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Just last week director Marc Webb confirmed that The Office and Inglourious Basterds star B.J. Novak will be playing the villainous Alistair Smythe in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and already the character has found its way into the viral marketing behind the film. The Daily Bugle Tumblr, which has been releasing articles hinting at Spider-Man comic book characters for months now, has posted a new entry on their site, this time revealing some shake-ups as Oscorp Industries - shake-ups that have a direct impact on not just Alistair Smythe, but his family as well.
In an article titled "Rats Leaving A Sinking Ship?" written by Ken Ellis it's revealed that an NYPD and District Attorney-led investigation has begun into "questionable medical practices" and "illegal activities" at Oscorp, and as a result it has left the company with no choice but to let go of some of their top scientists. Among those being asked to leave is Dr. Spencer Smythe, the Director of Robotics, but replacing him in the position will be Alistair Smythe, Spencer's son.
This article is a nice bit of continuity patching, as it will explain to die-hard comic book fans why Alistair is in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 while his father isn't, but at the same time I'm forced to question the competence of the fictional NYPD. Dr. Curt Connors, as portrayed by Rhys Ifans in The Amazing Spider-Man, was one of the lead researchers at OsCorp when he transformed himself into the Lizard, which resulted in him rampaging around Manhattan and nearly decimating the populace with a toxic gas cloud - which was released from the top of the OsCorp tower. While it's hard to say how much time has passed in the fictional universe between then and now, but if it's the same amount of time that has passed since the release of the last Spider-Man movie, then it's clear that the cops have no idea what they're doing. Why are they only starting their OsCorp investigation now when they obviously played such a major role in that previous incident?
For those of you unfamiliar with the comics, Alistair Smythe is best known as the inventor of the advanced Spider-Slayer robots that were created with the sole purpose of hunting down and destroying Spider-Man. It's unclear at this point if that will eventually become part of the storyline in the movies, but it's definitely something to think about knowing that the character has been confirmed to appear in the new film.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, Colm Feore, Campbell Scott, Chris Zylka, and Sarah Gadon and will be in theaters on May 3rd.