Paul Giamatti could get a little horny as The Rhino in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

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Ha ha! OK, I get it. Ha ha! First there was the casting of Jamie Foxx as Electro and now there’s this. So yeah, I finally get it. Director Marc Webb is just trolling us fans to see if he can get a rise out of us. But I ain’t playin’ into your hand, Webb. Nosiree! I am not gul-

Oh wait. This is for real. Paul Giamatti really is in talks to play the Rhino in the Amazing Spider-Man sequel. Well, damn.

THR were the ones to break the news that not only was Amazing Spider-Man 2 definitely going to go the two villain route but that Paul Giamatti would be the one to strap on the horn, alongside Jamie Foxx’s Electro.

Now when the casting of the most definitely black Jamie Foxx as the traditionally white electric powered villain happened, certain groups on the interne responded using their two favourite weapons, Caps Lock and exclamation points, as they are wont to do. I was not a part of those groups. See I realized that his physical appearance actually had little to no bearing on Electro as a character.

However, that’s different for Rhino. Introduced way back in 1966, Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich was originally nothing more than a Russian thug who volunteered for an experiment that bonded a special suit to his body, which gave him enhanced strength and speed. Now known as the Rhino, he would then spent the next 40 years or so getting tricked into running into and getting his horn stuck in lots of walls by Spider-Man. The occasional bit of face punching would also occur.

But over the last few years Rhino has been reinvented, as way more depth has been added to his character, turning him into a reluctant villain and even occasional ally of Spider-Man.

Now here’s the rub of it: If Webb and co want to go with the old dimwitted muscle incarnation of the character, then why not just head on down to the WWE and find some biceps on legs that has time in his busy schedule of fake-fighting to strap a horn to his forehead? Why cast an actor of Giamatti’s caliber? And if it is because they’re leaning towards the more complex, modern incarnation of the character, well then there’s still a problem. A big problem. As in a problem with Giamatti not being big enough.

See Aleksei is a hulking mountain of a man, who thinks that using his physical strength and stature to hurt and intimidate is the only way to get things in life. But then, like the best reformed villains do, he meets a lady who convinces him of a better way. This entire story is one of the best and most tragic of modern Spidey tales, and would make for a brilliant character arc in a movie.

There’s just of course, as I mentioned before, the not so big problem of a 5ft8 Paul Giamatti being cast in the role. Also, whereas Rhino has a physique that looks like it’s been carved from granite, Giamatti’s looks like it’s been carved from a loaf of wet white bread.

Now admittedly yes, we do live in a world where Halle Berry can successfully play an old Asian man, and Giamatti has certainly in the past shown an ability to appear intimidating and threatening through performance alone, but you got to think that this is going to be (pun intended) a real tall order for him.

Coincidentally, the same report from THR that broke the casting news about Giamatti also stated that English actress Felicity Jones has joined the cast, but in an unknown role. Could she be the Rhino’s lady? I could certainly see that working.

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Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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