This week, news slipped out of Spider-Man: Homecoming Executive Producer Amy Pascal’s mouth, and shattered the nerd world. In an interview alongside MCU mastermind Kevin Feige, Pascal said that 2018’s Venom (Starring Tom Hardy) and Silver and Black (starring a still uncast Silver Sable and Blackcat) will in fact be connected to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and thus part of the MCU. Because of that, even more news has come out thanks to a piece in the Hollywood Reporter that discusses how Sony ceded control over their most precious intellectual property to Marvel Studios. In that, new Sony head Tom Rothman discusses plans for Spider-Man and his extensive list of enemies and cohorts beyond Homecoming. Also a couple of tidbits that are blowing up the internet like crazy are that Spider-Man villain,Carnage, will appear in the Venom film and that they’re looking at developing films based on/that include Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio. So, considering all the rumors and news surrounding Spider-Man, we here at Babbletop thought it was a good time to look at all of the possibilities that lay before us in the “Spider-Verse” (which is much better than what they’re calling it, Sony’s Marvel Universe) and what that may mean for the web-slinging, wall-crawling, cash-cow.
While typically Kraven would end up towards the top of this list (at least according to a lot of Spider-Fans), the fact that Kraven was mentioned in the Hollywood Reporter article means that we’ll address him first. Kraven is known as the best hunter in the Marvel universe, and is perhaps best known for the 1987 storyline “Kraven’s Last Hunt”. In that storyline, essentially an aging and aggravated Kraven decides to end his life after finally catching the one prey he could never best, Spider-Man. After shooting Spidey with a coma-inducing drug and burying him alive, he impersonated Spider-Man and ended up going on an extremely violent campaign as the web-head himself. In a storyline that mirrors Doctor Octopus’ Superior Spiderman run in the 10’s, Kraven ends up catching Vermin, a foe that Spider-Man was otherwise unable to defeat on his own. People have longed to see Kraven on the big screen since the Sam Raimi/Tobey Mcguire films and he could bring some grounded change to the Spider-Verse as an enemy that doesn’t have any super powers and will thus bring limited CGI to a genre that needs to move away from it.
Outside of Kraven, Mysterio may be the Villain most called for by Spider-fans. He’s another non-super-powered villain who relies on tricks and tech to best Spider-Man. After a film like the MCU’s Doctor Strange introduced mind-bending visuals to the super-hero genre, a villain like Mysterio could fit right in with his ability to induce LSD-esque imagery whilst pursuing his dastardly plans. One of Spider-Man’s oldest foes (first appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #13), it’s time that Mysterio got his just due. There was a prevailing theory during the Raimi/Mcguire days that actor and Raimi favorite, Bruce Campbell (who appeared in all three of Raimi’s Spider-Man films) was actually playing Quentin Beck (the first Mysterio). In the comics, Beck was a special effects wizard who worked for major Hollywood films (not a master of ceremonies at underground wrestling/host at a french restaurant/usher at a Broadway show). Whichever route the Spider-Verse decides to go, you know it’ll be one you’ll want to see in 3D.
If you grew up and read comics in the 80’s or (especially) the 90’s, you’ll have been chomping at the bit for a proper Carnage in film since the first Spider-Man film was announced almost 20 years ago. Carnage, the much more deranged and evil off-spring of Venom, is apparently going to be introduced in the Tom Hardy Venom film next year. It makes sense, if you’re going to have a film with Venom as the protagonist, to start with his biggest antagonist, Carnage, as the antagonist. There really aren’t many super dark Spider-Villains, so Carnage needs to be handled a certain way, by a certain actor. In the books, Cletus Kasady (the human inside Carnage) is a merciless serial killer who ends up continuing down that path once he becomes super-powered. It’s his power, and willingness to kill civilians, that turns Venom into an anti-hero and partner of Spider-Man. So, it’ll be interesting to see how they connect Carnage and thus Venom to Spidey come next year.
Another 60’s era Spidey-Villain, Scorpion has yet to appear on the silver screen. With Sony eyeing plans for the Sinister Six back in 2014 (after the second Amazing Spider-Man film), you’d have to think that one of their core members, Scorpion, will soon appear in film form. While the first Scorpion to appear in the books was actually a mutated, giant scorpion that somehow developed the ability to hate-mankind (maybe he discovered Twitter?), it took a long time until the Scorpion as we know him came to be. There were other Scorpions after that, that appeared in a lot of Old West comics and fought the likes of Kid Colt. The first Spider-Man Scorpion was named Mac Gargan and first appeared in Amazing-Spider-Man #19. The most exciting aspect of bringing this Scorpion to the big screen (and not the Old West version, which would just be hilarious) is the fact that he was first hired as a private eye by J. Jonah Jameson to figure out how Peter Parker was able to get such great pictures of Spider-Man. Jameson was easily the best part of the Raimi films, so hopefully they can just bring JK Simmons back for the role he was born to play and he can hire Scorpion while making a joke about how different his office looks.
2014’s Amazing Spider-Man 2 introduced the Rhino, as played by Paul Giamatti for some reason. He got about 10 minutes of total screen time, to bookend the film and was as terribly received as the movie. While the mech-suit he used made more sense for the real world feel of that and the MCU’s movie(s), he deserves more than what he got in that movie. Sure, he’s always been the dumb henchman for a much smarter, string pulling villain, but that’s what is great about him. He’s nearly invincible once he gets going, a la Juggernaut, and that could bring a lot of amazing action to whichever Spider-Man film he appears in. As someone that needs someone else to plan his heists, Rhino would most likely show up as part of a larger group/evil plan, and that screams Sinister Six. If Sony is still working towards a Spider-Man Avengers style team-up that is more about villains than heroes, than Rhino has to be a part of it.
Speaking of villains that got short-changed in Amazing Spider-Man 2, Electro is another villain that needs to get his just due in the MCU’s Spider-Verse. While Jamie Foxx did the best with what they gave him in that film, one has to think that a lot of opportunities were left on the table. With the Shocker confirmed for next month’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, as part of a larger crew that includes the Vulture and the Tinkerer, you’d think that perhaps two electricity based villains is one too many. While that may be true, clearly Sony is in this for the long haul and if that’s the case then it’s only a matter of time until Electro shows up to shock audiences… And Spider-Man himself.
The Lizard has been represented in film twice, essentially. First, as Dr. Curt Connors in the Raimi films (and only as Curt Connors, as they never got to the Lizard part) and again as Dr. Curt Connors/the Lizard in the first Amazing Spider-Man. While that performance was much more well received than Foxx’s Electro or Giamatti’s Rhino, it still wasn’t the greatest film. With the Spider-Verse having access to a vast array of other MCU characters, you’d think it’d be interesting to see the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde identity that both the Lizard and someone like another Doctor and sufferer, Dr. Bruce Banner, deal with. There’s a rumor going around as of the writing of this article that another MCU character will show up in Homecoming 2, and considering the vast history that Hulk and Spider-Man have together, this could be the perfect way to introduce the green meanie to the Spider-Verse.
Sand-Man gets a bad wrap because he ended up in the very disjointed Spider-Man 3. That wasn’t his fault, as it was the shoehorning of Eddie Brock/Venom that screwed that movie up more than anything else (with Venom representing studio interference). Sand-Man first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #4, as a nearly unstoppable villain who can only be contained, not defeated. In that comic, Spider-Man finally bests Flint Marko by containing him in a metal container, a helium tank of sorts. Having a villain of Sand-Man’s power level could mean that Spidey will need help from his friends in the Avengers – think the beginning scene of Captain America: Civil War and Scarlet Witch’s ability to move that poisonous gas out of that facility. That’s the sort of fight that the MCU can have now, and it’s an amazing time to be alive. Considering, again, the rumors that another MCU character will appear in the sequel to Homecoming, and one has to think that Sand-Man may be the right foe for that movie.
Hydro-Man doesn’t get a lot of credit because he comes off as sort of a Sand-Man knock off. While that may be true, his power is equally dangerous and uncontainable. Considering the availability of water on our planet, he can grow to immense sizes and that’s something that could look amazing on film. Considering the fact that Marvel recently retained the rights to Namor (also known as the Sub-Mariner), this could be an amazing time to bring him into the fold. Namor is actually one of Marvel’s oldest characters and has been a villain as often as he’s been a hero. So, having him come in as a third party who is solely looking to protect his people (similarly to Black Panther in Civil War), may make Hydro-Man’s story a bit more interesting. That, or he could team up with Sand-Man to create Mud-Man?
Few Spider-Villains translate from page to screen as well as Chameleon could. Considering his ability to shape shift, he could theoretically take the form of anyone in Peter Parker/the MCU’s world. In addition to the ability to shape shift, Chameleon has enhanced strength and enhanced longevity, meaning he lives a long, long time. He was the one who originally inspired Kraven to hunt Spider-Man, so he may show up (as the Chameleon or his alter-ego Dmitri Smerdayakov who is the half-brother to Kraven) in the rumored Kraven film. On his own, though, he’s a formidable opponent for Spider-Man and with the plethora of super-hero films that are coming out these days, his power set could be a fresh change to what we’ve been seeing so far. Like Kraven, he’s impersonated Spider-Man and that’s something that, while not unique to the books (see above… and below), it’d be a first for the hero on the Silver Screen. He’s also battled both Iron Man and Hulk, so he’d be a great fit for the new and increasingly large/awesome Marvel/Sony Partnership.
5. Alistar Smythe
Alistar Smythe is best known for being behind the robotic Spider-Slayers that plagued Spider-Man starting in Amazing Spider-Man #25. He is probably best known for his major role in the animated Spider-Man series that appeared on Fox in the 90’s. He is known as a genius who is more of a behind the scenes villain than perhaps any other person on this list. Because of that, and his handicap (he lost the ability to use his legs for a long period of time), he would be a completely different kind of villain than people have seen before. The ’10’s Amazing Spider-Man films introduced Smythe, albeit briefly, as the smarmy boss of Jamie Foxx’s Electro (played by The Office‘s BJ Novak, who played the super dreamy Ryan on the American version of that show). The character deserves more than a quick nod, and his Spider Slayers could be a welcome addition to Spider-Man’s film canon.
The MCU has already introduced the Kingpin on the first (and second) season(s) of Netflix’s Daredevil. He has been played (amazingly) by Vincent D’Onofrio, and was last seen locked up in a maximum security prison (that he was essentially already running). Considering the long history of Kingpin as a Spider-Man villain as well, it’s not hard to see why fans have been clamoring for D’Onofrio to show up in Spider-Man’s world as well. If this were to happen (which it probably won’t, as the Netflix arm of Marvel is a completely separate entity from the film arm), it’d mean that perhaps Spider-Man would run into Matt Murdock aka Daredevil. While it’d take a lot for that to happen, I can’t imagine any other character that’d create as much hype if they were to cross over with Spidey than the blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen and his nemesis, Kingpin. Keep in mind that the first season of Daredevil also featured Ben Urich, a journalist who, in the comics, worked for the Daily Bugle (the same place that Peter Parker works), so, never say never!
If the powers that be at the MCU/Sony feel like they’ve delved into the Green Goblin pot too many times, but still want another air based, pumpkin bomb throwing maniac to fight Spider-Man at some point, then Hobgoblin’s their guy. Considering that’s literally how Hobgoblin was created in the comics, as writer Roger Stern was under pressure to write another Norman Osborne/Green Goblin story but just couldn’t bring himself to bring him back from the dead, and it may not be too much of a stretch. While the casual movie-goer may not be able to distinguish between the Osborne Goblin and let’s say a Roderick Kingsley Hobgoblin, his original story fits perfectly with what’s going on in Homecoming. In the books, he becomes obsessed with Osborne and decides to frame Ned Leeds for his crimes (including murder). If you’ve seen the trailers for Homecoming, you’ll notice that Spidey has a chubby best friend in the film. His name? Ned Leeds. It pretty much writes itself, although, he’s gonna need a pretty hefty glider and suit by Spanx to pull that frame job off.
2. Dr. Octopus
Doc Ock was expertly played by Alfred Molina in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, perhaps because of that, Sony/Marvel may be hesitant to touch the character again, especially considering they have so many others at their disposal. However, considering how important he is as a character and villain in the comic books, at some point they’ll have to address the… Octopus in the room, and bring back the eight armed/legged wonder. He most recently switched bodies with Peter Parker and became “Superior” Spider-Man, while Parker inherited his body and died of cancer quickly thereafter. He quickly found, as the Superior Spider-Man, that life as the wall-crawler wasn’t as easy as he thought, especially after he punched the jaw off of Scorpion early in his run, which showed him that Peter was containing his power all along as to not… Punch off jaws. While doing a plot like that may be too much for a film, even if it would bring something different to the genre, it still shows that the history between Spidey and Doc Ock is a deep and varied one, one that needs further coverage in film.
1. Green Goblin
Speaking of a deep and varied history, there’s no villain that is more important to the Spidey mythos than the Green Goblin. He is the Joker to Spider-Mans Batman. He’s existed in multiple forms, across multiple people, but the first version they have to show is the Norman Osborne one. Many people online have opined that perhaps Osborne will be the new “Big Bad” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Thanos is dispatched in Avengers: Infinity War and it’s sequel in 2019. Considering the fact that the sequel to Homecoming is one of only two announced films after those movies, they may be on to something. At some point Iron Man is going to go away, perhaps Kevin Feige and company are going to create a new set of Avengers that has Spidey at it’s core, as opposed to Iron Man/Captain America. That could make a lot of sense, especially considering the news surrounding their involvement in the Sony-Verse. Having Norman Osborne start as a baddie, then pivot to a good guy, then back to bad, would be a great arc to follow along the next three phases of the MCU. I know people are really hoping to see the real Iron Patriot, as well.
Beetle is actually one of the oldest Spider-Man villains, first appearing in 1964 (albeit fighting Human Torch and the Thing, in Strange Tales, not Fantastic Four, so he might belong to Sony after-all). The reason Beetle would be a great enemy for Parker is that he’s the most like Iron Man of any of Parker’s villains. He relies heavily on tech wearing a suit that’s really similar to Starks. After Homecoming, a film in which Iron Man mentors/scolds Spider-Man constantly, it’d be amazing to see him essentially take that aggression out on his mentor in Homecoming 2 (perhaps titled Sadie Hawkins?). If the rumors about Stark’s fate in Infinity War (One or Two) are true, it could also be a form of catharsis for the young web-slinger.