What Marvel Is Doing About Spider-Man's Villains

On the big screen, Spider-Man has found himself fighting against some very notable villains in the last 14 years. Audiences have seen Doctor Octopus, Sandman, Venom, The Lizard, Electro, Rhino, and even multiple versions of the Green Goblin portrayed in live-action - some with better success than others. Given that some of these foes really are the cream-of-the-crop Spidey villains, there has been an understandable fret amongst fans that the new Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the wall-crawling superhero would just be fighting new versions of these enemies. Fortunately, you can put those fears to rest.

At this weekend's press junket for Marvel Studios' upcoming film Ant-Man, Birth.Movies.Death sat down to talk with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and while discussing the future of Spider-Man the subject of the heroes' long list of enemies came up. Noting that the web-slinger has some of the most iconic baddies in comic book history, the producer/executive noted that there is a certain advantage the character has when it comes to being rebooted, and that the studio is looking in different directions for antagonists instead of just repeating what we've already seen. He said,

Right now we’re interested in seeing villains we haven’t seen before.

This news may upset the section of Spider-Man fans who are desperate to see a new version of Venom on the big screen, but it's also not hard to see that this really is the best approach. It's a way to avoid the same kind of flak that The Amazing Spider-Man movies got for being too repetitive, and the fact that the new film will not be an origin story means that the door is wide open to a lot of different characters to be introduced for the first time.

So who are the possible antagonists that Tom Holland's new version of Spider-Man can face off against? Personally, I'd love to see the fish bowl-headed Mysterio find his way into the mix (if not only because translating a special effects master to the big screen makes every kind of sense), but there is also tremendous potential for characters like Kraven The Hunter, Vulture, Morbius, Jackal, and even Black Cat - with the proper twists and turns in the story.

Of course, just because Marvel doesn't want to start immediately repeating villains doesn't mean that the Marvel Cinematic Universe can't start setting up characters for future transformations. For example, the movie shouldn't feature Green Goblin, but Norman Osborn is such an important figure in the world of Marvel that it makes sense to introduce him as a sinister presence before turning him into a full-blown supervillain.

Do you agree that this is the best direction to go with Spider-Man's villains, or would you not mind seeing some of the previously adapted characters get another go-round?

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.