Now that Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out (and shaking up things on the studio’s small-screen counterpart, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), comic book fans are gearing up for the much-discussed sequel to Sony’s side of the Marvel universe with The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Much has been said about how the film will serve as the launching point for an interconnected landscape of Spidey sequels, spin-offs and team-ups – just as Fox and Warner Bros. intend on expanding their superhero franchises with X-Men: Days of Future Past and Batman vs. Superman, respectively. Sony has already announced a 2016 release for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and two subsequent villain-focused projects in Sinister Six and Venom. Now, courtesy of producer Matt Tolmach, fans have a bit more insight into which villains they can expect to see in the Sinister Six film.

Tolmach recently spoke with IGN about the epic villain team the film would feature, more specifically and the titular line-up. Here’s what he had to say:

“Nothing is sacred. I mean it’s going to be the best Six that you can imagine, but it’s going to make sense in the world that we’re building.”

For the purposes of this take on the Spider-Man mythos, this likely means that most of the featured villains will originated from Oscorp. We already know that the genetic research at the company was responsible for the Lizard’s transformation in the first film and, based on what we’ve heard, appears to be at the Electro, Rhino and (of course) Harry Osborn’s Green Goblin. That’s a total of four potential additions to the Sinister Six team, not counting the brief references to Doctor Octopus and Vulture that are featured in the trailer.

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However, despite those teases, fans may not end up with the classic line-up of Doc Ock, Electro, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio and Sandman. After all, countless Spider-Man villains have been a part of the team over the years, begging the question of how director Drew Goddard will adapt decades of Sinister Six comic book material to the big screen. Amazing Spider-Man co-producer Avi Arad talked about exactly that:

“When you translate comic to film the word ‘classic’ means the first fifty issues. Because after that, we all made changes, changes that had to do with science-fiction turning into science. I think just the need to move this world forward. So, of course we’ll make adaptations about these guys and what was their motivations because many of them have multiple motivations. It depends, is it ultimate Spider-Man? Is it Spider-Man? Is it some three-piece issue that takes them to space? We have a bigger responsibility to represent the character of the villain as it was conceived, because that way it will survive the test of time. All the rest… that’s a movie. What an opportunity to make– can you imagine seeing Paul Giamatti in a leather suit? I think they would have killed us. They gave us a hard time with the Lizard.”

Arad – who has served as producer on countless Marvel films, including the Spider-Man franchise’s Tobey Maguire days – makes an excellent point. Regardless of what fans think of Foxx’s blue-skinned Electro, the character’s initial green-and-yellow costume would surely look ludicrous onscreen. Sony has to be smart to adapt these characters for the medium of film, naturally, but it also has to account for its future plans. That being said, it’s likely that Sinister Six will feature a careful selection of villains that have played into all the films, though the smart money is on The Amazing Spider-Man 3 introducing Venom to the fold.

Sony already plans to follow this third film with both Sinister Six and a standalone Venom film before launching a potential fourth Spider-Man solo film. It makes sense then to introduce Venom in this third film (perhaps alongside a classic villain like Doc Ock) before having him join his fellow villains against Spider-Man. We’ve already heard about how the Sinister Six film will be a tale about redemption. Conceivably, this entire three-film arc could center on Venom (whom Sony already botched in Spider-Man 3 back in 2007, to much fan fury), wherein he clashes with Spider-Man, joins a team of villains against him and then develops into something of an anti-hero. Rumors that the Venom film could heavily feature Carnage seem to support this.

Of course, this is all purely speculation at this point. However, it does make sense as far as what fans are looking for from this new set of films (i.e. including fan-favorite characters in pivotal roles) and fleshing Sony’s Spider-Man universe into a richer environment for Marvel characters to run amok. Tolmach and Arad’s comments are certainly encouraging about the future of the franchise, though we’ll have to wait and see how The Amazing Spider-Man 2 plays out to have a better idea where this is all headed. Stay tuned, true believers.

Which of Spidey’s many enemies would you like to see factor into Sinister Six, and how should the studio go about introducing these characters into the existing films? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters on May 2, 2014, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10th, 2016 and then another undetermined Spider-Man project (potentially Sinister Six) on May 4th, 2018.

Source: IGN