I think this theory explains why Irrfan Khan’s character, shady biomedical engineer Rajit Ratha, also survived Webb’s final cut of Spider-Man. He’s a necessary component of the still-developing story, which will rely heavily on Richard Parker’s research into cross-species genetics. Parker’s formula already helped create the Lizard. It gave Peter his powers, and likely will be used to turn Osborn into the Goblin. Those who played the Amazing Spider-Man video game tie-in know that it exploded the cross-species storyline to send Spidey into Manhattan to combat creature created in Oscorp laboratories using Connors’ formulas.

One of those creatures? The Rhino.

So yes, while Khan appeared to die in deleted scenes from Webb’s first Spider-Man (as shown above), I now believe that the director -- and the studio, on a larger scale -- realized that they needed this character to continue the narrative arc of the effect cross-species genetics will have on characters – mainly villains – in Spidey’s new universe. Eliminating Khan at this point of the story would be counterproductive … kind of like wasting time analyzing scenes that were edited out of a movie instead of judging the finished film that the filmmaker wanted to screen in theaters. But I digress.

We haven’t even seen a frame of footage for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (the movie doesn’t start filming until Feb. 12 in New York City, according to On Location Vacations), and yet, we already have a plethora of juicy subplots this nascent franchise needs to sink its teeth into. The mysterious disappearance of Richard and Mary Parker needs to be explored. Norman Osborn’s illness needs to be explained. (Dehaan is playing Harry Osborn, but will we actually see his deranged dad in this sequel? I honestly have no idea.) Where did Ratha go after the bridge attack in the first movie? And will his actions lead to the creation of the Rhino, Electro and countless other villains that were teased in the Oscorp “Tree of Life” hologram? Is Gwen going to die? Will we ever see The Sinister Six on screen?

These aren’t questions that you cram into the last two chapters of a trilogy. They are defining moments that you spread over multiple Spider-Man movies that are part of a growing tapestry of rewarding films. The latest flurry of casting rumors suggests that Sony, Webb and Team Spidey are thinking big, and thinking outside of the usual boxes. And if I’m right, that kind of news can really make a fan’s spider sense tingle.

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