“I thought Rhino was the greatest thing when I was a little kid. It was a guy who was basically in this rhinoceros outfit and I always thought, ‘Why don’t they have The Rhino in one of their movies,’ but maybe The Rhino wasn’t that big of a deal for anybody but me…If they ever go with The Rhino I would be ready and waiting.”
That’s what actor Paul Giamatti told ShowbizSpy in March 2011. Well, the wait might be over for the actor.
The Hollywood Reporter is saying that the actor is in talks to play the villain in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, joining Jamie Foxx’s Electro as the opponent Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man in the film.
The Rhino first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #41 as a dim-witted lackey/enforcer for an Eastern Bloc country. He is dressed in head to toe in a rhinoceros costume which gives him enhanced durability, strength and charging speed. Obviously, some or all of this characterization will be changed for the film.
On the surface, Giamatti doesn’t seem to be the most ideal choice to play the character. One, he is far too intelligent, and two, physically, he is not quite as imposing as the comic book character. But he is a great actor who obviously has an deep affection for the character, and since he will be spending most of his time in a suit, it could be as physically imposing as the costume designers want it to be.
A more troubling issue this casting announcement raises is the fact that this will be the second, if not third, villain for the film. The one sure-fire way to kill a superhero franchise is to overload it with bad guys (see Batman and Robin, Spider-Man 3). The Nolan Batman franchise seems to be the only one to pull of that juggling act correctly. Now, the Rhino has spent some time on both sides of the line in the comics, but still, it makes me wary of the sequel.
The industry website also states that British actress Felicity Jones is in negotiations to portray an unnamed character.