Now that Spider-Man 4 is a go and the main actors seem to be getting on board, the next logical step is to announce/leak/identify/speculate on who the villain or villains may be for this next installment of Peter Parker’s growing role as the hero he’s striving to become. Below are some logical, and in some cases, wishful theories on who might be stepping up to the plate to fill the boots and shoes of villains past such as the Green Goblin and Sandman.
The Lizard - This is probably a highly likely and perhaps obvious choice, but for those reasons alone it deserves to be brought into the conversation. No discussion about possible villains for Spidey in his fourth installment would be complete without the inclusion of The Lizard, the murderous alter ego of Dr. Curt Conners. Since the first movie, fans of the comic book series have known the background of Dr. Conners, a scientist who lost his arm and became dedicated to studying the regenerative properties of creatures such as lizards in order to possibly regrow it. He did, but with very negative side effects. Setting up Dr. Conners to become The Lizard would be a logical payoff, and it would set up an interesting plot line for Peter, as he is forced to combat someone he has long trusted as a professor and a role model.
The Kingpin - Are there still some remnants of resentment and disappointment left over from the interpretation of this character in the very mixed Ben Affleck vehicle Daredevil? It’s possible, but that may not make it completely impossible to have this crime lord as an emergent figure in the next Spider-Man installment. With Spider-Man developing more and more as a hero for New York, it might make sense for a figure, such as The Kingpin, to think of organizing the criminal element in order to fight off the vigilante presence. This would also allow a second villain to be brought into the film, as Kingpin is not typically known for wanting to get his hands dirty in the public eye. It would be an interesting intellectual element to add to a film franchise known for its heart and action.
The Scorpion - Speaking of villains for hire, original wearer of The Scorpion costume, Mac Gargan, fits the bill quite nicely. Originally hired in the comics as a private investigator by J. Jonah Jameson to follow Peter Parker, Gargan soon became involved in experiments that would lead to his donning the super-powered costume of The Scorpion. In a film such as Spider-Man 4, Gargan would be a perfect character to add as the hired muscle to Kingpin’s intellectual might. Possessing super agility, a highly powered tail and body armor, The Scorpion would be a formidable opponent on screen. The story of average guy becoming a hero/villain through the intervention of science has already been seen in virtually every character Spider-Man has faced in the film series thus far, with Sandman, Venom and Doctor Octopus all sharing a similar origin in that regard, which could make Scorpion’s big screen debut a limited possibility.
The Black Cat - One thing that has been lacking in the Spider-Man film series thus far is the presence of a physically formidable female foil. Felicia Hardy, young college student turned cat burglar, would be an easy addition to the plot line. With her history as an anti-hero in most senses of the word, Black Cat would be an interesting element to add to the action parts of the film as well as a possible rival to Mary Jane, with Black Cat representing many of the things that Mary Jane is not. It would also be an interesting idea to see someone featured in the film series who is not “powers based”, but who is simply a highly trained and skilled fighter, gymnast, and criminal. Of course this could also be a reason why choosing her as a villain would not be a good idea.
Mysterio - Another one of Spider-Man’s classic, original villains, Mysterio would be a special effects fan’s delight. Quentin Beck may have begun his career as a special effects and stunt man for Hollywood films, but he soon found himself turning to crime. Often one of Spider-Man’s most confounding villains, due in large part to his ability to use a vast bank of tricks, optical illusions and intricate traps to try and destroy Spider-Man’s life, Mysterio could prove an intriguing match up on screen, as he is known for being able to hide in plain sight. A logical plot point might involve Mary Jane beginning the transition to film and Beck working on the film as a stunt man or special effects coordinator. Either way, adding this villain to the mix would allow a director’s imagination and scope to run rampant!
Carnage - In looking for more modern villains from the Spider-Man universe, Carnage is perhaps one of the most well-known, directly behind Venom, the creature that helped spawn him. Since Spider-Man 3 didn’t fully provide fans of Venom with quite enough in the way of screen time for their favorite symbiote, adding Carnage to the slate of characters appearing in the fourth film would be the payoff for that initial investment. It could be quite a feat pulling off a character such as Carnage onscreen, a character known for his serial killer like behavior. How would such a character come across the symbiote this far removed from the original Venom character? That would also be a logistical feat of gymnastics, but stranger things have happened!
While there are a host of other choices for Spider-Man 4, any of these would provide a logical step from the end of the last film, which more than likely saw the end of the characters of the Green Goblin and Sandman. And really, who wants to see someone in the flesh wearing that helmet of Electro’s?