We already knew that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would see Spidey going up against Electro, played by Jamie Foxx. And we suspected that The Green Goblin would show up in some capacity. But who saw The Rhino coming? And played by Paul Giamatti, no less!
Giamatti is in final talks to play Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich, aka The Rhino, aka a dumb guy in a grey suit with a horn that gives him enormous strength. The Rhino isn't a character we've expected to see in the films because he's pretty one note: his suit was developed by the Soviets in an effort to kidnap J. Jonah Jameson's astronaut hero son. Usually The Rhino runs around smashing stuff with his head until Spidey webs up his exposed face.
But it's that one note quality that makes him ripe for reinvention. What will this Rhino be like? In the past The Rhino has been trapped inside his suit; that kind of story could work well in the movie, offering him a touch of pathos. Will The Rhino be a byproduct of Norman Osborn's experiments? Might he be mutated, as opposed to being a guy in a suit?
It turns out that Giamatti is a huge fan of the character.
“I thought Rhino was the greatest thing when I was a little kid,” he told ShowbizSpy in March 2011. “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.”
And he was!
Also joining the cast: Felicity Jones, in an unnamed role. My nerd senses went right to The Black Cat, based only on the fact that The Black Cat's real name is Felicia Hardy, and the names sound alike. That's hugely unlikely, though, and it's probable that she's a civilian of some sort .With the addition of Mary Jane Watson this time, Spidey's romance dance card is full.
The Rhino adds a needed physical element to the film, but will The Amazing Spider-Man 2 fall prey to the 'too many villains' curse? And since The Rhino will almost certainly be CGI - how will it look? Better than The Lizard, we can hope.