For the past couple of years, Sony has been building its own MCU-style franchise revolving around Marvel Comics characters. Starting with Venom, Sony’s Marvel Universe was set to revolve around Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Then Spider-Man: Far From Home came out, Sony’s contract to allow Marvel Studios to use the Spidey character ran out, and the studio dragged Tom Holland’s Peter Parker kicking and screaming out of the MCU.
If nothing else, he’ll get to face some of his more obscure villains on the big screen now, right alongside some of his more formidable, iconic foes. Here are just a selection of Peter Parker's enemies that Sony should put the webhead up against in the upcoming movies.
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. Last year, Sony kicked off its Marvel-based cinematic universe with Venom, starring Tom Hardy as a version of Eddie Brock who wanted the symbiote attached to him to use their powers for good.
In the comics, the Venom symbiote hates Spider-Man, because Peter Parker is the only person in eons of the symbiotes’ existence to ever resist their allure. Spidey and Venom have reached a truce a couple of times in the comics, but it would be great to see them go toe-to-toe before reaching such an agreement in the movies.
9 Kraven the Hunter
At the top of most fans’ wish lists for the villain in the next Spider-Man movie is Kraven the Hunter, including director Jon Watts himself. Kraven is a big-game hunter who sets his sights on his most challenging prey yet: Spider-Man. He loves the thrill of the hunt, and all he wants is to have Spider-Man’s head mounted on the wall, hanging above his mantle.
It’ll be an interesting casting process, because Sony could go a few different ways with it – Gerard Butler, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan – but either way, the fan-favorite Kraven needs to appear at some point.
8 Black Cat
On the surface, it might seem like Black Cat is a rip-off of DC’s Catwoman, and in many ways, they are similar. Black Cat wears a black bodysuit, is characterized as a classic femme fatale, and is an on-and-off ally of the superhero she’s associated with. Still, the nature of Spider-Man and Batman being so different has set her apart.
It would be fun to see Felicia Hardy show up in a Tom Holland-starring Spidey movie. She would probably try to seduce Spider-Man, which would certainly throw a spanner in the works with his burgeoning relationship with Zendaya’s M.J. character.
7 Doctor Octopus
Alfred Molina already gave us the definitive on-screen version of Otto Octavius (a.k.a. Doctor Octopus) in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, but just as Joaquin Phoenix gave us a different take on the Joker after Heath Ledger played such an incredible version, there’s room for a different actor to give their take on Doc Ock.
The producers of the rebooted Spider-Man franchise are keen on adapting villains who haven’t appeared on the big screen before, like the Vulture and Mysterio, but Doc Ock is one of Spidey’s most essential villains, so Tom Holland’s portrayal of the character won’t feel complete until he faces him.
Jared Leto is set to play this vampiric Spidey villain in a solo movie due to be released next summer. It’ll be interesting to see Spidey square off against a baddie who has been introduced to moviegoers in their own movie first, because it’s never been done before (unless Sony pairs up Spidey and Venom first, but they shouldn’t rush into that).
Also, Tom Holland’s Spidey has never faced a supernatural enemy before. The Vulture and Mysterio’s powers could be explained by science (well, made-up MCU science), while Thanos was a super-strong alien. Morbius would present a paranormal threat, the likes of which Holland’s Spidey hasn’t faced yet.
5 The Prowler
We saw the Prowler last year in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and that incarnation of the character was great. But Spider-Man: Homecoming already set up Aaron Davis in the world of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.
Donald Glover would play a very different version of the Prowler than Ali played in Into the Spider-Verse. He’s younger, more concerned about his nephew’s safety, and in possession of alien technology, thanks to the Vulture’s arms-selling ring. The Prowler is a creepy villain who glides seamlessly through the night. He looked spectacular in animated form, but he’d look awesome in live-action, too.
4 The Chameleon
Some Marvel fans expected the Chameleon to show up in Spider-Man: Far From Home, because Numan Acar had been cast to play an associate of Nick Fury’s named Dimitri. The Chameleon’s alter ego is Dmitri Smerdyakov, a master of disguise who uses masks and method acting to seamlessly assimilate himself into someone else’s identity.
There are endless opportunities for sneaky uses of this power and dramatic irony if the Chameleon appears in a future Spider-Man movie. The character played by Acar could still turn out to be the Chameleon – maybe he’s even a Skrull, explaining the seamless disguises in a more convincing way.
3 The Kingpin
Vincent D’Onofrio already played Wilson Fisk in the Netflix series Daredevil, but in the comics, the Kingpin is one of Spidey’s greatest foes. With the casting of Luke Cage’s Mahershala Ali in the role of Blade for the MCU’s Phase 5, it seems as though Marvel is happy to completely disregard the Netflix series.
Frankly, D’Onofrio made for a terrific Fisk in Daredevil, so if Sony brought him back to play the role, it wouldn’t be so bad. Plus, he’d be an interesting physical match for Tom Holland. The great thing about Spidey’s fights with the Kingpin in the comics is that Spidey is relatively tiny next to the Kingpin, who towers over him. D’Onofrio and Holland would realize this in a believable way.
2 Green Goblin
Some Marvel fans were hoping that Norman Osborn would be the MCU’s next big bad to fill the Thanos-sized hole left in the franchise after Avengers: Endgame. However, with the Marvel/Sony split, it’s unclear which company has the rights to the character. Based on the fact that Sony pretty much owns the entire Spider-Man rogues gallery and the Green Goblin appeared in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it seems likely that they own the character.
Willem Dafoe played a cartoonish version of the character in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man movie, but it would be interesting to see a different, equally brilliant actor’s take on the role, especially in contrast to Tom Holland’s Spidey.
Carnage has been set up for an appearance in the Venom sequel, with Woody Harrelson playing Cletus Kasady. But Carnage is such an iconic character, and such an important part of Venom lore, that he shouldn’t be wasted in just one movie.
Venom 2 should set him up for a multi-movie storyline. If Venom fails to defeat Carnage alone in his solo sequel, then maybe he’ll need to enlist the help of Spider-Man. Then, if Spidey also fails to defeat Carnage on his own, it would force the two polar opposite characters to unite in battle against a common enemy.