Before The Amazing Spider-Man hit theaters, there was a lot of buzz regarding the recast of our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. Tobey Maguire was out, replaced by The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone replaced Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy. It’s a whole new web-slinging ball game that has proved fruitful, as Amazing Spider-Man has smashed up the box office since its debut. With rumors floating around about what might come out of a future Spidey sequel, I’m taking a look at some of the possible characters that might appear in the future film and which actors might snag a role in the next installment.
Jason Isaacs as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin
In the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, Willem Dafoe played Oscorp CEO and psychopath Green Goblin to terrifying perfection with his multiple personality madness and frightening, crazy-pants leer. For a rebooted update of the web-slinger’s arch-nemesis, the film could benefit from someone used to playing sinister as well as refined. Who better than former Death Eater Lucius Malfoy himself, Jason Isaacs? Isaacs is fresh off of his TV show, Awake, and has proven in his previous work as Captain Hook in Peter Pan and in the Harry Potter series that he knows how to carry the villain role very well. The role requires someone who can be sinister while in a super-villain costume as well as in a business suit, and Isaacs has the poise to pull off both. He’ll also need it when working to intimidate the heck out of….
Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn
One of the most important characters in Peter Parker’s life is his messed up best friend, Harry Osborn. Inheriting some of his father’s instability but with a loyalty to his friend Peter, Harry Osborn was played very well by James Franco in the Raimi films. However, with Amazing Spider-Man taking a little more of an emotionally nuanced story direction, I can see Chronicle‘s Dane DeHaan playing a great Harry. He can play charming, but is also capable of turning angry on a dime. Thanks to Chronicle, he’s no stranger to superhero movies and dealing with action sequences, so he’d be perfect.
Deborah Ann Woll as Mary Jane Watson
Mary Jane Watson started out as Gwen Stacy’s friend in the comics before later becoming the love of Peter Parker’s life. While the Raimi films switched it around and introduced MJ first, Amazing Spider-Man seems intent on following the order of the comics. This does mean, however, that MJ should be showing up sometime soon, and what better actress to round out the high school Spidey-friends than True Blood‘s Deborah Ann Woll? When Woll began her stint on True Blood, I don’t think fans expected her to evolve into such a strong actress portraying one of the most interesting characters on the show. This redhead could certainly provide a caring and beautiful Mary Jane that we could believe would want to grow up to be an actress and model. And speaking of beautiful as well as capable….
Jennifer Lawrence as Felicia Hardy / Black Cat
Spider-Man has his choice of some lovely and capable women over the years, but none quite as dynamic as cat burglar Black Cat. Though she never appears in the Raimi films, Black Cat has always been a playful on again/off again love interest for Spider-Man, tempting Peter away from his safe non-super girlfriends. Where Anne Hathaway might be donning the cat suit for Catwoman, I think the gorgeous Jennifer Lawrence has proven herself a perfect match both as a physical actress used to demanding roles (like Mystique in X-Men: First Class and Katniss in Hunger Games) and as an actress capable of delivering powerful performances. She’d certainly give Andrew Garfield a run for his money should she be added to any sequels, as would….
Ben Foster as Eddie Brock / Venom
Though the Venom storyline was done in Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, the rushed performance barely did credit to the complicated story of Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote. Brock is such a key character in the Spidey world that it would be a shame to see him forgotten because of the complexities involved in a potential Venom storyline. I think 3:10 To Yuma alum Ben Foster could play a forceful and deep Brock. He’s proven himself able to give intense performances while still capable of tackling physically demanding scenes, like in the sci-fi thriller Pandorum. He’d be a shoo-in for the rogues’ gallery, where he’d hunt our favorite Spider alongside….
Josh Brolin as Kraven the Hunter
A ferocious and intent hunter of animals and men, Kraven the Hunter is one of those Spider-man villains that started out being ridiculous early on in the comics and later transformed into a terrifying nightmare for Spidey due to some good writing. Though he is not mentioned in the Raimi films, Kraven could easily be written in to hunt down Spider-Man through the streets of New York in later Amazing sequels. While a lot of candidates could bring the necessary physical capabilities to a role like Kraven, I think Josh Brolin has the whole package: the look, the power behind his performance, and the ability as an actor to make a modern big game hunter seem menacing against a bonified superhero. He’s not the only one who’d have the difficulty of tackling a somewhat goofy role….
John Malkovich as The Vulture
What is it with animal themed bad guys, Spidey-writers? The Vulture has always been an interesting villain, as he was a businessman who lost everything and eventually turned to a life of crime in a green winged vulture suit. There were rumors that Vulture might show up in a never-made Raimi sequel, but one could see the corporate story fitting well in the Oscorp-centric world of the Amazing Spider-Man films. And should the Vulture swoop into theaters, nobody quite fits the role physically as much as John Malkovich. The Hollywood legend no doubt has the acting chops to pull off the role, but it’s his near spitting image to the comics’ version of the villain that makes it impossible to pick anyone else. The same can be true for….
Stephen Lang as J. Jonah Jameson
Okay, let’s admit it: for JJJ there’s nobody like J.K. Simmons. There can be no denying that the Raimi films just got it right the first time. Not only is J. K. Simmons the spitting image of Daily Bugle editor-in-chief J. Jonah Jameson but he had the personality down pat, perfectly, in his performance. I know that the new films want a total reboot, but couldn’t there be at least this much overlap? Since that probably won’t be the case, though, my suggestion would be to bring in Avatar villain Stephen Lang as the snarky, snarling newspaper man. He’s proven he can bark orders like nobody’s business, as well as turning a burning hatred for someone into a solid on-screen vendetta, and that’s what J. Jonah’s all about.
Though I’d still like Simmons back. I mean, come on, just look at him!
Ahh, well. Can’t blame Raimi for doing such a good job. The new films will just have to do better. And speaking of doing better than an already great performance….
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Doctor Otto Octavius / Doc Ock
How do you possibly do better than Alfred Molina? Bring in someone with the same brand of acting chops and ferocious talent, of course. Philip Seymour Hoffman is widely considered to be one of the most nuanced and forceful acting talents around, with his performances in Capote and Almost Famous, among others. Now with his upcoming performance in the Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire as Plutarch Heavensbee, he’s also showing he is not afraid of getting into genre movies. So why not strap on some robotic arms and try to destroy New York? It would bring power to the role, which is just what the sadly misunderstood Doc Ock really needs. And in keeping with villains that need a lot of power in their performance….
Robert Knepper as Carnage / Cletus Kasady
Should the Amazing Spider-Man movies decide to go through with the Venom storyline, there is always the possibility for a spin-off Carnage arc as well. As one of the most terrifying of the Spidey-villains, Carnage comes in two horrifying flavors: the powerful alien symbiote that spawns off of Venom and the psychotic serial killer it decides to make its host. When it comes to creepy, I couldn’t think past Prison Break‘s Robert Knepper. With his dead-eyed stare and previous experience playing despicable killers, I believe he’d make a terrifying Kasady.
Depending on where the films go from here, we may see some of these characters sharing screen time with ol’ web-head sometime in the future. But have I forgotten anyone important? Is there a villain I’ve neglected that you think might show up?
Shoshana Kessock is a comics fan, photographer, game developer, LARPer and all around geek girl. She’s the creator of Phoenix Outlaw Productions and ReImaginedReality.com