March 22, 2005

THWIPP! Round 3

Thomas Hayden Church, of Wings and more recently Sideways fame, has been announced as the new villain for Spiderman 3, though his character is still shrouded in secrecy. The movie is set to release in May of 2007 (closer than you might think at first).

Now that all the press release stuff is out of the way it's time to get my geek on. Who's he going to play you ask? Here are some options, ranked by likelihood:

10. Hydroman. Ok, do we really need to talk about this one much? He's kinda like Sandman, but less cool and made of water. Add in that he'd be a fortune in special effects, even for a movie like Spiderman 3, all for a pay off of one shitty ass character.

9. Manwolf. This one is a little more than what you might think. He's John Jameson, the son of J. Jonah Jameson, Peter's Spiderman-hating boss at the Daily Planet. Basically he picks up a magic rock on a moon landing and gets turned into werewolf. Sure, sounds pretty lame, and in fact that's the death knell for this one. In actuallity they introduced the character in Spidey 2, there's some connection to Mary Jane, and the interplay between J. Jonah, Peter, and John could be interesting. Still, Spidey v. Wolfman isn't exactly going to play well with a non-comicbook audience and as a character he's not that easy to control, which I'll explain later.

8. Hammerhead/Tombstone. These guys are exactly the bonehead thugs you think they are. The problems are many and varied with these guys. First, Thomas Hayden Church doesn't have the body for thugs like these guys. Second, they're just not interesting characters. I mean, Hammerhead bashes things with his head, and they both typically work for the mob. Not what we're looking for exactly, move along people!

7. Jackel. He's actually a really cool character. Sort of a super scientist with a penchant for manipulation and long term plans. But therein is the problem; he's a little too big of a character for the third movie in a trilogy. There's no way they could really do any kind of justice to the character and the character isn't really the type we're looking for here. Plus, he looks too much like The Green Goblin.

6. The Lizard. The first and biggest problem; they already have a Dr. Conners (who turns into the Lizard) in the last movie. Granted, it wasn't a big part, and they could probably just recast the part and nobody would notice/care, but it's an obstacle. Plus, Lizard is a ton of special effects and almost no acting for Church. This wouldn't be the first minor cameo by a star, but there's just not much for Church to do, he doesn't seem like a scientist to me, and Lizard, again, isn't what we need for the third movie.

5. Kraven the Hunter. Church could probably pull this guy off, but he's not without problems. I think Kraven's a bit too aristocratic for what I'm imagining is going on and isn't likely to "work well with others". And actually, unlike so many of the others on this list, Kraven doesn't really lend himself to *enough* special effects. He doesn't fly, he doesn't shoot lazers. All he's got is slightly higher than normal human abilities and a knife.

4. Venom. The old alien symbiote meets rival news man. There have been a few hints dropped in the last two films about a possible Eddie Brock/Venom apparance, and the fanboys crap their pants every time the topic comes up. He'd also be perfect for both the movie and Church. I think they could pretty easily simplify his background enough to fit him into feature film. Unfortunately, I don't think they've set enough up for a Venom appearance in this one. A few more hints dropped and it might have happened, but I think you'd need major introductions in the other two films that just isn't there.

3. Mysterio. Also a good one for Church, though he might not play as well with audiences. Mysterio's a special effects/hallucinogenics expert that succeeds through confusion and obfuscation. He works well and plays well with others, which is what I need for what I'm thinking. The special effects stuff could make for some good scenes. The only real problem is that he's not too cool, as compared to, say, something like Venom. In fact, some people might say he's a little, um, gay, but I think with a really good costume redesign it could be possible.

2. Sandman. We started with Hydroman and threw him out because he's both a rip off of Sandman and because he's lame. Well, Sandman's not. He's a thug type of character so he can work with other characters, but interesting instead of just plain stupid. Plus, it'd be fucking cool special effects wise.

1. Electro/Shocker. Why're they number 1? More importantly, why are they sharing the top spot? Well, they're sharing because they might as well be the same character, powers wise which is important for a special effects movie. These guys can take just enough of the plot to make them interesting without making the audience feel like there's something the movie's not telling them/pissing off the fans. They're both powerful enough to give Spidey a run for his money on their own and can work in teams to really make life hell for our neighborhood wall crawler. Both wear costumes, so it's something Church can do without getting lost in constant special effects, and both of them are of roughly normal build. Also, in teams these guys are dumb enough that they can be bullied by a strong, intelligent leader. Also, my bet is on Electro because Shocker sounds lamer from a marketing perspective.

The reason I've been harping on this "working with other characters" bit is that I think it's pretty obvious at the end of Spidey 2 that Harry Osborne is going to take up the mantle his father left behind. Sure, Sam Raimi has said in interviews that he doesn't feel tied to making Harry become his father, but from a story arc perspective of the trilogy, it just makes more sense for Harry to see his father's failure as the Green Goblin and take up the glider with a much better plan; use a recently arrived somewhat minor villain to either team up with or manipulate into fighting Spiderman. Either in a one-two attack or a full on simultaneous assault the two of them will try to pound on Spiderman until one of them can kill him. Who knows, maybe Harry will realize his mistake just in time and go good at the end. It'd certainly be true to the comic character.

Who knows, maybe I'm totally off base, but I think given the options this seems most likely.

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