WHAT?!?! IS MARC WEBB GETTING HIS SECRET ORIGIN BACK?
Here’s why this throws me – remember my interview with Avi Arad and Matt Tolemach? Before that I was talking to Kellvin, Latino-Review’s fearless Editor-In-Chief about who could be the villain for ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2.’
“Well,” I said, “when Peter is on the tour of Oscorp, they show the genetic tree they are working with and there’s a Scorpion and a Rhino in there to tie into the video game.”
Which lead me to botch the direct question when talking to ASM’s producers (me in bold):
Are there HINTS on the walls? Because I know, like, on the DNA tree we get a close up of the spider, but we see a Rhino and a Scorpian, which I know are the video game bad guys – so I’m not going to ask you guys if it’s Rhino or Scorpian – but is there something in the movie besides the end credits scene that shows us where you guys think this is immediately going?
Avi: I think, obviously, if you’re a comic fan, [Gwen’s] father is dead, so…
Well, yeah, Norman Osborn is in the world, but that [Gwen Stacy’s death at the hands of the Green Goblin] seems like a trilogy capper, guys, so where are we going immediately – are we going to investigate the Parkers more?
Matt: We know and it’s awesome, but it’s in the hands of Kurtzman and Orci now.
Here I thought they just wouldn’t use the plotline from the video game, because it was SO DEPENDENT on Rajit Ratha (portrayed in the movie by Irrfan Khan and he of the deleted scene that revealed Parker’s “hidden” origins).
Imagine my surprise when THR reported:
Paul Giamatti is in talks to join The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to play the villain known as The Rhino while Felicity Jones also is negotiating for an unspecified role.
And this character isn’t new to the universe. Here’s how the ASM Wiki describes this new origin in the re-booted ASM universe:
Unlike all of the other cross-species, which were created after Curt Connors terrorized the city as the Lizard, Rhino was the result of a pet project of Connors’ direct superior, Rajit Ratha. As Connors and Peter Parkerworked to develop the serum that would ultimately turn Connors into the Lizard, Ratha applied what he had learned through Connors’ research to black-market dealings. Without the knowledge or consent of his superiors at Oscorp, Ratha forcefully enlisted the help of Dr. Michael Morbius, threatening to end the reclusive biochemist’s career if he refused to help. Morbius reluctantly complied, applying the rhinoceros DNA with which Ratha supplied him to a cross-species serum similar in nature to Connors’ own for the Lizard.
Ratha’s next step was to test the serum, and his underworld clients were all too happy to providce his oblivious human test subject: a low-level thug named Aleksei Sytsevich. If it worked, the mafia would have a new weapon on its hands; if not… no great loss.
After and [sic] excruciatingly painful transformation, Sytsevich was now a hybrid of man and rhinoceros, ready to tear apart anything in his path – Ratha’s clients would be pleased. Unfortuanetly [sic] for the corrupted businessman, however, his own life was taken by the Lizard before the transaction could be completed. Morbius would soon claim that he created Rhino entirely of his own volition, with help from Connors’ notes. Also, knowing that animalizing a human crossed an ethical line even at Oscorp, Morbius furthered the lie to suggest that Rhino was in fact originally a rhinoceros that was infused with human DNA. Only Sytsevich knows otherwise.
The game doesn’t end with Rhino dying, so is it possible Marc Webb gets to retcon his own failed retcon by investigating what happened to Dr. Ratha in his drastically-altered theatrical cut?
And why hire non-body-builder Paul Giamatti?
Theory One – because he asked for it on Conan:
Theory Two – because he won’t be in the costume much if at all.
BECAUSE, YOU CRAZIES, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 IS ABOUT CONSEQUENCES.
We know Electro is going to feel like he’s a peer to Spider-Man and won’t be a true villain in the way we thought. We also know that we’re building to Osborn’s Green Goblin throwing Gwen Stacy off a bridge. So the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the series, if you will, is going to take us down a dark road of the consequences of the Parker and Osborn experiments.
Namely, I think we’ll mostly be seeing the down-powered Aleksei Sytsevich, not a Paul Giamatti face plastered on a big CGI Rhino. If you need someone to sell the pain of “my badass scenes were relegated to a video game,” you can’t do much better than Giamatti.
I’m on board with Theory 2, because I’m already super cautious about villain overload, and anyone involved in any Marvel property should be too.
As for Felicity Jones and my speculation – Well, Betty Brant never got a serious shot at a real character in the original Spider-Man trilogy, and why not toss in a brunette with the red-head for ASM2.