone’s Gwen didn’t spend the whole time moping around, like Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane. Plus, Webb got mad props for going with the Lizard as the villain, instead of turning to one of the better-known but overdone baddies of the original trilogy.
The film’s biggest flaw is probably that key Spidey lore players are missing – crusty editor J. Jonah Jameson, Peter’s BFF Harry Osborn and MJ, – but Webb heard the nerds’ cries and cast at least the latter two for the 2014 sequel (Shailene Woodley from “The Descendants” and Dane DeHaan from “Chronicle”). Also on the roster? Jamie effing Foxx as Electro, another villain from the less blockbuster-y end of the Spider-Man villain spectrum.
Plus, word leaked to the geeksphere that Paul Giamatti is in talks to play thug villain the Rhino. This is both exciting and terrifying, because while Giamatti and the Rhino are both great, multiple villains in Spidey movies have proven to be less great (“Spider-Man 3”).
Either way, it got us thinking about other Spidey villains (and their Hollywood counterparts) we’d like to see hit the big screen. We strayed from those who have been there before, although, note to Webb: we’d all love to see Venom done right next time.
Who: Felicia Hardy/Black Cat
Why: Black Cat isn’t so much of a straight-up villain as she is a straight-up femme fatale. The daughter-of-a-cat-burglar-turned-cat-burglar is a staple in the Spider-Man canon (and on comic book nerds’ bedroom walls) but has yet to make it to the big screen. There’s no doubt that Peter and MJ are the story’s true love/romantic element, but if Webb could throw Gwen Stacy in the mix, why not add the rich blonde bombshell, too? Felicia is sexy and spunky and sidekick-y, all of which would benefit the new Spider-Man saga. Plus, catsuits have made a serious comeback (see: Anne Hathaway) and past cat-themed heroine mishaps have all but been forgotten and forgiven (see: Halle Berry).
How: Ashley Benson. Benson perfected blonde and attitude on “Pretty Little Liars” and before you write her off as just another ABC Family star, girlfriend also has indie chops thanks to “Spring Breakers” and comedy chops thanks to a recent stint on “How I Met Your Mother.” Plus, she’s gorgeous.
Who: Quentin Beck/Mysterio
Why: Three different psychos have donned the Mysterio fishbowl head and cape, but Webb’s saga should stick to the original, a down-on-his-luck special effects stuntman who becomes another NYC-dwelling super-villain. Mysterio relies on wit and gags for this powers, which would be an interesting foil to Peter’s mutation-bestowed skillz.
How: Zachary Quinto. Quinto does “awesome psycho” so very, very well (see: Sylar on “Heroes,” and also both seasons of “American Horror Story”). He’s kind of hinted that he’s done playing serial killers, but Mysterio isn’t a serial killer, per say. He’s maniacal and sort of flamboyant, skills that Quinto could easily personify. Plus, we know from “Star Trek” that he cleans up pretty nicely in spandex.
Who: Cletus Kasady/Carnage
Why: It’s still too soon for another attempt at Venom, but that doesn’t mean the “Amazing Spider-Man” saga has to be totally Symbiote free. Webb could turn to Carnage, the crazy, psychotic alter ego of crazy, psychotic convict Cletus Kasady. Carnage is way less likable than Venom is, mostly because he has few, if any, redeeming qualities. Carnage is a serial killer, sadist and all around horrible person, which makes him a legitimately scary bad guy.
How: Aaron Paul. With “Breaking Bad” on its way to the big TV graveyard in the sky (pause here for tears), Paul is going to need some work. Though Cletus is about three life sentences away from “loveable misfit,” it would be cool to see what Jesse Plinkman would have been like if he’d been a bona fide psycho. It would also give Aaron Paul some big screen exposure, which the world will always need. Cletus is an older red-headed guy in the comics, but Webb already did some canon-bending, and if it means getting Aaron Paul, then we’d bend over backward.
Who: Sergei Kravinoff/Kraven the Hunter
Why: Kraven is a goofy villain, but if Webb is willing to put Paul Giamatti in a rhinoceros costume, then maybe the aristocrat-turned-big-game-hunter isn’t so far-fetched. Kraven is basically an evil Tarzan on mystical jungle steroids, and vows to hunt (like, literally) Spider-Man to prove that he’s the best hunter in the world. He does so with bows, arrows and a vest made out of leopard skin.
How: Joe Mangianello. In black leather pants. And a furry vest. End of discussion.
Who: Michael Morbius/Morbius the Living Vampire
Why: Dr. Michael Morbius is yet another Spider-Man scientist character who had yet another life-threatening illness and then yet another bright idea that life would just turn out A-OK if he injected himself with some sort of Mysterious and Powerful Serum. And, like all the idiots before him, it wound up turning him into a super-powered super-villain. Morbius is basically a vampire without admitting he’s a vampire, and goes around killing people and drinking people’s blood and annoying Spider-Man. Plus, even though “Twilight” is finally dead, pop culture’s infatuation with the undead is not, so bringing a supernatural Spidey villain might bring in more viewers/fans/money.
How: Speaking of “Twilight”… Robert Pattinson. He’s done the broody vampire thing before, and his broody vampire thing will fit in nicely with Webb’s broody Spider-Man universe. RPattz is probably as hesitant to do another film franchise as Marvel fans would be to see him step into the superhero realm, so it’d be a nice exercise in Trying New Things. But really though – does anyone else have the luscious locks to play Morbius?