Spider-Man 4 Villains: Malkovich and Hathaway as Vulture & Vulturess?

Published 5 years ago by , Updated August 22nd, 2013 at 7:11 pm,

Movieline has dropped an exclusive report claiming that they have it from an inside source close to Spider-Man 4 that all the previous rumors of The Lizard and/or Black Cat serving as the villains for Sam Raimi’s next Spidey film are totally off the mark.

So who will be the principal villain(s) in Spider-Man 4, according to Movieline? That’s where things get a bit odd (even more so than the Black Cat rumors).

According to this exclusive report (which is being backed by our friends at First Showing), actor John Malkovich is being eyed for a role as The Vulture, a classic Spider-Man foe whose power is a flight suit with razor-sharp wings. Ok, so maybe that isn’t so odd: Malkovich as The Vulture is one of those head-slap, “Should’ve thought of that” casting choices we all see with 20/20 hindsight. However, news that Anne Hathaway (previously rumored for a role as Black Cat) is being eyed for a role as “The Vulturess” have fans around the ‘Net scratching their heads in confusion.

Even more confusing, is the rumor that Hathaway would still be playing the character of Felicia Hardy; in the Spider-Man comics, Hardy was the alter-ego of Black Cat. The Vulturess would be a brand new addition to the Spidey Universe (as far as I know), and if Hathaway is indeed being eyed for the role, it raises a lot of questions (and a few alarms) that I believe we should toss out here and now:

  • Would The Vulture and Vulturess be a team?
  • If they were a team, would Hathaway be Malkovich’s daughter, or (gross) his wife/lover?
  • Do we really need two villains with the same exact power?
  • Why use the Felicia Hardy character just to introduce a new villainess?
  • Wouldn’t having a Bird and Cat as villains just be cooler?

spider man kissing black cat Spider Man 4 Villains: Malkovich and Hathaway as Vulture & Vulturess?

Now I can understand why (from a studio exec’s perspective) having Black Cat in Spider-Man 4 might seem like a bad idea: the character is too reminiscent of Catwoman, who is still a viable villain for Chris Nolan’s next Batman film. Catwoman is, of course, much more well-known than Black Cat, which could make BC a hard sell to a movie audience who can’t tell their Cat ladies apart.

It’s this same line of reasoning that has me believing Movieline when they report that their same source has confirmed that Dylan Baker’s Dr. Connors will absolutely NOT be appearing as The Lizard in Spider-Man 4 (though Baker will be back as Connors). The source states that studio execs were put-off by the thought of such an outlandish villain appearing in a Spidey film – though in the last installment, they did have an alien goo and a big pile of sand as villains, so what kind of hairs are they really splitting?

spider man 4 the lizard main villain Spider Man 4 Villains: Malkovich and Hathaway as Vulture & Vulturess? No Lizard in Spider-Man 4

Anyway, we’ll keep you updated as this story develops – which I’m sure will be quickly, given the crazy nature of all this.

Oh Sam Raimi, can you just reveal who the bad guys are going to be? This is getting nuts…

Spider-Man 4 is going to hit theaters May 5, 2011. How does all this Vulture/Vulturess talk strike you?

Sources: Movieline & First Showing

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  1. John as the vulture sounds cool. The vultress concept…FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

    That’s really stupid. I won’t believe that for a second.

  2. Raimi is almost on the same level as McG with this announcement.

  3. Why on Earth, with so many great Spidey villains, would someone create a new one? Vultress? This is the dumbest idea, it has to be a rumor. No one is this stupid.

    Malkovich is a good choice for Vulture, but Vulture? They would have to have a MIRACULOUSLY FANTASTIC script and upgrade baldy to the nth degree. I’m sorry but Vulture? he has to be one of the villains, not THE villain.

  4. Thought we were going back to basics????

  5. Yes, Malkovich would make a great Vulture, but why bother? The Lizard, Electro, Black Cat, Rino, Scorpion, Morphius, Mysterio, Kraven…all of these and many others are better suited for film. Vulture is kind of a one-dimensional character. So why in the world would they want to create a female version? Makes no sense to me and if they don’t want hoards of Spidey fans to boycott the next film, they’ll can this idea.

  6. eh, I think a Spider vs. a Cat vs. a Bird would be grounds for some good jokes.

    But yeah – the Vulturess??? WTH????

  7. The Vulture would be good especially with John Malkovich in the role, but ceating a new character just for the movie like the Vultress the only thing I can say to that is…NO.
    That would be a DUMB idea to say the least. Ann Hathaway as Felica Hardy I can live with ONLY if she is THE BLACK CAT. Period. Sam Raimi needs to get his head out of his you know what and LISTEN to the fans. Personally I want to see THE LIZARD. But as of right now it seems like Mr. Raimi did NOT learn his lesson from the last Spiderman movie.

  8. I would think Raimi would be smart enough not to do a Vulturess and they are just pulling things out of no where. He would not be back for another film if that was the case. All of us would revolt. Maybe Malkovich is in it as the vulture but a small part, maybe just a villain in the beginning and something bigger like the lizard is where you get the background developing bad guy like they seem to do with the bad guys in the film.

  9. Remember the good old days when the backlash against SP3 humbled Raimi down a bit? Well those days are clearly over. Does he think we forgot him almost killing the (movie) franchise? Fans don’t forget and if he goes through with this casting/character choices, this movie will be on shaky ground from the beginning!

    C’mon Raimi, pull it together.

  10. Well, there goes what little interest I had in this movie.

  11. take a look at a current picture of actor richard benjamin (quark, westworld) if he shaved his head, he’d look exactly like the vulture…..

  12. Vultress=me not seeing Spidey 4.

    BRING ON THE LIZARD ALREADY! SHEESH! I mean, c’mon! It’s a no brainer that after 3 movies the Lizard should be the next villain. Vulture is one of the worst Spidey villains out there. I’d rather see Electro or Rhino before the Vulture.

    C’mon Raimi get your head outta your butt!!!

  13. Yeah.. uh thing I said that I will go see any Marvel/Superhero movie… uh… well… um…

  14. Malkovich shines in everything he does. So if he does the Vulture, expect it to be another stellar performance. But this Vulturess nonsense — shouldn’t be taken seriously. Raimi is too much of a fan and great movie-maker to muck around like that. The Vulturess is just a red herring designed to throw us off the trail. There will probably be a Black Cat in the movie after all. Or perhaps even a Lizard. This Vulturess stuff is just a diversion…

  15. BTW, very interesting on why No Lizard:

    Why no Curt Connors/Lizard? Movieline says:

    we hear that the suits simply can’t bring themselves to sign off on such an odd-looking enemy — instead, they’d rather hew closer to villains with a human face.

    I’m actually okay with that. SP movies are plagued by some pretty bad CGI fights. I don’t want any more of that.

  16. @OGB

    meh take a Raptor head from the first JP. Shrink it down a little stick it on someone body. TaDA! :D

  17. Hope this news is not true. It needs to be the Lizard.

  18. AkNot

    Lol, I don’t think Raimi will go for that. If he didn’t use less CGI in the first 3 SP movies, he won’t go for it now. But who knows, maybe the pressure from the movie studio execs will get him to cut down on it.

  19. another day,
    another crazy Spidey rumor.

  20. Vulture may not even be in the top 10 of Spidey villains. He’s not compelling enough himself and would need to be part of the sinister 6, which you don’t have time for in a 2 hour movie.

    Vultress idea is beyond horrible. If you want to have a new viable female character – use someone from the Spidey canon. Inventing someone out of thin air and you spurn the fanboys at your own peril.

    Lizard is the perfect answer and any suit who says that he won’t work b/c there isn’t a bankable star whose “face” we can see is just stupid.

    Look at Iron Monger in last year’s Iron man – hell look at iron man himself – both wear costumes that cover their whole bodies for much of their fight scenes, but the characters, script (contrary to what Mr. Bridges says) and performances were great. Any suit who says we have to have a bankable “face” as the villain doesn’t understand the fanbase or the film he’s making and should be shitcanned.

  21. I haven’t been excited about this franchise since being so massively dissapointed with spiderman 3, and had been hoping for a while that a fourth installment would never actually come to fruition, so that other parties would be able to reboot these great characters. I like this news though, I think this might be the last film in this series, and the vulture is not someone I would want to see right away in a new series. I think this team though could definately make an interesting film using the vulture; and creating a new villian, I like that too. But please I hope that they do not use the Felicia Hardy character; she is one of my favorite characters and I seriously doubt that she could be done justice playing a different villian other than black cat.

  22. I don’t believe Vulturess at all. If the reports have any accuracy, that could just be code for something else. They wouldn’t make Felicia Hardy a bird.

    So far, we’ve had rumors for Mysterio and Carnage…

    Then Lizard

    Then Black Cat

    Now Vulture

    Give it a month till we get the Shocker/Rhino rumored casting, lol

  23. I HATE Anne Hathaway. All I see is The Princess Diaries every time I see her face. She just looks stuck at 15 years old to me.

  24. ridiculous… I agree with Rob. There can’t be any truth to this.

  25. It’s all LIES!!! Let’s get some facts here!

  26. Not buying it! After all the backlash Raimi’s gotten for Spider-Man 3, there is absolutely no way he would make up a character!
    As for the Malkovich rumor. I don’t think the vulture would be a great villain to use (too unrealistic), but if he does have to be featured in the new movie, Malkovich would be perfect.

  27. While the previous report had Hardy’s father being codenamed ‘Viper’, which the masses began scrambling to see what Spidey villain could be called that (ignoring the same report that said Hardy Sr would be killed and not be a Spidey foe) I speculated on this site in the comments section (and a few others) that Hardy Sr gave himself the nickname ‘Vulture’ and his assassin was THE Vulture. I simply thought ‘Viper’ was nothing more than a codeword.

    So am I totally shocked that The Vulture is mentioned here? Not at all. Could there be a grain of truth to it? Sure. Before Venom in the previous film, there were Vulture plans (and Ben Kingsley close to signing) so there may be some early work already done; Malkovich is a good casting choice regardless- but he almost made Green Goblin status too, lest we forget. So as far as rumor meters go on a grading curve, I give this a B.

    What derails this is the Felicia Hardy isn’t Black Cat anymore but “Vulturess”- come on, some folks may “despise” Raimi for the lukewarm 3, but even Sam would not cause that sort of mess. That’s just stupid. I think this is put out to discredit Raimi. More on that in a bit.

    Now, let me address Kofi’s questions:

    Would The Vulture and Vulturess be a team? If they were a team, would Hathaway be Malkovich’s daughter, or (gross) his wife/lover?
    The Vulture (Toomes) was always jealous of those who took up his mantle, and was strict in guarding his ‘reputation’ as the “real” Vulture. They would not be a team. They would not be father/daughter, cousins or kissing cousins. There is, however, THREE possibilites.

    The Toomes Vulture at one point in the comics went after a group of youths who stolen part of his technology and formed the ‘Vulturians’. That’s a longshot idea though- and Felicia Hardy should still be Black Cat anyways.

    Another possible is that it isn’t Toomes, but Clifton Shallot. Felicia Hardy takes the place of Catherine Murrow. Hardy won’t be a Vultress nor Vulturion. She may or may not be Black Cat. In fact, it may not be Hardy at all. It may be Catherine Murrow- witness to a murder.

    Or…did I say three? Well here it is:
    No Doc Ock, no Sandman…but let’s say we have a different lineup of The Sinister Six where Vulture and Black Cat are involved. Like y’said, next week it’s Rhino and Shocker. Let’s toss in Mysterio and Electro in there. Without Doc Ock and Sandman, someone has to take up the slack.

    I’m not crossing my fingers on any of this, BTW.

    Do we really need two villains with the same exact power?
    While I doubt it will transpire, there’s nothing wrong with it. As I mentioned, it’s happened in the comics. The bottom line is to give a threat to the hero.

    Why use the Felicia Hardy character just to introduce a new villainess?
    The best question that cuts this rumor down at least in part.

    Wouldn’t having a Bird and Cat as villains just be cooler?
    If the Black Cat/Viper (Vulture) scenario was to make it look like a lift off a plot device out of Superman: Quest For Peace, Then “a bird and a cat” is right out of Batman Returns, only the bird this time is a Penguin, yes? I’m getting the impression that some of these rumor mills are simply there to discredit Raimi.

    Raimi would not willingly radically alter the origins of Spider-Man related characters.