Whilst THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN fell slightly short of its superlative name, there’s no doubt that big things are planned for the rebooted franchise. Last week’s news that the film will be the first of a trilogy surprised absolutely no one – especially those who’ve already seen it. Like most comic books it is but one part of a larger story, and the film went to great lengths in spinning a web of potential storylines for its sequels. So what exactly is next for the new Spider-Man? Which characters from Marvel’s large back catalogue are lined up to take centre stage in parts two and three? Here’s a few suggestions based on what THN would like to see…
J. Jonah Jameson
Who? Editor of the Daily Bugle, Peter Parker’s boss, and royal pain in Spidey’s arse.
Why him? Though played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons in Sam Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN movies, he was very much the comic-book version. With Marc Webb directing a more grounded and realistic take on the story (for the most part), is it perhaps time for a serious and altogether more sinister J. Jonah Jameson to step up?
How exactly? With the NYPD now endorsing Spidey’s vigilante shenanigans, Jameson could take the role of antagonistic authority figure (often crucial for the underdog hero to overcome in his travels). Waging a good old fashioned smear campaign in the pages of the Bugle, Jameson could be essential in turning the public against Spider-Man, and perhaps even stand alongside the next villain…
Played by? Chris Cooper could be a sound choice for a darker Jameson.
Who? AKA Mac Gargan, private investigator-turned-supervillain. A foe from Spidey’s early days.
Why him? The product of a scientific test into genetic mutations, Scorpion fits the rebooted franchise perfectly, continuing the gene splicing and man versus animal themes played out by Spider-Man and the Lizard.
How exactly? Much like the original comic, J. Jonah Jameson could fund Gargan’s transformation, only for it to go wrong and the Scorpion turn on him as he loses his mind. Might Jameson find himself reluctantly working alongside Spidey to bring down the monster he has created? No need to kill off Gargan however – he may prove useful yet. In the comics he would later become an incarnation of a certain villain named Venom…
Played by? Someone muscular and imposing enough fill Scorpion’s threads, but also believable as a whip-smart private investigator – suggest Viggo Mortensen.
The Black Cat
Who? AKA Felicia Hardy, cat burglar-cum-superhero. And a rather saucy one at that.
Why her? As a love interest of Peter Parker, could the Black Cat become a rival to Gwen Stacey? Peter and Gwen’s relationship will need some bumpy roads to travel if they’re to remain an interesting and dramatic couple (before poor Gwen is inevitably dumped off a bridge).
How exactly? The Black Cat could prove an elusive yet well-known criminal, getting her claws into some high-profile goods. With Spidey on her case, the two could have a showdown and accidental embrace, before Hardy falls for Parker’s charms. It’s also high-time Spider-Man found himself an ally in the field, and Black Cat could prowl the line between friend and foe purr-fectly. Sorry.
Played by? Anna Paquin will slip into the cat suit very nicely. Very nicely indeed.
Who? Popular villain from the Marvel comics and royally ballsed-up in SPIDER-MAN 3 – the dastardly union of journalist Eddie Brock and an alien symbiote. Think of him as the anti-Spidey.
Why him? If AVENGERS ASSEMBLE has proved anything, it’s that the on-screen crossover works – and make no mistake, Columbia will want a slice of the business Marvel Studios has drummed up with its superhero ensemble. With a solo VENOM movie already planned (read here… and here), he could easily appear in an AMAZING SPIDER-MAN sequel, finding himself at odds with Peter Parker. He also deserves a fair shot at big-screen villainy after SPIDER-MAN 3 reduced him to little more than a supporting player.
How exactly? Hopefully the VENOM movie will get all the origin stuff out the way, and he’ll be an established character by the time he trades blows with Spidey (therefore avoiding one of the major problems of Raimi’s version). Venom originally saw himself as a hero and Spider-Man as the villain, which could put an interesting twist on their conflict and relationship. Maybe the two will even make amends and join forces in a later movie (as they’ve done in the comics), taking on a more wholly evil foe…
Played by? Not Topher Grace. Anyone but Topher f*cking Grace.
The Green Goblin
Who? Alter-ego of industrialist Norman Osborn and Spider-Man’s greatest nemesis…
Why him? As good as Willem Dafoe was, the Raimi version of Goblin was, and let’s be honest, a bit crap. The rubber mask of the comics might have looked a bit daft had it appeared on screen, but no worse than the cut-price Power Ranger we ended up with. This time, let’s have the real deal – dark, menacing, and decidedly Goblin-esque.
How exactly? Osborn has already been introduced in the reboot: now terminally ill, Osborn’s search for a cure inadvertently creates both Spider-Man and the Lizard. And let’s assume that the shadowy figure taunting Ifan’s Curt Connors after the credits roll is Osborn himself, and the backstory involving Parker’s father is somehow leading to a Spider-Goblin smackdown. Surely it’s not long before Osborn’s quest for life sends him loopy and homicidal. And given the nature of Richard Parker and Curt Connors experimnents, there’s always the chance Osborn will actually transform into a green monster, much like the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ comics (not sure what we think of that). Either way, expect Parker to seek vengeance once the Green Goblin kills Gwen Stacey – unfortunately she doesn’t stand a chance.
Played by? If that mysterious character is indeed Norman Osborn, them Michael Massee already has the gig. But the character could always be recast as someone more bankable.
Let THN what you’d like to see from the upcoming SPIDER-MAN sequels in the comments below!