The Spider-Man films have generated interesting, if not mixed reception from critics and moviegoers. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 were great, even superb superhero flicks but the wall crawler had less success in what followed. Spider-Man 3, while not terrible, was a convoluted mess with too many villains and an insulting representation of the beloved anti-hero Venom. Sony then decided to wipe the slate clean and bring the franchise in a new direction with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man. The first film was solid, featuring a respectable representation of Lizard and a more sarcastic and whimsical Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man 2, however, suffered a sophomore slump and struggled to establish a consistent tone. This subsequently led to the film underachieving in the box office, which has led us to where we are now. That is, Marvel and Sony striking a deal to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe so he could appear in future Marvel films. This meant the dismissal of director Marc Webb and Garfield and bringing Spidey in a new direction once again.
Spider-Man’s history on the big screen has been dizzying and a little disheartening considering he is Marvel’s marquee superhero. He deserves a trilogy worthy of his name without any hiccups. They can’t afford any more convoluted plots and baffling artistic alterations. The pressure is on Sony and Marvel now, it’s literally now or never—or at least not for a long while.
With that in mind, this list will count down 10 villains who should be considered for the new films in hopes of bringing it to new, consistent heights.
Shocker isn’t the most ambitious of supervillains. His skills aren’t exclusive to brawn as he utilized his scientific aptitude to create himself a pair of gauntlets that launch a powerful blast of compressed air. Rather than aspiring to claim sovereignty over New York or, better yet, the world, Shocker limits himself to petty crimes. This has pigeon holed the classic villain to a mostly supplementary role in the comic books. Subsequently, it’s difficult to imagine him being showcased as a primary villain in the upcoming Spider-Man films, but he would make a fine addition in a supporting role—much like the way director Marc Webb used Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
9. Kraven the Hunter
Kraven the Hunter is a dark, twisted and even campy character. But, if done right, he has the potential to offer a unique aspect to the Spider-Man movie franchise—and with a sixth film in development under Spider-Man’s name it’s time for something new. His most famous appearance came in the story arc “Kraven’s Last Hunt” in which he was—spoiler alert—killed off in spectacular fashion. His thrill for the hunt and penchant to toy with his prey would no doubt make for an exciting battle against Spider-Man, especially if they opt to bring back the symbiote suit and follow the “Kraven’s Last Hunt” storyline. That would provide a decent segue in reintroducing a character who deserves a faithful representation on the silver screen.
Yes, Venom. He deserves another shot on the big screen after Sam Raimi and company botched his debut in Spider-Man 3. Their most unforgiveable crime—besides maybe that cringe-worthy dance scene—was relegating Venom to a supporting role. Topher Grace, better known as Eric from That ’70s Show, tried his best but it ultimately wasn’t his fault he was miscast as Eddie Brock. It’s time to give Venom his due as one of Spider-Man’s most formidable foes. The storylines Sony could cherrypick from the comic books are endless, too, and it would provide them the opportunity to expand even further with the introduction of another classic villain. I am of course referring to…
If Marvel and Sony are willing to take risks and bring Spider-Man into uncharted territory, look no further than serial killer Cletus Kasady. Carnage has an abhorrent and bloody background that lends to his unpredictability and hyper-violent behaviour as a villain. Of course, Spider-Man needs to keep its family friendly rating, so don’t expect to see Carnage tearing through his foes in gory fashion. But Sony and Marvel can maintain the unbridled brutality of Carnage with some seasoned directing. Even if he’s constrained a significant amount, seeing Carnage on the big screen is something that needs to happen at some point.
Jackal may not be a household name among casual comic book fans, but he represents one of Spider-Man’s most well-rounded villains. While he’s not menacing or imaginative aesthetically, Jackal has both brains and brawn and has a penchant for cloning. This makes him a prime candidate for the upcoming films if Sony and Marvel want to bring Spider-Man in a new direction. I mean, cloning isn’t exactly a fresh idea in Hollywood, but it would make for an exciting Spider-Man film when you consider the possibilities. Testing Spider-Man both physically and mentally should make for a solid flick—it certainly worked wonders in Spider-Man 2 with Doc Oc—and Jackal would give them a fresh face to market on the big screen and in merchandising.
Mysterio has been in demand for quite some time. While he isn’t physically imposing, his masterful use of illusions could make for a memorable film. This would give the director a sense of freedom, almost free reign, in exploring uncharted waters and bringing an eccentric aspect to the table. It might be best to couple Mysterio with another villain—Shocker, perhaps?—in order to incorporate some action sequences, this being a superhero movie and all. Like many of the villains on this list, Mysterio would be somewhat of an unconventional selection but one that would pay off in dividends if done right.
Vampires are still popular, right? Bringing Morbius into the fold could generate considerable buzz for Sony and Marvel. While he’s not quite as violent or dark as Carnage, Morbius would require a certain level of savagery on the big screen to do him justice. Much like a vampire would do, Morbius relies on human blood for sustenance. He wields considerable strength, intellect, accelerated healing and the ability of flight. Morbius, however, is not a vampire in the traditional sense; he is more of a half-breed. He can walk in sunlight without being incinerated but his powers are weakened, and he has no frailty to crucifixes or garlic.
Like Mysterio, Chameleon is a master of illusion. Unlike Mysterio, however, Chameleon specializes in disguise through the use of a belt buckle and possesses physical strength. If I had my pick, Chameleon would almost certainly appear at some point in the new Spider-Man films. He’s well-rounded enough to be showcased on his own and his abilities would present Spider-Man with countless dilemmas, whether it’s via fisticuffs or duping him through the use of disguises. Having Chameleon as a villain could weave a complex plot that pays off in the form of a classic twist, and that’s an element rarely utilized in superhero films. He’s also the first villain to ever appear in The Amazing Spider-Man comic book, so that counts for something.
Scorpion is fueled by deep-seated hatred and a lust for revenge, plain and simple. He despises Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson and will stop at nothing to obliterate them. Formerly known as Mac Gargan, a private investigator, Jameson makes him the subject of controversial procedure that endows him with the abilities of a, you guessed it, scorpion. Predictably, things go awry when Gargan is rendered insane and becomes Scorpion, vowing revenge against Jameson and the wall crawler. It’s not a complicated storyline, but it’s one that is easily transferable to the big screen and could provide some thrilling action and comical exchanges between Spider-Man and Jameson.
I can’t think of a better villain to debut in the new Spider-Man film. With Doc Oc, Lizard, Green Goblin and Sandman all used up, Vulture is the natural next step for Sony and Marvel. He’s a classic villain in the Spidey-verse having first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 comic book. Vulture is an original villain from the 1960s, an integral member of the Sinister-Six, and a formidable foe for Spider-Man. Adrian Toomes utilizes a flight harness that also grants him increased strength to compensate for his advanced age. Imagining Vulture and Spider-Man duking it out in 3D aerial battles makes this nerd giddy with anticipation. Make it happen, like, as soon as possible.