Spidey goes Sideways

I’m sure everyone’s heard that Thomas Haden Church was announced yesterday as signing up to play the new villain in Spider-Man 3. And apparently he’s going to be Venom, if this interview with special effects guy Tim Phoenix means anything:


About midway down the article it’s revealed that the villains will be Venom and Man-Wolf. So I’d imagine that means Church will be Venom, since presumably the guy who played John Jameson in Spidey 2 will be back as the Man-Wolf.

Anyhow, if this is true, it’s incredibly bizarre. Venom I can sort of understand, although he never really became one of Spider-Man’s classic villains, and pretty much vanished from the books after about 1995 or so. These days, he’s just a suit – that, incidentally, has left Eddie Brock and moved on to the Scorpion. But Man-Wolf? It would explain why John Jameson was in Spidey 2, though you can’t dig any further into the Spidey villain B-list without dredging up the likes of the Kangaroo.

Also, how can Raimi avoid turning Harry into Green Goblin II, or the Hobgoblin, in Spidey III? That revelation in Spidey 2 has to lead directly into something. I’m wondering if the whole Man-Wolf-Venom thing is BS and Church is actually going to take over the Norman Osborn role from Willem Dafoe, either as a ghost/delusion inspiring Harry or as a reborn Norman. Church and Dafoe do look a little bit alike.

The Green Goblin II thing is weird, but less Harry is not a bad thing, really. I’d love to see Harry Osborne and Anakin Skywalker in a no-holds-barred whine-off.

Bring on the Venom. He’s by far my favorite Spidey villain, and all I really want is to see him on the big screen before the series spirals into crapulence. Man-Wolf is an extremely odd choice, though I guess putting Jameson’s son in SM2 was a pretty decent tipoff. I’d imagine the space mission that causes the wolf problem will be tied into Venom’s origin.

I read all the Spidey titles, including all 150 Marvel Team-ups when I was a kid and I can safely say that I don’t know who the fuck Man-Wolf is. I know my Spidey villains/threatening creatures, from the decrepit Vulture to the Jackal, Rhino, the Vulture and Gibbon – and even the swishy latin Tarantula. But I cannot remember anyone named Man-Wolf. Are you sure this isn’t a red herring (the only animal not in spidey’s rogues gallery) to distract us from the appearance of the Lizard, because the first two films have already established Dr. Connors.

I’d like to see the Sandman, myself. He seems like a natural for CGI.

No, I can remember the Man-Wolf. He was Jameson’s son, as Brett noted. The fact that an avid Spidey reader can’t recall the villain should tell Raimi something about this choice.

I was hoping the Lizard would be in the 3rd film.

Sometime during the past year I downloaded a crazy-ass story from the 70s about the Man-Wolf living in a micro-universe on the surface of a bracelet and being worshipped as a god…I think the She-Hulk was involved, throwing the bracelet around in the real world? Somehow I doubt they’ll use that one for the movie…

I really would have liked it better if they stayed away from the “trendy” Spiderman villians. Right now, Spidey’s world is pretty low tech and not full of mutants so low tech or science villians like Kraven, Vulture, Sandman, Rhino, Lizard, etc would fit in much better. Plus it would allow them a chance to continue working on the relationships.

I guess I’d like to see Spiderman somewhat follow his timeline and not jump ahead.

The main problem with Man-Wolf is that most people will look at him and say “The hell? Why is there a werewolf in my superhero movie?” It’ll be seen as a nonsensical blending of genres.

Kraven or the Lizard would have been much better choices. Heck, they could make a whole movie about Kraven hunting Spidy down and getting ever closer to his secret identity.

But Venom could be cool, too, as it could easily be played as a continuation of the “Who/what am I?” theme that made the 1st two movies so great. I’m just afraid that they’ll tone him down so they don’t break the CGI FX budget.

Also, Man-Wolf:

I can’t quite see this as being real. Raimi and Sargent have said many times that they love the early Spider-Man villains best, so I’m much more willing to believe we’re going to see a Sandman or Electro running around.

Electro would fit Church better, since Sandman is considerably more bulky than the actor. Mysterio would be a fun choice too.

I also don’t see how the third movie won’t involve either the Green Goblin II or Hobgoblin, what with all the setup and this being the third and probably last movie involving the original cast, so from a dramatic standpoint a conclusion to the Harry arc seems the most likely.

As for Venom, despite the fanboy love of the poster child for 90s Xtreme anti-heroes, I can’t see him working on the big screen as well as most other Spidey villains. On film, contrasting characters always seem to work best, and Venom and Spidey’s powers are just similar enough to make the battles to be potentially boring.

Yeah, i think they should use Dracula like they did in one of the Annuals.

My picks for villians- venom, ok with that one.
Kraven, Scorpion,Turantula pre mutation, Mysterio,Vulchie, electro, sandman, but my real pick would be Dr. Doom. i always loved the Doom/spidey stories. Personally i say, do a Sinister six, throw everyone in the pot, and just make it totally over the top.

oh, and this record is how I remember Man-wolf. Gave me nightmares and mommy threw it out.

No! That’s a big chunk of why the later Batman movies were so terrible. You can’t tell a story if you’re trying to find screen time for a huge cast of characters.

Man-Wolf is pretty early, though, at least in comparison to Venom. And John Jameson was in issue #1 of ASM. You can’t get any earlier than this guy, who showed up before everybody but Peter, Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Flash, and Jonah.

Anyhow, who cares? The movies, while good, have been an Ultimatized “Spidey’'s Greatest Hits!” anyhow, so it’s not like Raimi is following any of the comic timeline or characterizations. Venom will look very cool on-screen, and that’s all that really matters, I guess.

I would have loved to see the death of Gwen Stacy in one of these movies, some lingering tension between Peter and Norman Osborn carried between movies, some tension between Gwen and MJ and Peter – essentially, character development that continues through the movies, stopping everything at the end of each 120 minutes only to start up again all fresh in the next 120 minutes. I can’t really get into movie series like this, in the same way as I can’t get into procedural TV series like Law & Order that hit the reset button at the end of every episode.

I hated that they killed the first GG at the end of the first movie. Yeah, a solid conclusion is nice, but when you’re dealing with an iconic villain like that, and a potential blockbuster franchise, there’s a lot to be gained by leaving people a little in the lurch. Has nobody learned from killing the Joker at the end of the first Batman? What a stupid, stupid move. Nicholson was by far the best thing about that movie. Leaving some mystery over his fate would have increased interest in the next movie, and it would have saved the whole Bat-movie series from getting increasingly stupid and outlandish in an attempt to recapture public interest.

I’ll be surprised if its Venom. Supposedly Raimi isn’t a fan of the character at all. The only way I an see it is if Marvel and/or Sony pushed it since he’s a fan favorite.

As to Harry Osborne- following Spidey 2’s release Raimi stated that while he will deal with Harry’s feelings toward Peter he wasn’t ready to commit to making him a principal villain in Spiderman 3.

good point about the sinister six, i retract.

Brett- it seems that hollywood loves to kill the villian. Magneto,Doc Ock and the Riddler are the only ones I can think of that survived thier movies.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see it work somewhat like the second movie, where there are in fact two enemies of Spider-Man at work. Harry’s indirectly responsible for Doc Ock’s creation, and even afterwards, the Doc only runs into Spidey by accident until Harry sets him on a direct path towards taking him out.

As for the number of fans of Venom, I’d imagine there are just as many Spidey fans that hate the character, with how poorly some of his later appearances and mini-series did.

God I would love it to be Venom. Until I hear otherwise, I’ll be extremely excited about Spidey 3 :)

Uh, doesn’t Doc Ock die stopping the reactor thingie?

Good point about Magneto. If Singer had killed him in the first movie, the sequels would be stuck on recycling the themes and fights from the original with vaguely new supervillains. Dull and predictable. All good movie franchises seem to have recurring villains. Look at Bond with Blofeld (even if he was always played by different actors), Harry Potter with Voldemort, Vader in Star Wars, Superman with Lex Luthor in Superman and Superman II…

Can you imagine Vader dying in the explosion of the Death Star in Star Wars? That’s no dumber than killing the Green Goblin at the end of the first Spider-Man, or the Joker at the end of the Tim Burton Batman.

Agreed. It’s like when I think of how OMG K-RAD a Preacher film would be then I think Well, Cass is a vampire you know. A similar problem came up in the Daredevil film, IMO. I saw that with a female friend, a comic book neophyte, and she asked me what the Kingpin’s powers were.

“Uh, he’s big. And fat! And strong. From all the big fat [size=1]I guess[/size].”

Ugh, I hope this is a rumor to throw reporters off track. Man-Wolf appeared in maybe seven Spider-Man comics, and Marvel created him mostly to cash in on the monster movie craze going on at the time. He’s about as minor as a minor character can get. The freaking Spidermobile had more print time, for crying out loud.

And don’t even get me started on Venom. Christ, at one point he was appearing in more monthly comics than Spiderman.

Call me traditional, but I’d much rather see the Sandman or the Lizard than either of these guys.