When you think of a hulking, monstrous man who charges into every situation with his head down and attempts to fix every problem in his path by smashing it, you tend to think of Paul Giamatti, am I right? Yeah, no, probably you don’t think of Paul Giamatti this way at all. But it seems to be the way he thinks of himself. In a new report from THR that reveals the actor is currently in negotiations to play Spider-Man villain, The Rhino, in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man sequel, it gets pointed out that Giamatti has been talking about how much he identifies with a big dumb thug like Rhino for years.
In an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s talk show, Giamatti remarked, “The Rhino was fantastic. He was, like, a Russian guy. He was real fast and he hit stuff real hard.” And back in 2011, he told Showbizspy, “I thought Rhino was the greatest thing when I was a little kid. It was a guy who was basically in this rhinoceros outfit and I always thought, ‘Why don’t they have The Rhino in one of their movies,’ but maybe The Rhino wasn’t that big of a deal for anybody but me. If they ever go with The Rhino I would be ready and waiting.”
So clearly Giamatti sees himself as a good candidate for playing The Rhino, and given the news that he’s getting his wish and is actually negotiating for the role, he must have convinced someone involved in Webb’s production of the notion as well. But what do you Spider-Man fans think? Is the fact that Giamatti is a good actor enough to make him a good Rhino? Is it going to be possible for Webb and his effects wizards to make a goofy looking little portly dude believable as the hulking, indestructible beast of a man that is The Rhino?
Whether they’re successful in the endeavor or not, this should be an interesting experiment to watch play out. Also interesting is the news tacked onto the THR article that British actress Felicity Jones is in negotiations to join the Amazing Spider-Man 2 cast as well. It’s not known what role she’s up for, so there’s less room for snipes and speculation, but at least her name being thrown into the mix makes it clear that Webb is holding steadfast in his strategy to populate his Spider-Man movies with only first-rate actors. When you’re dealing with material like this, that can sometimes get kind of cheesy, often that can make all the difference in the world.