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Although 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t the worst of the web-swinging hero’s five movies, it did have its fair share of detractors. Frequent criticism was aimed at Curt Connors, a.k.a. The Lizard, who many felt was a lackluster and bland antagonist. Well, not to worry, fans who were disappointed, actor Rhys Ifans feels the same way, not just about his character, but the movie as a whole.
Ifans had a different idea about what the role entailed after studying the source material, but as he explained to Total Film (via ComicBookMovie), how the final product did not turn out the way he liked. Ifans stated:
As I got into it, I remember looking into The Lizard and there was one of the comics where Dr. Curt Connors goes home, and he's messing about with his Lizard-ness. He takes his work home with him, and he eats his kids. I remember thinking at the time, 'That's the film I want to be in.' Not necessarily Dr. Curt Connors eating his kids, but in terms of exploration, in terms of what this film could be about, that was the film. And of course, it could never be that. Whatever you're told and promised at the beginning of something, when it comes to franchises like that, it's never ever going to be what ends up on screen.
While it’s highly unlikely a PG-13 movie intended for kids would feature the main villain eating his family, Ifans does bring up a good point. In the Spider-Man comics, the duality of Curt Connors and The Lizard has been explored frequently in stories over the decades, and it would have been interesting to see this foil adapted more prominently. The meek Connors vs. the savage Lizard. In the movie, however, Connors was a standard, cut and dry villain following his transformation.
In The Amazing Spider-Man, Ifans’ Connors was a biologist working at OsCorp researching how animal attributes could be used to enhance human health. When he injected himself with a serum created using his former partner Richard Parker’s notes, he was successful in regrowing his amputated right arm. Unfortunately, one of the side effects was turning him into a giant, humanoid lizard, and he started to believe that all of humanity should experience the same "perfection" he did. He subsequently detonated a bioweapon in New York to turn its citizens into lizard-like creatures, but he was stopped by his young mentee, Peter Parker, a.k.a. good ol’ Spidey, and his victims were all cured. When we last saw Connors, he was languishing in a psychiatric hospital telling the mysterious Gentleman to leave Peter alone.
Even if Sony's Amazing Spider-Man series had continued, it’s unclear if Ifans would have returned to play Lizard in one of the sequels or Sinister Six given how disappointed he was with his role. As for the future of Spider-Man on film, Ifans doesn’t seem to care what comes next. When asked what he thinks about Wall-Crawler’s reboot in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he had no opinion, only saying saying he hopes there’s emphasis on the ‘boot’ since "it needs a kick up the arse." Well, should the new series of Spider-Man movies decide to reimagine Lizard, let’s hope they do a better job with him than The Amazing Spider-Man did.