I maintain that I haven’t been unfair to “The Amazing Spider-Man.” It was a bad film with an infuriating production history, and I covered both aspects as such – nothing more, nothing less. I’ve also continuously maintained that if the production of ASM2 made any moves that I thought sounded good, I’d say so.
THIS, then, I will say makes me cautiously optimistic: THR reports that Paul Giamatti is being sought for “The Rhino.” That’s more like it – maybe.
Understand – I don’t know that this signals anything having been corrected in the myriad flaws that are just built into the DNA of this rebooted franchise: Garfield’s miscasting, Webb is simply not good at directing action, the “new” backstory (even assuming they just junk the non-starter missing-parents stuff) doesn’t work, etc. There’s not much to indicate that any of that is going to get ironed out.
BUT! …I love The Rhino. I love everything about The Rhino, from the simplicity of his name and costume (yes I know it’s technically supposed to be some kind of high-tech body-armor skin-graft but it LOOKS like a costume) to the basis of his existance: It’s a superhero story, visual dynamism is a premium, so why have just a muscleman when it can be a muscleman dressed as a rhinocerous? And Giamatti is a great actor who’s often at his most enjoyable when he goes waaaaay over-the-top in villain roles; so he could be a lot of fun here.
The one caveat to this, of course, is the same as the one attached to Jamie Foxx as the sequel’s other heavy, Electro – interesting casting or not, the main thing that makes both of these guys “awesome” in the comics are their look and gimmick – both of which will be very difficult to put onscreen, especially in a series that’s thus-far trying very hard to distance itself from the campier aspects of it’s source material. It’s unlikely that Foxx will show up wearing Electro’s iconic star-mask, and likewise one assumes Giamatti will probably not be throwing Andrew Garfield around in horn-hooded gray pajamas (in fact, given that Giamatti is most-definitely not a “bruiser” to begin with, I imagine he’ll probably be wearing some kind of vaugely Rhino-esque armor or be a human/rhino mutation of some kind.)