Spider-Hype 3

Ain't It Cool News posts a link to a possible production photo of one of the speculated villains of Spider-Man 3, which won't be due out until spring, 2007. Since fans of The Phantom Menace pioneered the art of following a film's production-to-completion schedule, no science-fiction or fantasy film has flown under the internet fan's radar. Word is that it is Venom, and this picture sure fits the profile.

Those familiar with the character know that its origins were from a long mini-series arc called Secret Wars, where heroes and villains were whisked away to another planet to do battle with each other. Spider-Man found a suit that appeared to be made of cloth that could mimic either his super-hero guise or street cloths, responding to his mental commands. Ideally 'suited' (heh) for a super-hero's often changing identities, he took the suit back with him to Earth at the conclusion of the series. Unfortunately, it was later discovered that the 'suit' was actually a symbiote who was trying to attach itself to Peter. Thanks to the intervention of the Fantastic Four, the 'suit' was separated from Peter and locked away... until it managed to escape and encountered Eddie Brock, who already had great anger towards Spider-Man. The alien suit and Eddie bonded together and became one of Spider-Man's greatest nemeses.

Now, clearly you can't fit all that into a introductory piece for a two-plus hour movie. So, fan speculation has suggested that it hitches a ride home with John Jameson, J. Jonah's spurned astronaut son. The theory is that Sam Raimi hasn't introduced any throwaway characters yet, and he isn't planning on it. We've already see cameos by the Lizard (Dylan Baker) and Man-Wolf (Jameson himself) in the previous films.So, what isn't there to hype about this next film? We also know that a villain who could only be done with the help of CGI, and one that I've been personally looking forward to, Sandman, is definitely being played by Thomas Haden Church (dressed in his typical striped shirt). And on top of all this, we also have the evolving character arc of the Green Goblin's son, Harry Osborn. At the end of Spider-Man 2, fresh from finding out his best friend is his father's 'killer', his father's ghostly image beckons him to avenge him and then reveals the method from which he could accomplish it. In the comics, Harry does just that, taking up the mantle of the Green Goblin. Speculation has it that he will morph into the Hobgoblin, although that is merging two completely different characters. Not the first time that has happened in the series however -- remember in Spider-Man when the Goblin drops Mary-Jane? That's actually a morph of what happened to Gwen Stacy, who will appear in Spider-Man 3, played by Bryce Dallas Howard.
    Bryce Dallas Howard is in negotiations to play Peter Parker's love interest Gwen Stacy in Columbia Pictures' "Spider-Man 3." Sam Raimi is directing the movie, which is scheduled to roll this month.

    Gwen is pivotal in Spider-Man lore as Peter's high school crush, his first girlfriend and his first love. She ended up being kidnapped by the Green Goblin and died during a bridgetop battle in "Amazing Spider-Man" issue 121.

    In "Spider-Man," Columbia put Mary Jane Watson, a later love interest of Peter's who was a model, in the Gwen role, casting Kirsten Dunst as the high school crush. The movie featured the famous battle on the bridge with the Green Goblin, though a Hollywood ending was added, and the character survived.

    Columbia is keeping a tight lid on the third movie's story line, though it is known that Gwen is the third part of a love triangle and that the character does survive.
So how are Raimi and screenwriter Alvin Sargeant going to do? There are just too many new characters involved to jam them into the movie and have a decent story and a running time of under 4 hours, so I'll speculate that they will turn some of the characters' roles (probably Venom, save him for Spidey 4) into extended cameos so they can make another character-based, tight story. Here's hoping.

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