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Friday, February 8, 2013

The Amazing Spider-man v.s. The Sinister Six

With production now officially underway for The Amazing Spider-man 2, rampant speculation has begun as to the direction this series of Spider-man films may be headed.  We already know for sure that Electro and, more recently, Rhino will be making appearances in the 2014 film.  As these two will mean the series has now included three Spider-man villains, this has led to rumors that perhaps Marc Webb and company are planning to have their Spidey eventually face off against the Sinister Six.


First appearing in The Amazing Spider-man Annual #1 back in 1964, the Sinister Six is a group of Spider-man's greatest foes who band together from time to time to take on the web head (with varying degrees of success).  At times the super villain team-up has had so many members it has had to be called the Sinister Syndicate to accommodate the extra villainy.  

This seems like a very smart move on the part of the team behind The Amazing Spider-man films.  No other superhero in the Marvel Universe (key word: Marvel) has a more diverse and well-developed rogues gallery than Spider-man.  Therefore, the best way to possibly include a fraction of the awesome villains Spidey faces would be to have them team up.  It worked with Marvel's heroes in The Avengers, who is to say it cannot work with their villains?

One advantage Marc Webb and company have in using the Sinister Six is that the roster has always been rather fluid, allowing for them to be able to place pretty much whichever villains work best for their story.  But are there any members of this group which are absolutely necessary in order for the film to accurately reflect the comic?  Below, I will be examining what I believe to be the most likely roster of members for the film version of the Sinister Six.  My speculations are based both on what has been established in The Amazing Spider-man films, what has been hinted at, and who may be irreplaceable.  

So, without further ado, I give you my prediction for the Sinister Six!

1. Electro

This is a pretty obvious choice.  As Jamie Foxx is playing the villain Electro in The Amazing Spider-man 2, it would seem reasonable for him to be one of the members of the Sinister Six.  As Electro is a founding member of the group in the comic, it makes perfect sense to include him in the movies as well.  While Foxx has hinted at his character's arc within the film, there is still reason to believe that Max Dillon/Electro would be able to be used again in later films.  Jamie Foxx is usually known for giving solid, sometimes fun performances so there is a decent chance that his portrayal of the villain could be so popular that fans even demand him back for a sequel.  Electro is a pretty unique villain (I'm not just talking about his costume) and could pose a very serious threat to Spider-man, especially when joined with other villains.

2. Rhino

In perhaps the most random casting move for The Amazing Spider-man 2, Paul Giamatti will be portraying the villain known as Rhino.  While Giamatti is certainly able to pull off a performance when needed, he seems a very strange fit for the role.  Rhino is a villain who is not known for being a very smart guy, hence why he has to use his massive size and strength to get his way.  Odd casting aside, Rhino is a solid choice for a Sinister Six member.  Not all of the team can be brains; there has to be a bit of brawn in there too...and if Rhino brings anything to the table, it is definitely brawn.  While little is known about how large of a role Rhino will play in Amazing Spider-man 2, I would say that he is most definitely a lock for the Sinister Six.

3. Lizard

Much like your first love, I can't imagine a superhero ever forgets his/her first super villain.  While The Amazing Spider-man left a seemingly nicer Curt Connors in a jail cell, I would not rule him out completely as a member of any film incarnation of the Sinister Six.  As we saw in the mid-credits scene of the film, someone is trying to manipulate Dr. Connors.  If Connors refuses to cooperate with a hypothetical plan to fight Spider-man, then who is to say the Lizard part of him could not be unleashed unwillingly?  The fact that, in the world of the film, Connors knows Peter is Spider-man could also be a key to his inclusion into the Sinister Six (a bit more on this later).  Rhys Ifans was great as both Connors and the Lizard, even if much of his role ended up being cut, so there is not really any worry as to whether he can play the role again.

4. Mysterio

Yes, I know it is very strange to choose a villain like Mysterio for a film version of the Sinister Six, but the truth is...we may have already seen him in the movie.  I am speaking once again of this mid-credits scene in The Amazing Spider-man.  Not only is there a lot of questioning of who was talking to Connors in that cell, but also how they got there.  While the who may have been someone else, I think the how is an obvious nod to Mysterio.  Who would be better to get a guy in and out of a locked jail cell in the blink of an eye than a master of illusion?  Admittedly, Mysterio's costume will have to be altered a bit to seem less odd in a more grounded Spider-man world, but that should not keep him from being a character.  Besides, Mysterio's distinction as a founding member of the Sinister Six also makes him perfect for any film version.

5. Doctor Octopus

This will probably my most controversial choice on this list, but I am going to attempt to justify myself for you.  While I am well aware that Doctor Octopus was already brilliantly played by Alfred Molina in Spider-man 2 (one of my favorite comic book movies of all time), I believe that it is absolutely necessary that Doc Ock is a part of a film version of the Sinister Six.  For starters, in the comic, the idea for the Sinister Six comes from the mind of Doc Ock.  What better way to pay homage to the comic book your film is based on than to have the true leader of the group present?  Although the roster of the Sinister Six changed with every incarnation (comic book or animated), one member has always remained constant: Doc Ock.  Now I do not  necessarily think we have to make Ock a main antagonist of his own film to place him on the Sinister Six.  In fact, I think it would be perfectly acceptable to have Ock play a bit more of a small/subservient role, a la The Spectacular Spider-man cartoon series.  Perhaps the good Doctor could believe he has come up with the idea for the Sinister Six, but the strings are really being pulled by....

6. Green Goblin

Of all the Spider-man villains previously adapted in films, the Green Goblin seems the most possible for a new version in The Amazing Spider-man film series.  With so many references throughout the first film to Oscorp and Norman Osborn, it seems that a future conflict between Spider-man and the Goblin is inevitable.  With the casting of Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) as Harry Osborn in Amazing Spider-man 2, however, this has opened up an interesting opportunity.  It is well established that, in the comics, Norman Osborn was the original Green Goblin.  Most are probably aware that his son, Harry, became the second incarnation of the Goblin after a while (sorry, Sam Raimi, no "New Goblin" here).  In this new series of Spider-man movies, the role Norman Osborn will play is still a bit of a mystery, so it stands to reason that perhaps Harry could become the first Green Goblin instead.  The Amazing Spider-man established that Norman is suffering from some sort of disease.  Perhaps his desperation for a cure leads him to experiment on his son, resulting in the creation of yet another foe for Spider-man.  Whichever Osborn ends up being the Green Goblin is up for grabs, but I think that it is certain that the villain will show up and he just might be bringing a few friends along with him.

So Why The Sinister Six?

While I have already established that the best way to give movie-going audiences a taste of the diversity of Spider-man's rogues gallery is through a film version of the Sinister Six, there could also be a greater story-telling purpose.  The Amazing Spider-man film series is going to try and tell the story of Peter Parker's journey as a hero.  Any hero is going to have to face obstacles, but the hero will eventually have to rise against a seemingly impossible challenge in order to demonstrate his greatness.  With that in mind, why not have Spider-man run the gauntlet of super villains to save the people and city he loves?  What better way to prove yourself as a hero than to take on six of your villains at once?  These villains would pose a greater threat if they even knew the identity of Spider-man.  The Sinister Six was created for story-telling purposes to both entertain audiences as well as show them that Spider-man could rise to the occasion.  It only makes sense that a film version of Spidey would want to reflect this as well.  Not to mention, it would make for some very cool action sequences.

So what do you think?  Will we see the Sinister Six on the big screen?  Do you agree with my choices?  If not, who would you most want to see in a movie with the Sinister Six?  Tell us in the comments below!

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  1. When do you expect the sinister six to appear? I think it's unlikely for the next film, 5 new villains in one movie is stretching it a bit.

    I'm also curious about your opinion on Jamie Foxx playing Electro? I don't know enough about Spider-man and his villains to really tell.

    1. I'm thinking that we will need at least 2 more movies to set up the Sinister Six so we probably won't see them together until Amazing Spider-man 4. Although 2 and 3 could drop some big hints.

      As far as Jamie Foxx as Electro, I'm optimistic. Many were upset that a black guy was playing him, but I don't really mind. I love the character and I think Foxx has some potential to play him well.

    2. Jamie Foxx is definitely an interesting choice. I can't think of any examples of him playing the antagonist in a movie. About Electro being black, it's 2013. People need to chill.

    3. Shane, do you think it's gonna go beyond a trilogy? That Sony is trying to set up their own Marvel/Fox bigger universe thing.

    4. Marc Webb has stated that he wants to construct a whole "universe" rather than just write for a trilogy.

      I'd like for the films to break away from the conventional superhero movie formula and introduce a tertiary villain like Rhino who can be captured in the first act and is separate from the main story. Kind of like the Scarecrow scene in The Dark Knight. Not every villain needs to have a grand master plan in the third act!

    5. That's an idea I dig, though I doubt you hire Paul Giamatti for a 10 minute cameo...honestly I'd rather have a whole film of him rather than Jamie Foxx.

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