In response to Walt’s posting about Spider-Man3 (the movie) in the Cafe’s Sidebar.
LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) — Thomas Haden Church, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor in “Sideways,” has been cast as Spidey’s new archenemy in the next chapter of the “Spider-Man” franchise.
(You can read more of that article here.)
Church, best known for his TV roles in Wings and Ned and Stacy also has some very impressive big screen creds as well (most notably the role of Jack, the self-indulgent actor from the Oscar-Award winning film, Sideways
At any rate, looking for some “expert” input, I posted the note to my Spider buddies. As some of them had already heard about this so we had (and are still having, I might ad) some lively discussion on the matter. As to what we surmised thus far, in our preliminary round of postings is that Church could very well be cast as Sandman, Mysterio and Electro, all of which are what we call “Classic” Spidey villains (as well as being part of a villain group called The Sinister Six), plus one “modern” villain, Venom; all of which are very good guesses. (One thing we do know for certain, is that he won’t be cast as The Lizard, because we’ve already met the Lizard’s alter ego Dr. Curt Connors (played in Spider-Man 2 by Dylan Baker . Also, I personally feel strongly that he won’t be cast as The Vulture because this character is an older man, and thus should be cast as an older actor).
At first, I was going with Mysterio, because his cool illusion powers would make for great visuals (while I personally loved Spidey 1 I felt that the single thing that made Spidey 2 a better film was the presence of Doc Ock. For while it is true that The Green Goblin is considered by many (myself included) to be the foremost villain in Spidey’s Rogue’s Gallery, Doc Ock simply made for a better visual in fighting with Spidey. Sandman would also be pretty cool for the same reasoning (since he can shape his body in multiple forms, he would make for great visuals). Electro falls to the bottom of my list because while his powers are OK, he just stands there and points at stuff and tosses electricity around the room. Not as compelling a visual.
Now Venom, he’s actually close to the top, as he is extremely popular (and among all of Spidey’s foes, is the only one to ever have been granted his own series in which he starred without requiring the presence of Spidey). Plus, since he also can reshape his body as he consumes his victims, he would certainly make for great visuals. The question really is, in which direction will director Sam Rami go? Classic or Modern?
Personally, I’m looking forward to a two or three villain storyline (akin to Batman Forever, which gave us Two-Face and The Riddler; or Batman & Robin, which contained Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze. I think that it would be great to really put Spidey through his paces and put him up against the Sinister Six (which itself went through some seven different line-ups). Still, having said that, I can understand how Rami might want to actually introduce two or three more of these characters into his films before teaming them up.
However, even though I know that fan speculation is high in this regard, and casting choices for comicbook films is the sport of choice amongst the geek set, I tend not to speculate in this arena (having other rants to occupy my time), and writing this column is probably the most time I’ve ever spent mused on the subject. Plus, Rami has just gotten the release date of Spidey 3 moved back a year, so we won’t see it until 2007. Giving us fanboys plenty of time to spin our, er, webs.