Despite the fact that this spring’s addition to the MCU is technically a Captain America film, much of the focus on Marvel cinema these days is revolving around Spider-Man. That’s because thanks to a bizarre agreement between Sony and Marvel Studios, the latter has finally gained the right to insert Spider-Man into the MCU. And sure enough, we’ll see the web-slinger’s debut in Captain America: Civil War.
The character famously appeared in a recent trailer—or at least, the voice of new Spider-Man actor Tom Holland was heard while a stuntman wore the new costume. And now, he’s become a big part of what Marvel fans are looking forward to in Civil War. The recent reveal also ramped up the anticipation for the 2017 Spider-Man film, which will mark the third time this century that the popular character has been adapted for a fresh film franchise.
We know a few details about that project: Holland will play Peter Parker and the focus will be more on the character’s youth than his emergence from high school into the real world (as we’ve seen in previous franchises). We also know that Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May, and that Disney star Zendaya will likely play Parker’s love interest, Michelle. What we don’t know, and what fans can’t wait to find out, is who Spidey’s primary opposition will be. So just for fun, here’s a look at 5 comic villains Marvel Studios could adapt, along with the actors who could be suited to the roles.
1. Kraven The Hunter
According to a report by Screencrush, there may actually be evidence that Kraven has already been chosen as the next on-screen Spider-Man villain. The rumour is thin and apparently based primarily on a Sony executive purchasing a copy of the comic Kraven’s Last Hunt. However, it’s about the only real rumour we have concerning the potential villain, and Kraven would be a worthy pick. He’s essentially a savage hunter who’s brought to New York to track down Spider-Man, and he’s up to the task. He also tends to be popular with fans, and his human brutality might be a nice contrast to so many mystical and supernatural Marvel villains.
Who could play the part? Moviepilot suggested Manu Bennett, best known as Deathstroke on the CW’s Arrow and as Crixus in the STARZ series Spartacus. He could be a great fit.
One of the most famous Spider-Man villains, Venom would be a pick more in line with the MCU, which seems to reach for cosmic interaction whenever possible. He’s also one of the few Spider-Man villains who seemingly couldn’t just be casually dealt with by other Avengers (whereas one would think an Iron Man or Thor could dispatch with Kraven with relative ease). There’s also a small chance Marvel’s already hinted at this character’s involvement. The Contest of Champions mobile game by Kabam has been known to make use of characters who are particularly relevant to the MCU at a given moment, and Venom has become a major part of the game.
Who could play the part? How about Daniel Radcliffe. There tends to be a brooding nature to humans inhabited by the Venom symbiote, and Radcliffe could be a nice dark mirror image to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. If nothing else, it’d be a more successful version of what Sony tried with Topher Grace.
3. The Chameleon
Viewed more as a trickster and nuisance than a super villain, the Chameleon could be a good choice for a first film villain who gives way to a greater villain in film number two. Think of it like the Scarecrow in Batman Begins contributing to the madness of Gotham that gives way to the rise of the Joker. Incidentally, some comics have the Chameleon directly linked to the arrival of Kraven, so the possibility of a pair of villains shouldn’t be discounted.
Who could play the part? Tom Hardy. The guy has a completely different persona and voice in every role, recently played twins, and would probably love the challenge. Plus, seeing him slim down for the role would be fascinating.
4. Green Goblin
Marvel creative boss Kevin Feige has hinted that we won’t have seen the new villain on screen before. But Green Goblin is probably still the safest option. He’s been in multiple franchises already, and has also been a reliable bad guy for game developers catering to huge crowds of Spider-Man fans. Multiple console games have made use of the goblin, and a Spider-Man-themed slot game among Gala’s casino offerings is even called “Attack of the Green Goblin.” Among a number of Marvel-related slot games, this is actually the only one that makes such a clear shout-out to a villain. Among its bonus features is even an “Ultimate Fight” rooftop showdown between Spidey and the Goblin. He’s just a very popular character—not to mention Norman Osborn is a nice counterpart to Tony Stark.
Who could play the part? Think about Bryan Cranston. He already nailed the mad scientist thing pretty well in Breaking Bad.
The Rhino was teased in the form of a snarling, screaming Paul Giamatti at the end of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Rehashing that particular version of the character is probably not an option, but a Rhino character more in line with comics in which he’s a physically enhanced human rather than a screaming lunatic in a truck could be a lot of fun. He’s almost a Hulk-esque brute for Spider-Man to contend with.
Who could play the part? Dwayne Johnson. It’s a bit of a risk, but he’s become a respectable actor and could add a unique touch to the MCU.