Production on the tentatively titled The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is proceeding at full speed with casting updates emerging on a weekly basis. We know that Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti will be playing the new villains Electro and the Rhino, respectively, and Shailene Woodley of The Descendants is the Mary Jane Watson of the rebooted franchise. Now there is the distinct possibility that the movie might be gaining a third villain, or at least the seeds are being planted for this particular adversary to take center stage should a third movie get the green light.
Director Marc Webb tweeted a teaser picture on Wednesday on the occasion of the birthday of actor Dane DeHaan, who is playing Harry Osborn, the troubled best friend of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield). The picture appears to be of a locker used in the movie, and die hard fans of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics will probably recognize the number on the locker door: 14.
You can see an enlarged version of the image here.
In the Ultimate comics, Peter and Eddie Brock were friends whose parents were working together on a cure for cancer in the form of a symbiotic suit that first bonds itself to Peter, and then once he rejects its powers the suit finds its way onto Eddie’s person and he becomes Venom. The Ultimate version of the villain’s origin isn’t radically different than the way it was presented in the classic Spider-Man titles, outside of the relationship between Peter and Brock.
This pic could be nothing more than a goof on Webb and DeHaan’s parts, but if it means what a lot of people are interpreting it to mean, then this could mean Harry Osborn is being set up to become the new Venom and if the character doesn’t appear to take on Spidey in Amazing Spider-Man 2 then their inevitable battle royale might have to wait until the third movie. Which would be incredibly ironic seeing as how the first time Venom appeared in a Spider-Man movie it was in the third of Sam Raimi’s trilogy released in 2007.
I’ve never found Venom to be one of the better villains in Spidey’s rogues gallery, though I think I’m in the minority in that sentiment. When he showed up at the finale of Spider-Man 3 the movie was already bursting at the seams with conflict for the Marvel-ous web-slinging superhero, and the build-up was rushed and poorly conceived. If the rumors of Webb’s plans for the character are true than hopefully he would try to shoehorn Venom into what is already turning out to be another case of villain overload in a superhero movie sequel. The approach sounds interesting as the previous movie suggested that Harry’s unseen father Norman Osborn, the reclusive head of OsCorp, was suffering from a serious disease. The scientific research for a cure for Osborn’s ills involved Peter’s dead parents, so the pieces are well in place to bring Harry into that part of the story and set him up to become Venom.
Since it has been established that Spidey will have his hands full battling Electro and the Rhino having Harry become Venom some time during the early parts of the movie would be just too much. But I could see it happening in a post-credits scene once the movie is over. Thus the stage will be set for Spider-Man and Venom to have their epic confrontation in the potential Amazing Spider-Man 3, and if Venom is being brought into this franchise then that is the way it has to happen. Of course now this could also be a set-up for the Venom solo movie that Sony has been developing for several years, with directors like Gary Ross and Josh Trank attached at different times.
The news doesn’t exactly excite me (Seriously, Venom again?) but then again I’m not cutting the checks at Marvel and Sony.