Spider-Man 4: The Villain Conundrum
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 11:46 by Chris Hewitt in Off The Wire
So, the word on the street is that Spider-Man 4 has been delayed because of script issues: namely, Sam Raimi wants the script to feature The Vulture (a role for which John Malkovich has already reportedly been costume-tested), and Sony doesn’t. Instead, they want Black Cat and A. N. Other-Bad-Guy.
In Raimi’s defence, he’s been on the Vulture campaign trail for some time now, apparently lobbying hard for the winged cueball to show up in Spider-Man 3. He was overruled then, with Sony and producer Avi Arad insisting that he go with Venom… and we all know how that turned out.
Also, Raimi’s had success with old-style Spider-villains. The cock-up with the Green Goblin’s costume aside, the character had the right blend of nastiness and insanity. Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, from Spider-Man 2, is one of the finest comic-book movie villains of all time, and though Thomas Haden Church’s The Sandman was given to moments of manufactured maudlinism, Raimi still captured the look of the character, while the effects were mindblowing.
Besides, Raimi told Empire last year that the only reason he returned to Spider-Man 4 was, essentially, to do it right, and to do it his own way. Having already seen the quality of his film suffer thanks to an enforced villain, will he really want to hang around and do it all again this time round?
In Sony’s defence, though, The Vulture is an old bald guy with wings. Not only does the character run the risk of looking utterly ridiculous, but there’s also a chance that, as we watch Spidery whale on a guy who really should be hobbling across the street to pick up his pension and an extra-large bag of mint humbugs, audiences might turn on the wallcrawler for picking on an OAP. After all, all Peter Parker has to do to defeat The Vulture, ultimately, is outlive him.
So who’s right? Who’s wrong? And who would you rather see Spidey battle? To help you along, we’ve given you a few options, but feel free to add your own.
| ||Carnage |
A more psychotic offshoot of the Venom symbiote, Carnage – who bonds with savage serial killer, Cletus Kasady – might be far, far too dark for a PG-13 movie (imagine Hannibal Lecter with superpowers and you’re on the right track), but he might atone for that horrible Venom mess.
| ||Black Cat |
AKA Felicia Hardy, a white-haired cat burglar who flirts heavily with Peter Parker, and then confuses him mightily by beating the shit out of him when he’s dressed in the red-and-blue. As mentioned above, Sony is reportedly pushing hard for Black Cat to crop up in Spider-Man 4, but the obvious Catwoman connotations might put the kibosh on that.
| ||Electro |
The main villain in James Cameron’s scriptment, back when the King of the World was toying with the idea of bringing Spidey to the big screen, Electro finds that he can conduct, absorb and dispense electricity after that Stan Lee staple, a TERRIBLE ACCIDENT. Despite a really snazzy costume and powers that should mean he could fry Spidey’s heart in seconds, Electro has never really posed to the webslinger the threat that he should. Cameron fixed that in his scriptment, turning Electro/Max Dillon into a right nasty bastard who killed henchmen and brought them back to life on a whim, but as far as we know, he’s never figured in Raimi’s thoughts. Shame.
| ||Mysterio |
A master illusionist who wears a goldfish bowl on his head, Quentin Beck would be the villain of choice should Raimi or Sony want to go a bit trippy with their villain. Bruce Campbell had been linked with the role for Spider-Man 3, but we can’t see that happening, sadly.
| ||The Lizard |
Poor old Dylan Baker. The character actor has been quietly waiting in the wings as Peter’s one-armed teacher, for three Spider-movies now, just biding his time before his character, Dr. Curt Connors, transforms, via a TERRIBLE ACCIDENT, into the snarling, reptilian Lizard, complete with inhuman strength, whiplash tail and slimy drool. And yet he seems no nearer to actually taking the plunge, with rumour having it that Sony might not want such an utterly alien character, after Venom. We’ll say it again: poor old Dylan Baker.
| ||Kraven The Hunter |
Imagine if a member of The Village People got bored of flouncing around to YMCA, and instead dedicated themselves to becoming the world’s greatest hunter… while at the same time retaining their flamboyant costume. The result would be Kraven The Hunter, a leopard-skin-bedecked uber-killer, hellbent on offing Spider-Man in order to prove that he’s the greatest hunter in the world. It’s not entirely balanced reasoning, but then no sane man would ever wear those leggings with those shoulder pads.
| ||Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor |
Like Kraven, only shorter, squatter and even more accurate. Over distances of eight feet
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Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 12:55
Carnage would be great but Raimi didn't like Venom so I doubt he'd be keen on Carnage!! I think Vulture could be okay but they'd need to be take some artistic licence with the character to do it well and then you run the risk of pissing off fanboys!!! But come on Raimi/Marvel it is surely the Lizards time!!!
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 13:09
Why go for a well known villian? Spiderman has years of lesser known villians that are just as good. Like Morbius, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist who attempts to cure himself of a rare blood disease with an experimental treatment involving vampire bats and electroshock therapy. He instead becomes afflicted with a far worse condition that mimics the powers and bloodthirst of vampirism. I know everyone is probably bored of vampires now but they are still in and, bonus points for sony, Morbius was Black Cat's love interest.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 14:06
A Kraven story would be good. If nothing else than to lay the groundwork to use Fearful Symmetry:Kravens last hunt as the basis for a future fiilm
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 14:08
I still think it should be Lizard... I think it could make for a really good story and the CG could be awesome as well. Maybe introduce Kraven hunting both Spidey and Conners in NYC.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 14:14
Carnage?! Never, never, never. If Venom is a poor character - and he is - and Raimi hates him - and he does- then his knock off is right out of the question. The Marvel films are plagued by too many "bigger, badder" characters anyway (Hulk and Abomination, Iron Man and Iron Monger/War Machine).
Should go with the Lizard, they've layered Phil Connors in nicely. But yet another scientist getting transformed in an accident (after Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus) probably won't fly.
I've long hoped that a Spider-Man film would open with a breezy montage of him battling a succession of flamboyant villains (Stilt Man, the Enforcers, Hammerhead) before focusing on one credible threat, neatly solving the multiple villain/merchandising quandry.
That or stick with the Steve Ditko years, reveal that Dok Ock didn't die and have him return with the Sinister Six; Electro, the Vulture, Mysterio, Kraven the Hunter and a coerced Sandman.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 14:15
So many rewrites to a script that seems to have no main characters apart from the red and blue guy. Since there's so many rewrites being done why not get J.Michael Straczynski input into it. He's work on The Amazing Spider-man contain some of the best character driven stories for the Spider-man comic book series ever. Since were on the subject of villians. Why not go all out and do the Morbius/Black Cat/Human spider storyline of the early 90's cartoon. After all Raimi did set it up a little bit in Spiderman 2, Where Parker kept looseing his powers on/off as he did in the cartoon until he turn into the Human Spider. Maybe they could threw in Doctor Conners turning into the lizard as he tires to find a cure for peter near the end of the fourth. Then in the next two movie, Peter tires to found a cure for Connors while the movies could cover the whole Book of Ezekiel & The Other comic book storyline. Which were brillant stories and written by J.Michael Straczynski.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 14:17
There should not be a Spiderman 4, period. But if we absolutely MUST have one, then go for Lizard. He's the only one which makes sense as far as plot and logic are concerned.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 14:47
Screw it, just do the Clone Saga already so there's a legitimate reason to reboot the franchise (and we get to see Ben Reilly).
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 15:05
I've also been really looking forward to seeing The Lizard, I think Electro would be really cool to see, with a new costume he could make a lot of things go BOOM making for some awsome action scenes, Vulture could be cool, Malkovich is good casting but EMPIRE is right in the fact that he could look silly. But whoever they choose spidy 4 should make Curt Connors a bigger character giving him a bit more background and finish on him first turning into Lizard for a super cool twist ending. =D
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 15:27
Lets face it...Raimi could bring in the cookie monster and Sooty and Sweep and it would be better than the shambles that was Spidy 3!! so who cares... te franchise should die with that pi$$ poor end to the trilogy...oh and Tobey Maguire has all the acting talant and charisma of a used condom...FACT!
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 15:54
Not convinced by Vulture or Carnage. I think Lizard should be the choice villain but somehow I doubt the studio will go for it. Kraven would be ok but a bit uninteresting to me. Morbius is quite a good shout and I think Black Cat would actually be good. Electro could be pretty good too. I think Mysterio should be a pre credit villain who gets taken down by Spidey in the first five minutes. Of course played by Bruce Campbell. Glad to see no mnetion of Rhino or Shocker as I always disliked them.I think Hydro could be ok and the Chameleon in some form or other. Just as long as it more Spidey 2 than 3.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 16:12
Lizard would be the best bet as it would need no long set up (in the usual, lets take 40 mins setting up the villian Sam Raimi style) which stopped the Sandman being remotely interesting in Spiderman 3.
Also, is it too much to ask to see Shocker and Spidey fight at the start? We could be dropped into it quiet nicely and can you imagine the explosive start to the movie? He could even be played by Bruce Campbell which, in my opinion, would atone for the mess Spidey 3 was straight away!
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 16:38
Doesn't Spidey 3 show that more than one villain doesn't work as all the character development is wasted on whiney MJ and the god-awful Aunt May. Might as well go with the Vulture, as the action sequences would be cooler with a flying villain rather than the Lizard or Kraven, which probably wouldn't ever top the train fight with Doc Ock
And on a side-note, why bring in another love interest in Black Cat? Between MJ, Gwen Stacy and even Betty Brant they have enough choice to have a romance in the back drop
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 17:27
personally i think that the perfect villians and logical ones are Kraven the hunter and The Lizard. I have a whole story in my head to go with them. :).... However i do think the likes of carnage could do well, but would suffer due to age certification of the movie being more family orientated!! Mysterio would also be a good bet... but not sure..
i actually can see why Rami is going for the Vulture. Its not what i would do, but understand it. Plus he is a fan. Let him have a go at the film, his own way. Just my opinion.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 17:32
ELCTRO!!!!! Or how about "Shocker" that guy who err... zapped people with stuff, or the Rhino!!
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 18:23
The Lizard and Kraven would work well....
Or do the Sinister Six with: Mysterio, Electro, Shocker, Rhino, Scorpion and Vulture.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 18:29
Shocker was cool - and Rhino - and there was Scorpion as well, right?
Mysterio would definitely be a good one.
But didn't Jonah Jameson's son also become a Wolf or something after going into space? A bit The Wolfman I admit, but may be interesting with some character history thrown in.
Also, speaking of making it an interesting character, why not just invent a new bad guy? It might work, rather than shoe-horning in whoever doesn't quite fit the story.
Personally I can't see the fuss - Malkovich has made a great bad guy before - why not again?
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 19:41
I have always thought that they could do a lot with Mysterio...a good opportunity for a twisting story and some cool SFX.
However, i'm also drawn to Kraven...I never liked him for years, that is until I read "Kraven's Last Hunt". I think a take on this substituting The Lizard for Vermin, would make for a fantastic return to form for this franchise!!!
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 20:06
I don't know why they don't hire Bendis to write a screenplay.
My dream for a future Spidey movie would be to have someone other than Sam Raimi directing. Raimi's done the classic villains he loves so much, and they were cool up until he was forced to bring the newer bad guys in. So let Raimi go and bring in someone who just wants to make a cool movie. Get Zack Snyder if you have to.
Then get Bendis to write the screenplay, he did wonders for the character in his Ultimate Spider Man series, and with him penning the thing you can guarantee Spidey will be funny, MJ will be likeable and not at all whiney, nobody will do an emo dance and the dialogue in general will be pretty great.
If they have to go with classic villains, I don't see why a story involving Kraven hunting the Lizard whilst Spidey tries to protect Dr. Connors wouldn't work.
As for newer villains, Morbius is a good bet, but maybe a little too ridiculous given he's a vampire. Black Cat should certainly pop up, but no way is she enough of an antagonist. Maybe Silver Sable?
I'd like to see Kaine or Ben Reilly on screen too but I suspect any writer is far too smart to risk going anywhere near the Clone Saga.
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 20:41
I would like to see the Vulture purely because i am a fan of John Malkovich but aside from that i never saw the actual character as being enough for a big sequel i always hoped for something like Electro and after reading James Camerons ideas for the character i would love to see his take on it Electro has always been a favourite villan of mine though i would also love to see Carnage because the pure pyschotic rage would make him stand apart from Venom i so see Jim Carrey playin Kletus.
To be honest though whatever the villan ends up being i hope the studio lets Sam do it his way because otherwise his heart and soul wont be in it which i think it wasnt in the 3rd movie which showed apart from Sandmans part which was more or less spot on
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 21:39
Mysterio.... IN 3D !!!
Well no, just kiddin'...
The Lizard Must be on the list !
Carnage is no good (except maybe for the Venom Spinoff)...and Vulture can't stay the main villain, like you said, seen an old guy with wings during 2 hours cannot be fun... For the first Spidey movie, I was hoping a brief cameo from the Vulture, but he can't stay the distance.
But anyway, why don't they bring the two brothers together ? Chameleon and Kraven ? It must be fun !
"Watch out ! It's a trap !"
Posted on Wednesday January 6, 2010, 23:36
I think we've had this debate before, but I think the logical thing would be to have Sam Rockwell play Conners/Lizard and have Spidey try to cure/protect him from Ryan Reynolds Kraven The Hunter possibly go in a new direction which could tie in the Avengers, maybe Captain America providing a cameo. Would be a good story I think.
And If I'm not mistaken they killed off The Vulture in Spidey 1 in the parade balcony scene! The story has gone to far for a reboot, and if they do that a reboot of X-men and Wolverine will soon follow I think. Why are they F'ing up all the good superhero characters????
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 08:18
Lets get this straight people, the villian of the piece is essential, and as they are seemingly building a "Marvel Universe" in films, what with various cross overs and bit parts and cameos, these characters have to be right. So lets forget Vulture, he is, as rightly put, an old dude with wings. Yes the malcovich would be as menacing as ever but the character is flawed. Carnage would not work, too grizzly for "kids" film...........or maybe thats where it should go. Raimi is master of horror. Top 3 villians would be Kraven, The Lizard and, my favourite, Morlun. Morlun created a whole world of pain for spidey unseen by any Marvel character before, before Pete came back and embraced his spider personae completely. Iron man could even make cameo and give him his upgraded suit. Imagine that!!The lizard is too similar to Spiderman (agile/fast/strong) but remember kids, one hero, one villian.
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 09:35
I'm also of the opinion that Vulture is a weak villain for the film - I know Raimi is enamoured with the "classic" villains but Vulture ranks as one of the goofiest and will need serious work to make him a threat on screen. I'm sure Malkovich would be fine in the role but if the character is to be used then I'd hope he spent more time out of costume and was used like a Bond villain - he's the puppet master but not the visible threat until the last act.
Balls to Black Cat. Her inclusion would be a device to create some more Peter-Mary Jane tension but given how much Raimi and co play up the melodrama in these films I'm cringing at the thought of Maguire and Dunst lifelessly having another screen heart to heart. Plus as a villain/partner the Black Cat just feels like a Catwoman rip off (albeit with some stupid sounding "bad luck" powers).
The Lizard seems to be an obvious choice for villain considering Dylan Baker has cameod as Dr Connors in the last 2 films. However as he's just a rampaging monster he couldn't be the solo villain. Many people feel Kraven would be a suitable character to play against both Spider-Man and Lizard: I agree.
Legend has it that Raimi's original idea for 3 was for Vulture and Sandman to team up with Vulture essentially forcing Sandman into his criminal acts. To me Electro would have seemed a better fit for the intended Vulture role before Venom was shoehorned in. It fits the character better and also it could have led to a great sequence where Sandman turns on him at the end and maybe Electro's powers cause Sandman to turn to glass (as has been used in the comics a few times). Could have been a far more interesting end for Sandman (dying as a hero) than the tearful and cheesy rooftop confession & forgiveness at the end of 3. Maybe he could be worked into 3?
Or how about a return of Doc Ock? Raimi has said before that he isn't necessarilly dead.
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 11:23
I wasnt too pushed on the whole 2 villain idea that happened in Spidey 3...venom and sandman would have been great on their own. However, I do think that the ending worked well...The way sandman atoned for his crimes...ok, he's a villain thru and thru so mayb it doesnt work too well for his character...but imagine Lizard as the main villain of Spidey 4...but we also have Felecia Harty aka Blackcat as another minor villain....we all know that Blackcat is not a true spidey villain, so it would be great to see her getting up to her antics but them some point towards the end she could see the error of her ways and turn around and help spidey in a final confrontation with the Lizard...
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 12:33
The only film that has worked for me with 3 villains in was 'The Dark Knight'. Why Sony have to have more than one villain is beyond me. Doc Ock worked really well, I wish there was some way of bringing him back. Most obvious are:
1. The Hobgoblin
2. Kingpin/Purple Rose
3. Kraven the Hunter
If they use Kraven it should be a 2 part film, introducing him in the first one and having Spidey ridicule him to the point that the story then switches to 'Kraven's Last Hunt' which was a great graphic novel.
If not, why not have the villain as Avi Arad, the exec with a grievance!!!
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 12:37
They should create a new character that fits with the universe they've made for the films.
Ideally it shouldn't have feathers, a tail or a fishbowl on it's head
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 12:49
Carnage can't really be done, because that would involve bringing Venom back into the picture. Can't rightly remember, having switched off about halfway through SM3 on account of it sucking ass - did Eddie Brock/Venom survive? I'll assume he can't be used again. Venom should really have been left out of SM3 and given the whole of SM4 to himself, which could have allowed for some character development, laying the foundation for Carnage, etc. Unfortunately, having exhausted Venom and boxed Carnage out in the process, 2 of the best SM villains can't be used for the next film(s). I'd go for Rhino or The Lizard, or possibly Electro or Kraven, if they made the latter 2 slightly less camp and more badass.
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 14:13
The film should start with a black suited (non Sybiot) Spidey tracking a man sized lizard in a labcoat through the sewers. Spidey gets a gash on his arm from the fight.
Connors - Where did you get that cut?
Peter - Bike messenger.
News of The Lizard reaches Kraven the Hunter, who decides this will be his greatest hunt. Kraven fights The Lizard and gets a beating, watched by Spidey. Spidey and Kraven "team up" to catch The Lizard. When they do, Spider-Man discovers that Kraven intends to kill Connors, whilst Spidey wants to cure him. This prompts a face off, almost "Predator"-esque between Spider-Man and Kraven.
If done, Raimi would probably have Connors control The Lizard and help Spider-Man defeat Kraven, this a self aware Lizard running off into the sewers at the end.
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 16:22
At this stage has to be the Lizard, theyve worked Dylan Bakers character in well in the previous 2 films.
However Y not tye him into transformin at the end of the film, for Spidey 5, could end with him & Peter trying experiment, It could be a build up for the nxt film.
For Spidey 4 think its has to be one villain, pointless havin Black Cat, unless she is going to team up we Spidey to defeat the villain, (but i'd like to c Iron Man make an appearance, Spidey part of the Avengers) I'd Like to c Electro or Kraven, but something would have to lead the game hunter to NYC, would he really go after our friendly neighbour hood spidey in this day & age.
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 16:56
I watched Spiderman 3 for the first time yesterday, and being a fan of the first two, couldn't beleive how bad it was. The whole Peter Parker must be bad becuase his hair is swpet to the side, the pointlessness of The Sandman character killing his uncle and undoing whats gone before (try explaining it to my three year old son!) Green Goblin teaming up with Spiderman and Venom being...well, a waste of time. Here's hoping when they do get round to doing it Spiderman 4 can return to the classics of 1 and 2.
And please, please...no more dance scenes..!
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 18:35
I think Carnage would be a brilliant villain! But at the same time, Raimi should build it up, out of the suggested few, deffinatley Electro or Mysterio!
Both great Spidey villains!
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 20:02
I agree with jaycranney it should be The Lizard and have Kraven hunting what he beleives to be the ultimate prey until he meets Our Freindly Neighbourhood Spider-man.
Posted on Thursday January 7, 2010, 23:05
Carnage would be great but I can't see it happening. The same goes for the Lizard.
I don't think Raimi's going to get things to go his way this time either. To be honest I can't se why he would ever have thought that it would.
Posted on Monday July 12, 2010, 13:31
Can't really see Spidey 'teaming up' with the avengers. He's his own man and argueably the greatest of all comic book heroes. His world stands alone and doesn't need any outside help to make it any more believable or interesting. As for baddies, hello? Kingpin? Enough tails, goldfish bowls and tentacles. Like a lot of great/terrrible goodies/baddies he has no special powers, relying on intelligence and will-power, a most frightening and more understandable threat. With him come links to other more 'real' characters like Daredevil and The Punisher (2 great characters tragically ruined with half-assed films). Hydra could be introduced and also Nick Fury and Co. The Kingpin brings along so much back story and other people for the ride the story would practically write itself.....