Marvel Studio’s long-term approach to superhero movie franchise building has encouraged 20th Century Fox and Sony to follow its example with their own Marvel comic book film properties (X-Men/Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, respectively). As such, even though post-production on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is currently ongoing, Sony has gone ahead and set theatrical premiere dates for both the third and fourth installments in that series (in addition to screenwriters for Amazing Spider-Man 3).

The Amazing Spider-Man sequel will bring multiple antagonists into the fold, including Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) – the feeble electrician who transforms into the megalomaniacal Electro – and Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), a Russian mob enforcer who becomes a powerful-yet-dull-witted monster known as Rhino. Oscar-nominee Giamatti has, in the past, admitted that he will don some kind of Rhino suit in the film, but suggested that his character will be “more hanging around the background” while Spidey (Andrew Garfield) battles Electro.

Giamatti spoke more about the Amazing Spider-Man franchise during a recent interview with Collider (to promote his new movie, the JFK assassination drama Parkland); there, the hot discussion topic concerning why Rhino won’t be a central threat in the second film – i.e. because he’s being “saved” for a potential Sinister Six appearance down the line – was raised once again. The actor didn’t have much of anything new to offer on that front, however, as he told the site:

“It seems like [these films are leading to a Sinister Six teamup], they’ve not told me anything hard and fast about that.”

Three potential members for the Sinister Six organization – Lizard (Rhys Ifans), Electro and Rhino – will, for certain, have been introduced into the Amazing Spider-Man universe by the time the second movie ends. Additionally, the new face of Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) has said that we can expect “better things” from the character in Amazing Spider-Man 3 (e.g. a Green Goblin transformation?). In the meantime, rumors continue to swirl, with respect to whether Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn is going to become Green Goblin II or possibly Venom in the Amazing Spider-Man continuity (a la the Ultimate Spider-Man animated cartoon series).

As for Rhino being a member of the Sinister Six: Giamatti reaffirmed that it’s a strong possibility, when he confirmed that he’s signed on for a multi-picture deal (looks like franchise building trumps dramatic tension yet again). However, even though the actor seemed fairly confident that he’s all set to reprise his hammy Russian villain act in Amazing Spider-Man 3, he isn’t formally set for the fourth movie just yet:

“I think i’ve only done the next movie [i.e. ‘Amazing Spider-Man 3′], I don’t think I’ve done the next, next movie [i.e. ‘Amazing Spider-Man 4′].”

In all fairness, though, there’s a reasonable chance that no cast members are firmly set for Amazing Spider-Man 4 yet (it won’t arrive until Summer 2018, after all), so Giamatti not having inked a deal yet doesn’t mean all that much at this stage. The important thing is that Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 director Marc Webb has strongly hinted that a future installment will revolve around the Sinister Six; specifically, the fourth movie, as he teased earlier this year:

“I think [for] the fourth movie, what we’ve discovered is there are so many ancillary characters, that have enormous, cinematic potential that there may be other ways to exploit those characters, in a way that is exciting and fun and worthwhile. It might not just be a ‘Spider-Man’ movie.”

Between those comments from Webb and Foxx having announced that Sinister Six is a topic that’s been discussed behind the scenes on Amazing Spider-Man 2… well, it’s gotten to the point where fans can feel safe in speculating about who will be included in the Sinister Six lineup, based on the cast additions to the sequel (ex. Felicity Jones as Black Cat or Menace?). And who knows what other traditional Spidey baddies will show up in Part 3 (A new screen version of Doc Ock? Abandoned Spider-Man 4 antagonist Vulture?)…

Who do you think will ultimately make the cut for the Sinister Six (assuming such a team-up happens in the Amazing Spider-Man films?)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10th, 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 on May 4th, 2018.

Source: Collider