[Update: Rachel McAdams has debunked the rumor that she is playing Black Cat. Go HERE for details]

The past couple of weeks have been filled with a ton of Spider-Man talk with the majority of the chatter being focused on which villain fans can look forward to seeing our favorite web-slinger battle in Spider-man 4. Well, the speculation can subside (for the time being) as the folks over at Mania.com have heard from “reliable sources” that Sam Raimi is in the midst of casting the villains for the next installment of the Spider-Man franchise.

Some of the possibilities that we’ve heard were Bruce Campbell as Mysterio, Dr. Connors (Dylan Baker) as The Lizard and the possibility of William Defoe returning as Green Goblin.

With Sam Raimi receiving complete control over Spider-Man 4 (unlike Spider-Man 3) he has decided to go in a complete different direction than what was previously discussed and has allegedly chosen the formidable Felicia Hardy, known the fans around the world as the skilled cat burglar Black Cat as one of the villains for Spider-Man 4. (Yes, that’s right. I said “one of”).

Not only is Mania.com revealing that Black Cat is one of the villains, but it appears that they also have a major Hollywood actress as one of the top contenders for the role. Who is said actress? Well, Betty White fans may be disappointed that the Golden Girl star has been passed up, but hopefully the Time Travelers Wife, The Notebook and the upcoming Sherlock Holmes actress, Rachel McAdams, will be a suitable replacement [Update: Sorry, this rumor has been officially debunked. Go HERE for details].

Why Black Cat you ask? Well Black Cat and conversely Felicia Hardy fit perfect into the formula that Raimi uses when choosing his Spider-Man villains: they must not only pose a threat to Spider-Man alone, but must also be entwined with Peter Parker’s life. Fans of the comic series will remember that Black Cat has spent some time not only as girlfriend to the friendly neighborhood arachnoid, but also changing from a villain to an ally.

McAdams as Black Cat? Sorry, just a rumor..

With Raimi selecting Black Cat as villain number one and looking for someone intertwined in Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s live, does this mean Dylan Baker will get to spend some additional time in the make-up chair as Dr. Connors transforms into Lizard?

While reports seem to indicate that this will be a two-villain movie, sources are saying that Dr. Connors will not be appearing as Lizard because they’re currently casting a male for the other villain role, and since Dylan Baker has been cast since the second movie, Lizard is out of the running (confirming what Baker had previous stated).

How’s that for some nerd math?

While I know it’s a long-shot at this point, I’m still hoping for Mysterio to make an appearance. You never know, maybe Peter Parker will get a roommate that just so happens to be an aspiring special effects designer/stunt man. Maybe he’s hoping to get a role in the new film about the city’s superhero, but something horrible happens so now he hates Spider-Man?

Look at that… wrote the entire movie right there. Now, where did I put Sam Raimi’s email address?

How do you feel about Rachael McAdams playing Black Cat? I think she’s a good choice. Not overly obvious, but when you hear her name…. you think to yourself, “Yeah, I can see that!”

Also, Lizard is out. Who do you think the other male villain Raimi is going to go with?

Let’s hear it!

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as more Spider-Man 4 news is revealed.

Source: Mania.com