Irrfan Khan Discusses His ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Role

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 24th, 2013 at 10:28 am,

Most people were surprised when word got out that Rhy Ifan’s Lizard wouldn’t be the sole villain doing battle with the titular hero of The Amazing Spider-Man. Indian actor Irrfan Khan snagged the film’s other antagonistic role, that of Niels Van Adder, who eventually transforms into Proto-Goblin in the comics.

Khan has spoken out a bit about his role in the Spider-Man reboot, and is indicating that while his role will be an important one, it won’t require him to play the red-skinned, yellow-haired Proto-Goblin.

Although Khan told NDTV in an interview that it was his role in the HBO Drama In Treatment which earned him the attention of Hollywood types, he’s been on the film scene since Mira Nair’s Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay! back in 1988. While a lot of U.S. moviegoers were introduced to the actor by Slumdog Millionaire, I first became acquainted with Khan after watching his moving turn as the immigrant Gogol in Nair’s adaptation of The Namesake back in 2006.

Director Marc Webb was also familiar with Khan’s work prior to his being cast in The Amazing Spider-Man, and approached the actor himself to play Van Adder in his new cinematic take on the iconic web-slinger. Khan says that he’s playing “a pivotal role” in the film, which he reportedly signed on for after being impressed by “the intricacy and freshness of the script,” by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac, The Losers).

Global Desi also chatted recently with Khan, who confessed his initial reluctance to sign on for the Spider-Man reboot as he “didn’t want to be part of this violent American fantasy,” and agreed to star in on one condition – he wouldn’t play either a masked villain or sci-fi monster.

No Proto Goblin in The Amazing Spider Man movie Irrfan Khan Discusses His Amazing Spider Man Role

No Proto-Goblin in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’?

Given that Khan did not flat out deny the appearance of Proto-Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man, it’s possible the creature could still appear (albeit entirely in CGI form), or that Khan’s Van Adder could simply acquire superhuman abilities and never don any sort of costume or fancy getup. The third option would of course be that Khan’s villain will be more mind over matter, and aid The Lizard by using his intelligence and wit to attempt to take down Peter Parker’s masked hero.

So long as Van Adder doesn’t kick the bucket before the end credits roll on Webb’s reboot, his character could also also be set up to become Proto-Goblin in a future installment. That could be done explicitly – much like Harry Osborn (James Franco) discovering his father’s secret lair at the conclusion of Spider-Man 2 – or more subtly, like how Sam Raimi’s trilogy often dropped hints that Dylan Baker’s version of Dr. Curt Connors could eventually become The Lizard in a future sequel. Those plans may not have panned out, but it’s possible The Amazing Spider-Man will approach Van Adder’s potential fate from a similar angle.

Dylan Baker in the Spider Man movies Irrfan Khan Discusses His Amazing Spider Man Role

Baker as Dr. Curt Connors.

The Amazing Spider-Man is currently in the midst of filming, and won’t arrive in theaters until July 3rd of 2012. In the meantime, feel free to speculate about Khan’s role in the comments section below.

Source: NDTV and Global Desi (via Coming Soon)

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  1. hmmmm…..

    So will the lizard be the MAIN villain or no?

    • YES he will

  2. “didn’t want to be part of this violent American fantasy,” screw him !!!

    • Yes, I agree, his statements are very strange and to be honest a bit racist. Why did he agree to do it in the first place then, it seems he despises comics and everything about them…Oh yeah, they probably paid him loads. What a douche.

    • So this guy thinks he can dictate what we get from this caracter, no mask? Go back to India, we don’t need you messing up our marvel villians. If he’s in this movie, and they hint that he is suppost to be the proto goblin Im going to be pissed!!!!!!

      • marvel didnt put a gun to his head and force him to sign a contract to play a character… marvel knew what they were getting into when they signed him, he doesnt want to feed Americans hunger of violence, oh well… but marvel knew that he feels this way and they gave him a contract… if anyone is to blame, blame marvel…

        • Marvel isn’t making this movie SONY is!

          • Lol Sony is horrible! I still firmly believe that they’re the reason Spider-Man 3 was horrible!

    • Oh look, another actor who thinks he can dictate how and what he wants to play when he accepts a role. Kick his butt to the curb and get one of the hundreds of other movie star hoprfuls who would kill to be in his place.

      • or better yet let him play the human character in the first movie and then cgi him in to Proto Gobby in the sequel, and dont use him so then his character will be used in our American fantasy violence, lol. Guilty by association I say.

  3. Until I hear about the direction they’ll go with the lead character (peter parker, not the various villains) I can’t get too excited for this. (its like my TDKR prediction, all about the villain and not the hero)

    How will Van Adder connect to the lizard? And if this IS the early years of spidey a’la twilight highschool, is Dr. Conners now a high school teacher instead of a university professor? Curt took a major pay cut.

    • im pretty sure this is parker in college not highschool like the previous films. and the actor playing him is 28

      • Dr. Conners will be a science teacher and in a side he is doing his experiments. Y’all see.

      • no its High school

        • im pretty sure its college

          • im pretty sure it says High school, lol

    • We dont know for a fact itll suck,I dont think its gonna suck at all. I love the costume and the actors that will appear i think it will at least be decent. :)

      • dude tobey macguire sucked as peter parker get over it already its being rebooted and im sure in a year you will be like “this sper man is awthome i like totally love it”

        • spider-man*

          • Learn how to type, buddy. And Tobey’s portrayal of Peter Parker/Spider-Man was by no means bad. I think he was perfect for the role and played it magnificently. I do have faith in Garfield though. He was excellent in The Social Network. But, this news is just stupid and horrible. How can they cast a man who is so against playing a masked villain or Sci-Fi monster.. I think this is ridiculous. And what he said about the “violent American fantasy” is a completely prejudiced statement and I think he should go back to making his Bollywood films if he feels that way..

            • He should be sacked for his comments.

                • I think everyone is calm Rick, but surely you must understand why his comments are a bit strange? Why did he get involved in the project if he was then going to slag off comic books?

                  • for the money ofcourse!

                    • Exactly. he will be getting paid a fortune to be in a Spider-Man movie (something many people would chop off an arm to do) and he is going around spouting statements like that?!

                • Everyone is calm. But he is going to ruin this character because apparently he’s too good for that “violent American fantasy”. His culture worships cows..

                  • He need’s an attitude reconfiguration

                  • ‘His culture worships cows..’

                    I don’t know how to react to the above sentence…you know what his culture also worships snakes and elephant too!
                    Why do you blame his culture? Many Indians visit this site and I am one of them…

                    Khan before taking up any project do your homework coz a lot of fanboys will be pissed with ur careless remarks.

                    • Lol I don’t blame his culture. I guess that got lost in translation. It was a joke. He wanted to say something untrue about the “violent American fantasy” so I said something true (yet kind of funny) about his.

                • I won’t calm down, he should go back to smelly India. Why would any director accept an actor who states he’s not going to do this or that. Did the director ask him to be in this movie to be politicaly correct. He doesn’t want to be a villian, so what’s the deal??????

                  • That’s a bit far “smelly India”, you’re basically stooping down to this guy’s level. And being racist.

                    • I agree. Don’t stoop to his level. This movie was looking to really be shaping up until this guy..

                    • wow thats just pathetic. smelly india? wow dude…

                    • “smelly india”. well, im betting most of you commenting wouldnt know either way.
                      I worked with 70 Muslims in for over a year in one building. That’s all Im going to say.

                      IF you dont know what you speak of, dont defend it, and dont make accusations.

                  • Steve M

                    You serious?

                    If you were an Indian how would you feel if some1 speaks low of your country?

                    Do read your garbage before posting.
                    Your soul ‘smells’ of racism.

                    • Hey, I didn’t say that I hated the guy, it just seemed like he took a stab at our culture, so I threw one back.”smelly” was pretty tame. Perhaps your right, I shouldn’t stup to his level.

                  • Hello steve m, u may want to stop calling “smelly India” and all that stuff, and this msg goes to all those who discriminate country, religion and what not. This is a secular world…. Live with peace and harmony

              • Wasn’t his character one of the ones beating that kid in Slumdog Millionaire?

                • I think so yeti.

    • The are not going to have to PAY these new people nearly as much money. Which means MORE PROFIT. And that’s ALL that matters.

  4. Any chance Kraven?

    • no he is playing Van Adder, who Proto Goblin, who is a lame ass villian anyhoo

      • Normans first attempt at the goblin formula, setting up Norman to be an actual villain and an actual goblin, not the pathetic tin man we got in Raimi’s sub par trilogy

        And to the person who Tobey was a good Peter, are you having a laugh? Peter is by very definition a charismatic, wise cracking genius. Tobey is just bland and played Parker very poorly in my opinion

        • That’s your opinion, and you’re entitled to it. But, I thought he had the looks and acting talent that was perfect for Peter Parker. And that’s my opinion. And while Andrew Garfield is obviously a talented actor, I’m still just a little unsure how this is all going to go down. Especially now with this article..

          BUT, one good thing…? Denis Leary is in this movie. Not as Jonah Jameson, but a least he’s in this. By the way, does anyone know if they’re even going to have someone portraying Jameson in this movie? Or The Daily Bugle at all?

    • Stop hating on Tobey? He was a great Spider-Man. At first I didn’t like the idea of a reboot, but now i’m into it. Garfield will be great as well. Let’s wait and see how it goes. BTW isn’t it funny that these same people that bash Tobey, loved him after Spider-Man 2? One “bad” movie(SP3 rocked, don’t care what people say) and people become haters.

      • Nope I hate Tobey from half way through Spiderman 1. no charisma at all! a trait that pretty much defines spidey

  5. Some of the comments here seem to be going the way of racist as well. The guy will get what he has coming to him, and I am sure his attitude will eventually discourage the use of him in future films. I think we all need to wait for some FOOTAGE before the “This film is going to suck” stuff continues? We are all entitled to our opinions, but when the opinion is outright hateful and without basis, then it is just farce.


    • There hasn’t even a full Captain America trailer yet, and that film is out in 4-5 months. Spiderman isn’t out until summer 2012, you could be looking at another year until there is a trailer!

      • But there has been an Avengers trailer.

        • A 45 second teaser that showed no footage whatsoever because none has been shot.

          • Still.

    • Everybody needs to chill out on calling people racist. Nobody on this web said they hated him or his country, or wished him, or India any harm. He made a comment that was alittle insulting to American culture. We praise and insult directors and actors on this website everyday. Just because the insult is directed at someone from another country, however insulting, doesn’t mean their racist. Stop calling people racist. Learn the difference between an insult and and a hateful racist comment.

      • This is from 9 months ago, so no idea if you’ll be reading this again, but when you use someone’s home country as a negative – “smelly India” – it’s racist. Shut up and stop feeling so entitled.

  6. Danget Beckett, curse your always-rightness.

  7. So is the lizard the main villain or not!? :s this Spider man stuff is getting me crazy!. I hope this Indian dude dose not mess up this movie just because he dose not want to turn into proto-goblin -_- I hope their is a better 2nd villain than this Indian (comic book hater!)

  8. Huh…seems like this character already has the “villain” vibe down. See how ticked off some folks got at the drop of an inane comment followed by narrow mindedness? I don’t neccessarily agree with his views, but if he wants to jam his own feet in his mouth…wellllllll…ITS A FREE COUNTRY! :)

  9. Hey now (and this is for everyone) – no more of that “go back to India” nonsense, all right? You can dislike Khan’s comments all you want, but there’s no need to attack his racial background.

    • Telling someone to go home is not prejudiced, racial, or anything else – other than to tell an outsider they are not welcome in our house to make remarks of that kind without upsetting the hosts.

      Funny how everyone on the planet is allowed to have pride in their nation and values except Americans. We’re tired of walking on eggshells for everyone else, ESPECIALLY IN OUR OWN HOUSE.

  10. Just from appearances alone, the guy looks more like Kraven the Hunter, which would fit in nicely with the Lizard. You don’t think they would be misleading us do you? …surely not. LOL!

  11. I hate how when someone says something stupid like Americans are violent, it brings out the aggro-arrogant Free-Dumb talk.
    As a proud multi racial American, these knee jerk reactions make me just want to give the American educational system a brain transplant.
    As for Khan, he shouldve known better than to speak candidly from inside the lion’s mouth.
    As for Proto Goblin, I’d rather see Hobgoblin or Kraven, personally.
    But let’s just be thankful Webb isn’t Villain cramming. That’s what killed this franchise the 1 st time around, hands down.
    Can’t wait to see how they do the Lizard- hopefully a mix of practical & CG. Can’t stand watching human actors interact w/ CG “invisible monsters”. I figured they’dearn their lesson after LOTR, not to throw the baby out w/ the bath water.

  12. Dollars to donuts he kills Peter’s parents after they’re caught snooping around Oscorp. Mark my word.

  13. Remarks coming from someone from that part of the world strike me as hypocritical and prejudiced.

    I’ll pass one this movie. No thank you Sony.

  14. I wont be taking any of my family to see this, and will make sure to spread the word on their newest addition to the cast.

  15. @Netshark-please continue vigilantly guarding our shores from inside your glass house. It’ll be a better world for us all to live in that way. ;).
    Btw- I’m pretty sure he’s talking about proto goblin as a violent American fantasy, and not spider man. You can cool all your ruffled feathers. He won’t eat your children … But from the looks of it Proto Goblin might! 8{}

    • Django,

      No, he’s referring to the FILM, not the character. Full quote:

      “I didn’t want to be part of this violent American fantasy. But both my sons were excited and kept insisting that I take it up.”


  16. Not one thing from this movie sparks any interest in me. I’m trying, I really love Spider-Man, but comments like the one this loser made is only one in many reasons this movie is destined for failure… not box office failure, of course. More like Transformers 2 failure.

    • Alex, the studio has only released 2 images. The rest is stuff we weren’t meant to see. Be patient, I’m sure the reboot trailer will blow us all away and the movie will be different and new, as this actor states is the reason he took the project.

      • Robdel
        Even I feel the same…. I think we should atleast wait for the trailer and its too early to judge

  17. OK, this thread needs to cool down – I don’t want to have to disable comments on it.



  18. Hm. Maybe what we should be taking away is that this is confirmation that Webb is indeed making a darker, grittier and even violent take on ole web head! … Is that a good thing? Batman maybe but, besides Kravens Last Hunt ( which I’m still dying to see on screen ) has Spider Man ever been known for violence? Maybe Webbs taking his cues from McFarlanes comics? This makes me eager to hear from the script writer, as to where they’re getting their inspiration. Or is this just trying to turn Spidey into the Dark Knight.

  19. When John Malkovich was originally offered the Green Goblin in Raimi’s Spider-man he just laughed it off as some silly comic book movie. I’m not surprised at this guy’s reaction giving that’s what the popular perception of comic book films is in many places around the world. Not that it isn’t moronic coming from him, though.

  20. “His culture worships cows”
    A culture won’t typically involve something drastic as worship, that tends to be within a religion. However, I can’t think of any religions where they worship cows.

    On topic: I wouldn’t mind if they had a CGI Proto-Goblin who is voiced by Khan.

    • Hey man, who told you that he’s a Hindu??? He’s a Muslim and Muslims don’t worship cows and neither that it’s the part of the Indian culture but sure is a ritual in Hindu religion…. RELIGION AND CULTURES ARE TWO VERY DIFFERENT things my friend ! GO EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT RELIGIONS AND CULTURES !@

  21. I’m still scared as hell that the bleacher scene will be reminiscent of Twilight. Every casting announcement so far has had me worried that this movie will primarily be marketed to teen Edward fanatics. I desperately hope to be proven wrong, but I’m still worried about it…

  22. Quote from the article:

    “Global Desi also chatted recently with Khan, who confessed his initial reluctance to sign on for the Spider-Man reboot as he “didn’t want to be part of this violent American fantasy,” and agreed to star in on one condition – he wouldn’t play either a masked villain or sci-fi monster.”

    This guy will never play Proto-Goblin so why cast him? This should have been an immediate no-hire. He cant be that good. People like this make me want to puke.

  23. I just stumbled upon this article on a boring Sunday morning. My god, half of you people should consider time travel, and go back to the 19th century and become slave traders and colonists, because i can smell the stink of casual racism till here, and hell I’m sittin’ in smelly ol’ India!

    P.S – Khan is a great actor. Deal with it. People outside of America can act too. And his comment wasn’t racist in the slightest. The average American movie dream is violent at its core, but that’s what i love about it. He’s entitled to his own opinion.

  24. Irrfan Khan is one of the most promising bollywood actor and after slumdog millionaire, I’m eagerly waiting for spiderman to watch him playing a role of villain.

  25. I am insane. PLEASE KICK ME!!!