Spider-Man 4 Tracks Hathaway, Malkovich as Villains

Five Ways to Save Spider-Man 4 and 5

Movieline may have just scored one of the biggest scoops of the late year. Either that, or their about to be the biggest turkeys of the late year in movie news. According to their report, the Sam Raimi led production of Spider-Man 4 (due out May 5, 2011) is eyeing to very big names as villains.

First, the previously rumored Anne Hathaway is said to be in negotiations to play Felicia Hardy. And that’s where is gets fuzzy, as this version of Felicia Hardy will not transform into the Black Cat, but rather a brand-new superpowered figure known as the Vulturess, which oddly sounds like a villain from The Twilight Saga.

Second, John Malkovich is in talks to play Spider-Man’s nemesis the Vulture, an older villain who despite being of advanced age, can still kick some ass. Here’s the rundown on his comic origins:

Adrian Toomes was born in Staten Island, New York. He is a former electronics engineer who was once the business partner of a man named Gregory Bestman; Bestman handled the finances while Toomes, the inventions. One day, after creating a flight harness, Toomes eagerly rushed into Bestman’s office to share the happy news. However, Bestman was not there, and Toomes discovered that Bestman had secretly been embezzling funds and that Toomes had no legal recourse. Enraged, Toomes wrecked the business, discovering that the harness also granted him superhuman strength. He then decided to turn to crime professionally as the Vulture. His wings are as sharp as swords and can be used as projectile weapons. They will replenish themselves so he can maintain flying abilities.

The Vulture employs a special harness of his own design that allows him to fly; his flight is directed by a pair of wings worn on his arms. The harness also endows him with enhanced strength and (according to some sources) increases his lifespan. Although Toomes is advanced in age, he is a strong fighter and a remorseless killer. On one occasion, he restored his youth through biochemical means, though this wore off after exposure to the corpse of an elemental superhuman. At one point he had used a device to steal Spider-Man’s youth, leaving Vulture young and Spider-Man elderly, but this effect wore off within hours.

According to Movieline, this also means that Dr. Curt Connors (played by Dylan Baker), will continue to have his transformation into the supervillain the Lizard on the backburner, as execs are skiddish about another villain that doesn’t have a human face. At best, his character will continue to lay waiting, possibly for future Spider-Man adventures.

My overall impressions of these developments is two-fold. One, here we go again with a crowded room full of bad guys, the exact problem that plagued Spider-Man 3. Two, the casting is dynamite, both Hathaway and Malkovich are top-tier talents and in the case of Malkovich, very few actors can, or ever have played psychotic better. Should negotiations go well and these two characters be placed in this fourth film, I’d say we’re in for an interesting experience.

Your thoughts?

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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