Do or Do Not.

“Spider-Man 3″ Has Its Villain…Kinda

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Thomas Haden Church has been cast as the Big Bad in Spider-Man 3. “Well, that could be cool,” I hear you say. “Just which of Spidey’s cruel and curious coterie of villainy will the one-time sitcom star and recent Oscar nominee be portaying? Electro? The Shocker? The Scorpion? The Rhino? The Lizard? Kraven the Hunter? The Hobgoblin? (Or dare I even say it…) Venom?”

That’s just the thing, you see…Columbia Pictures hasn’t yet said which set of tights Church will slip into. I can’t imagine they’d have cast a part that big without knowing the character they were casting, and I can’t imagine Church would have taken the gig without knowing, either–why waste your post-Oscar cache that way? So let’s go through some of the possibilities and see what we can’t suss out.

  1. Electro or The Shocker. There’s nothing particularly memorable or exciting about either one of these guys, except maybe for Electro’s costume–as groovy as it can look in the right artistic hands in the comics, no way does that look anything less than ridiculous on screen. And the electric thing’s been played out by Storm in the X-Men flicks. Shocker’s vibratory powers don’t naturally lend themselves to the compelling visuals we’d need, so I’m going to strike him from the list, too.
  2. The Rhino. Ummmm…. no. Not unless they got someone of Michael Clarke Duncan‘s stature, and he’s already been The Kingpin, so that might just cause some sort of atomic-level meltdown in the heads of fanboys everywhere that could wipe out most of these movies’ core audience. So I’m thinking not a good idea.
  3. Speaking of The Kingpin,… contractually, no. Since Fox had the rights to Daredevil and Sony had ‘em to Spidey, they had to split up the shared assets like children in an acrimonious divorce. Fox got DD, Kingpin, Elektra and Ben Urich, which means (barring further negotiations in the future, which seem pointless and unlikely) none of those characters can show up in Spidey’s New York. It’s almost like the pre-Crisis DC Comics universe, if you think about it… not that I’m recommeding that course of action.
  4. The Lizard. Not a bad possibility here, though they’d already had an actor (veteran character guy Dylan Baker) playing Dr. Curt Connors as a bit part in Spider-Man 2. Baker could easily be considered a placeholder, though, if they wanted to go with a bigger-name actor for the role in later movies. The Lizard would work well for the same reasons Alfred Molina‘s Dr. Octopus worked so well in SM2–great visuals and the conflicted human center that’s the core of the Spider-Man mythos. If done properly (and given the track record of the first two Spidey flicks, I can only assume it would be), the Lizard could be a fantastic foil and provide room for real acting, not just CGI effects. Which brings us to…
  5. Venom. I know that the fanboys of the world are probably ga-ga over the possibility of getting Venom up on the big screen, but I’m not so sure it’s a good idea, especially with the way the first two movies have gone. To his credit, director Sam Raimi has tried to focus on the people and not the costumes; with Venom, what you’d get is largely just CGI. It could be some spectactularly cool CGI, I’ll admit, but this series has been about more than that so far and I’d like to see that trend continue. So while this one’s not a bad possibility, I’m casting my vote against it right now. (You hear me, Columbia Pictures?! Yeah, you!! That’s right, I said no friggin’ Venom! Got it? Don’t make me come out there!!)
  6. Kraven the Hunter. Hmm, could make for an interesting story, but doesn’t have the visual appeal. And Church wouldn’t be ideal casting there. Don’t think so.
  7. The Hobgoblin. They certainly seem to have set Harry Osborn up for this part, or for becoming the next Green Goblin; either way, that’s not the part Church will be playing.
  8. The Black Cat. lol omfg omfg rofl!!!!1!!! Seeing Church in that costume would be worth the price of admission by itself.

A couple of other notes on this topic:

  • They haven’t yet said that Church will be playing the only villain in SM3; while these movies haven’t succumbed to the Batman-esuqe Everything Plus the Evil Kitchen Sink syndrome yet, there’s certainly no saying they can’t fit two baddies into one story. So we could see, for instance, both Harry’s ascendance as a Goblin and whomever it is Church is playing.
  • There’s also the possibility that Church could be playing an entirely new villain created specifically for the movie. That seems kind of like wasted effort given the vast history and untapped depths of Spidey’s canon, but you just never know with these Hollywood types.

So personally I’m voting for ol’ Lowell to be playing the Lizard–seems the best matchup of movie, character and actor. But traditionally, the major movie studios haven’t asked my opinion on such things before moving forward. You’d think they’d have learned better by now.

Cross-posted at Moviegeekz and Comicgeekz.

Written by Allen

March 22nd, 2005 at 10:26 pm

Posted in General

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