We’ve been speculating that Electro could appear in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 since the first film’s mid-credits scene alluded to the existence of electricity-based super-powers similar to that traditionally possessed by the villain. Hence, it didn’t come as a great shock (no pun intended) when the character was confirmed a few months later; though, Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx snagging the role came as unexpected news (but welcomed, at least by this writer).
Foxx has been out promoting Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (which hits theaters next week), and took time to shed some light on Electro as presented in the still officially-untitled Amazing Spider-Man sequel – including, his costume and origin story therein.
Black Film asked Foxx about the prospect of donning Electro’s classic (but often-mocked) green-and-yellow duds, to which he replied:
“It won’t be green and yellow. It will be a different color. They (the producers) want something for the future. They want to have it more grounded and not as comic bookie, so it won’t be green and yellow. They want to try new things, like a liquid rubber and things like that, and there are all these bolts and stuff in my arms when they are hanging me upside down and trying to figure out what [happens]. How did he become this way? So, it will be some new stuff.”
In a separate interview with MTV, Foxx also mentioned:
“[Director] Marc Webb and all those guys who are doing it are smart. They know that it has to make sense in 2013 so the suit is really slick. It’s not green. It’s actually black.”
Based on Foxx’s description, it sounds as though Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2 could bear a close resemblance to character from the “Ultimate Spider-Man” comic book continuity, wherein he wears a black leather costume; not to mention, his bald head and nasty lightning burn scars along his body. That’s in keeping with Amazing Spider-Man, which likewise drew inspiration primarily from the “Ultimate” comics universe. We might even see Foxx made-up with similar physical damage, as part of Webb’s more grounded approach to the Spider-Man mythos.
During that same MTV interview, Foxx also revealed some specific details about Electro’s origins in the second Amazing Spider-Man installment:
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
“What you’ll see is that, for his whole life, no one is talking to him. People have stolen his ideas at the big company. He’s a nobody. At a certain point, Spider-Man bumps into him and says, ‘You’re my guy. You’re my ears and eyes on the street.’ Then he says his name, [Max] and no one has ever said [Max] Dillon’s name. He goes, ‘Wow’ and, when Spider-Man leaves, he sort of thinks that, “I am Spider-Man’s partner!” He’s cutting out Spider-Man’s face and pasting it on all his boards… Everything goes bad with his mom. She doesn’t remember his birthday. He has something tragic happen and, when it turns on, he lights it up.”
Such a re-envisioning of Electro’s origins – from a screenplay co-written by James Vanderbilt, Jeff Pinkner, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci – could make the character more pitiable (and pathetic) than previous Spider-Man film antagonists. Moreover, it takes into account the ongoing evolution of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), who remains a reckless teenager learning important lessons about his superhero responsibilities (like, for example, trusting the right people).
On the other hand: there are some shades of Jim Carrey’s Riddler origin story from Batman Forever in Foxx’s description; though, it’s a safe bet that Foxx will offer a more understated and serious rendition of Max Dillon – similar to Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors in Amazing Spider-Man (pre-transformation, at least) – rather than follow in Carrey’s scenery-chewing steps.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (not the official title) stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Martin Sheen, Shailene Woodley and Dane DeHaan. It opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014.
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