UPDATED AT THE END!
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot has cast some new actors, including people who will be playing Peter Parker’s parents, who died and left him with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. But there’s also a new villain that’s been cast - a villain named… Van Atter.
I’ve been reading Spider-Man stories my whole life and I’m having a hard time coming up with an explanation for who this guy is. I did a Google search, thinking maybe this was the real name of some Spidey villain who rarely gets called by his real name and came up empty. And so we are left with the mystery of Van Atter.
The Hollywood Reporter offers few clues. Van Atter could be a thug, he could be a corporate type who is giving Curt Connors some trouble, he could be the principle of the high school or the dean of the college Peter Parker is attending, he could be Aunt May’s landlord, he could be… well, he could be anything.
Irrfan Khan, an Indian actor best known to you from Slumdog Millionare, is playing Van Atter. That doesn’t really help figure the character out too much, but I do think it means he’s not just some random thug. You don’t hire a guy like that to play the dude who kills Uncle Ben.
Annie Parisse, of Law & Order, is playing ‘The villain’s wife,’ but THR doesn’t specify if that villain is Van Atter or The Lizard.
Meanwhile, Campbell Scott is playing Peter Parker’s dad. I think that’s great casting - he would have once made a terrific Peter Parker. Julianne Nicholson, also from Law & Order, is playing Peter’s mom. There’s no telling what capacity they’ll be used in, and there’s no telling what version from the comics they’ll be. At one point it was revealed that Richard and Mary Parker were spies, so who the fuck knows.
Any thoughts on Van Atter? Leave em in the comments.
UPDATE: Could it be The Proto-Goblin? Ugh.
The Proto-Goblin was a character who appeared in one issue of a Spider-Man comic ever, a Flashback issue (a stunt when Marvel told “untold tales” of characters). The basic story is that he was an employee who was tested on by Norman Osborne before Osborne became the Goblin. George Stacey plays a role in that story; the reveal that Peter’s parents were spies came from another Flashback issue. Could Webb’s Spider-Man be pulling heavily from a couple of weird 1990s comic books?
This raises the specter of the film being a super duper origin story - the Proto-Goblin and Peter’s parents all happened long, long before the first appearance of Spider-Man. Peter Parker was a baby or a younger kid in these stories. I’m really not sure what the fuck is happening with this movie, but this makes me think that someone will be cast as Norman Osborne very soon, and that the Green Goblin is the villain of the next movie.