Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens next month, but that’s just step two in Sony’s 34-step process to out-Avengers Avengers. The studio announced a slate of Spidey sequels and spin-offs last year — and, as EW’s Sara Vilkomerson explains in this week’s cover story, the new film is very much a world-building vehicle towards those future films, laying the groundwork for a rapid expansion. The ultimate end goal, at least for now, appears to be the Sinister Six. That’s the name of a villainous superteam that frequently bedevils Spidey. If all goes as planned, there will be a Sinister Six movie, with Drew Goddard already onboard to write/probably direct it.
But the Sinister Six have always had a rotating lineup. (And — potential Unusual Sequel Title Alert! — there was once a Sinister Twelve.) So who should be on the bigscreen Six? We put together a wishlist of Spidey villains — post your own essentials in the comments!
Doctor Octopus: Alfred Molina played the many-limbed mad scientist in Spider-Man 2, which was and remains an all-time Hall of Fame superhero movie. But Molina’s Doc Ock was a decidedly kinder, gentler interpretation of the character — a basically nice guy driven loony by his artificial arms. The Amazing rebootverse could go in the opposite direction and cast Doc Ock as their hyper-intelligent Big Bad. Lots of Spider-Man’s villains are colorful Frankenstein variations — the scientist who Goes Too Far — and part of the reason that Doc Ock usually leads the Sinister Six is that he’s the smartest and the most dangerous.
The Vulture: In another life, Sam Raimi wanted John Malkovich to play the Vulture in Spider-Man 4. Really, considering that we’ve had five Spider-Man movies in a little over a decade, it’s a bit strange that the Vulture hasn’t made an appearance. Or maybe not: After all, the elevator pitch on the character is basically “Bald Old Dude With Wings.” But the character’s original incarnation could serve as an intriguing counterpoint to the current vogue for younger-hipper super-people. Adrian Toomes was a bitter man driven to crime after getting screwed over one too many times. (He’s basically Willy Loman meets the Winklevosses.) Like Doc Ock, the Vulture was strongly teased in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailers, so he’ll probably appear in one form or another.
Spider-Slayer(s): Technically, “Spider-Slayer” has a couple different meanings. It could refer to a line of robots who hunt Spider-Man in ever-more-elaborate science-fictional ways — or it could also refer to Alistair Smythe, a scientist behind the Spider-Slayers who eventually became a supervillain in his own right. B.J. Novak is actually playing Smythe in Amazing 2. Admittedly, this could just be another Dylan Baker/Curt Conners situation. But robots are always cool.
Black Cat: There’s a slight problem with the Sinister Six as a superteam. Generally speaking, throughout history, they’ve been pretty dude-heavy — by which I mean, there usually aren’t any ladies. Time to fix that by throwing in a wild card. Spidey’s had a few girlfriends over the years, but the coolest and craziest one was Felicia Hardy, alias the Black Cat, a world-class thief in a skin-hugging bodysuit. She’s not technically a villain, per se — much like that other feline superthief, she’s usually on the side of good — but that just means that throwing her into the mix would add some anti-hero complexity to the film.
Mysterio: Don’t snooze on Mysterious, Sony! Sure, his head is a snowglobe, which will just never not look silly. But he has a cool mix of illusion powers — hypnosis, hallucination-gas, 3D holograms. The visual possibilities are tremendous!
Spot: A silly villain with an awesome power, Spot creates teleportation portals that resemble tiny black spots cut into the universe. It might sound totally ridiculous, but it’s actually a great opportunity for relentless visual tricks and sight gags. This is also one of those characters where you could theoretically take the power and give him a whole new backstory. You could even make it a her! The point is, not every member of the Six needs to be a grade-A villain. Every team needs its Hawkeye/Iceman/Casey Affleck.
For more on The Amazing Spider-Man 2, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now. And check out highlights of our Twitter chat with Andrew Garfield as well as EW’s exclusive clip of Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx interviewing each other.