Recent Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailers have revealed a lot about the upcoming sequel to director Marc Webb’s franchise reboot; and yet, some fans (us included) can’t help but wonder if there are still some mysteries that have yet to reveal themselves.
Amazing Spider-Man 2 will set the stage for a much wider Spider-Man movieverse – one that will need be populated with enough characters (villains, allies, love interests) to keep moviegoers in the web for some time. But there have been hints that those characters could already be positioned for later debuts, since solid talent like Colm Feore (Thor), B.J. Novak (The Office) and Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) have all been cast in the film in unknown roles.
Well now we can count one of those “unknowns” as a “known”: Marc Webb Tweeted the following, finally confirming B.J. Novak’s role in the film:
“A. Smythe,” as fans almost immediately discerned, is short for “Alistair Smythe,” a familiar villain from the Spider-Man comics. Like everything in the convoluted Spider-Man mythos, there have been several iterations of Smythe, but the basic backstory is that his father, Spencer, was commissioned to make robots known as Spider-Slayers to take down Spider-Man; when dad failed, Alistair took up his mission.
Confined to a wheelchair at first, Alistair built bigger and badder Spider-Slayers until he finally got the inspiration to transform his own body into what he called “The Ultimate Spider-Slayer.” In his cybernetically-enhanced form, Smythe would go on to plague Spider-Man on several occasions.
Right when B.J. Novak was cast in Amazing Spider-Man 2, fans guessed he was either Smythe or Otto Octavius, so this is no surprise, really. As for what role Smythe has in the film: Marc Webb originally tweeted the casting news with the caption “A supposed rumor about a Dunder-Mifflin takeover of Oscorp?” so we know Smythe will be nesting in Oscorp, the den of vipers that Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) and Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) call home – and where Electro (Jamie Foxx) gains his powers.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Comic-Con teaser above always left us dangling when it came to the question of who Electro is referring to as “Doc” while seemingly strapped to a lab table testing the limits of his powers. We’ve already seen seeds of Dr. Octopus being planted in this rebooted universe - but could it be Smythe who helps build Electro into a soldier within Oscorp’s nefarious army of super villains?
It certainly seems like the sort of adaptation that the filmmakers would use for a third-tier character like Alistair Smythe; a whole film built around him (with B.J. Novak headlining it) seems like a really far-fetched possibility. Could we see the Spider-Slayers eventually show up (in either mini or big-bot form)? It WOULD be a suitable way to give Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) some nondescript foes to beat on… but it’s not likely to top many fans’ wish lists for this series.
Personally, I’m more disappointed that Novak isn’t playing someone like Mysterio – but c’est la vie. This clears up one mystery casting still left dangling – and since Colm Feore was long tagged as “Adrian Toomes” (a.k.a. The Vulture) on IMDb, I’d say it’s really down to finding out who Jones’ character (a love interest of “The Goblin”) really is.
Possibilities abound with these Amazing Spider-Man movies; how much of that potential will be utilized?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be in theaters on May 2, 2014.
Source: Twitter (Marc Webb)