Spider-Man has always had a great rogues gallery, a selection of villains whose own origins were often just as freakish as Peter Parker’s, but with a twist that pushed them down a darker path than the Brooklyn teenager who got bit by a radioactive spider and received superpowers. With the success of the Spider-Man film franchise, it has become a guessing game with fans as to which of those villains will show up in the next, upcoming film.
Now that Spider-Man 4’s filming is looking like it will start next March, the rumor is starting to crank up as who will be the film’s Big Bad. The leading contender seems to be The Lizard, aka Peter Parker’s one time teacher and mentor, Dr. Curt Connors. Connors has already appeared in Spider-Man 2 and 3 and it was recently announced that actor Dylan Baker would be back to play him again in the upcoming film. A report over at Collider has Baker being coy about how big his role in the film will be, but I tend to think that the time has come to promote the character up from the ranks of supporting character to lead status. Though I do have to admit that part of me would like to see them bring back Spidey 3‘s Sandman, if only to close out that character’s story properly.
Connor’s story is somewhat tragic, having lost his arm while serving in the army as a battlefield surgeon. Becoming obsessed with the idea of reptilian regeneration, he created a formula which he thought would restore his missing limb, but instead gave him a scaly Mr. Hyde to his own Dr. Jekyll. And I think it bodes well if Raimi is planning on using the Lizard for the film. As the first two Spider-Man films show, the director really has an affinity for the old school Spidey villains, specifically Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus. Even his use of Sandman in Spidey 3 was more interesting than how the more recently created villain Venom was portrayed. (Though truth be told, Venom always felt shoehorned into the film to appease a small, but vocal group of rabid fan boys, throwing off the delicate balance that Raimi had already established in the series.) And I think the Jekyll and Hyde aspect of the character would play well to Raimi’s strengths as a horror director.
Of course, this is just speculation, as Raimi is once again playing his cards close to his vest. I’m sure that by spring though, we’ll know for sure if Spidey will be facing off against the Lizard or some other member of his rogues gallery.