I really would like to stay away from these Spider-Man 4 rumors as much as I’ve ignored the Batman 3 casting hoaxes. But John Malkovich as Vulture? That’s even more inspired than Philip Seymour Hoffman as Penguin. And it’s sure to end up the most enjoyable superhero movie villain since Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor (yeah, you want to fight? I know what you’re thinking about…).
But here’s the thing: Malkovich must not be allowed to lose. As appropriate it is to have Vulture be the villain in a dying movie franchise, it’s even more appropriate to have that villain go to town on the series’ remains. I want to see John Malkovich literally gnawing the flesh off the bones of Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Bryce Dallas Howard, Aunt May, James Franco, Anne Hathaway (allegedly playing something called Vulturess), Nic Cage (as revenge for his Con Air death), the rabbits he accidentally crushed with his retard strength and even Bruce Campbell in whatever cameo role he has this time around.
Elizabeth Banks, who really should be given the role of Black Cat after being wasted in a small part for three films, can live. And that’s basically the movie. No room for out-of-place musical numbers, no room for Spidey to be all emo. Just little Johnny Malkopee getting his insane on while wearing some silly green wings and an Elizabethan neck ruff.
Best. Movie. Ever.
Here’s what some other film bloggers think of the idea of Malkovich as The Vulture (I’m mostly ignoring the Hathaway part, as it’s caused too much digressional bitching):
Some of this sounds like bullshit, some of it doesn’t. Vulture is 100% plausible. He’s part of the “main cast” of 60s Spider-Man enemies that Raimi prefers to draw from (Rhino, Mysterio, Shocker, Electro and Beetle are most of the others) and he fits in nicely with the general theme of main bad guys from the better-recieved (than #3) first films - i.e. an inventor using his technology to go on a crime/revenge spree. It’s also true that Raimi has been trying like hell to get him into the series for a long time - he was supposed to be “co-baddie” in Part 3 before Marvel/Sony insisted on Venom. If you’re wondering why Lizard is apparently too strange for the screen but alien-goo-monster Venom wasn’t, simple: Money. Venom is one of Marvel’s most consistently-marketable properties on the toy/shirt side (he’s never been able to carry a book, though.)
John Malkovich as The Vulture? I can get behind that. He’s physically right for the part, and he’s at the age where he suggests the way the character was written, but he’s still got the right stamina to actually play the part. And certainly he’s a great actor, and a great villain if the material is right. And, let’s not forget, he was one of the actors considered for The Green Goblin for the original “Spider-Man,” and was evidently a real possibility at one point before the role eventually went to Willem Dafoe.
Movieline has confirmed that Malkovich is at the very least in negotiations to join Spider-Man 4. As his smooth dome should indicate to all Spider-Man fanboys, the actor would be playing Spider-Man’s winged nemesis, The Vulture, which is basically the best casting choice possible for the part (besides Larry David, obviously).
In a June round-up of possible villains for the fourth installment, we mentioned that The Vulture might be played by Ben Kingsley, but we love the sinister edge that Malkovich could bring to the flailing franchise. (Not that Kingsley can’t be scary. His “Sexy Beast” gangster is freaking terrifying…)
If there’s one thing John Malkovich does well - does really well - it’s give good villain. This, after all, is the man who was Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom in Con Air, and the chameleonic assassin Booth in In The Line Of Fire. And who can forget his spine-chilling turn as Pascal Sauvage, the Greedy Frenchman in the epoch-making comedy, Johnny English?
As for the casting, I’d absolutely love to see both of those actors join the Spider-Man universe. I really love Hathaway but she needs more diverse and interesting roles like this to keep up her persona. And if they get Malkovich, I think that would be as inspired casting as Alfred Molina was for Spider-Man 2. He’ll definitely do a great job as Vulture, that’s for sure.
Personally, the choice of Malkovich doesn’t impress me much. Although I enjoy a lot of what he has brought to movies in the past lately it just seems like he is going through the motions, such as the lackluster effort he brought to the villain role in Eragon. I guess we will see if he has turned things around in Warner’s Jonah Hex because I can’t exactly go by his performance in Changeling when he played a reverend.
As for Hathaway, I liked her in Get Smart so perhaps there is more in the tank, but she has always been a hit or miss performer in my eyes.