Marvel is so eager to ride that No Way Home money train, that they’re already eyeing Steven Yeun to be the main villain of the next Spider-Man film before they even announced there was going to be a next Spider-Man film. Well, we here at SAW want to match that energy, so we’re going to go ahead and cast the next two as well.
These are the Ten Characters That Should Appear in the Next MCU Spider-Man Trilogy.*
*(Not Including Mister Negative)
10. Debra Whitman (Kiernan Shipka)
No Way Home ended with Peter Parker independent, yet alone. If the next trilogy sticks to having Peter Parker avoid coming into contact with those he loves most (MJ, Ned, Happy) then we’re going to need some new supporting characters. While I was tempted to throw in the Rent Girl from Spider-Man 3, I decided to pull a more obscure character from Spider-Man’s comic history. Debra Whitman appeared in Spider-Man comics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She also appeared in the excellent Spider-Man: The Animated Series. In the comics, she was a secretary in the biophysics department of Empire State University where she became friends with Peter Parker. The two briefly dated and she actually holds the distinction for being one of the first characters to determine that Peter was Spider-Man. I think this little plot thread would be perfect for a fourth Spider-Man film. Peter knows he cannot form connections with anyone as Peter because that will put them in danger. It would be interesting to see Peter unknowingly fall for Debra Whitman and, when she guesses that he’s Spider-Man, realize that he cannot be with her because he cares for her and doesn’t want to lose her again like he lost Aunt May or Tony Stark. It would be a perfect role for Kiernan Shipka, who has been killing it on television for years now with Mad Men and Sabrina. A one-off role with no franchise commitments that might help propel her career in new directions. I also think her and Tom Holland would look good on screen together.
09. Screwball (Asia Kate Dillon)
Debuting in Marvel’s Spider-Man (and having a bigger role in the expansion The City That Never Sleeps), Screwball is female criminal who live streams their crimes. She commits crimes to attract Spider-Man, knowing the resulting fight will end in millions of clicks. Regardless of whether or not she wins. She’s the absolute worst. Since she’s the personification of everything wrong with the internet, she speaks text speech aloud and is just generally the most annoying thing in existence. As a pointed dig at today’s youth, it’s amazing but it’s a joke that gets old real quick. The live streaming crimes bit is good, so drop the rest and turn a stereotypical live streamer into a badass punk rocker. Like a combination between Samara Weaving’s character in Guns Akimbo with a first level punk you’d find in an early Spider-Man arcade game. Because that’s exactly the kind of character Screwball is – a bad guy Spider-Man deals with at the beginning of act one, that pops up here and there through out the movie. You cast the formidable looking and intense Asia Kate Dillon (the Adjudicator in the John Wick franchise) in the role and it has the shot at being the stand out character.
08. Yuri Watanabe (Karen Fukuhara)
New York is a big city, so Spider-Man will need some help locating potential crime scenes (especially if he can’t call the Avengers for help anymore). Pulling from the amazing PlayStation 4 video game, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Yuri Watanabe is an NYPD captain and ally to Spider-Man, who aids him in stopping crime. In the comics, she also becomes the vigilante known as Wraith. We know Marvel Studios loves playing the long game, so introducing her as Spider-Man’s ally in Spider-Man 4 before giving her her own Disney+ series seems like a safe bet. There’s a lot of people who could fill that role, but my mind immediately went to Fukuhara. She clearly loves playing in the super hero realm, what with roles in Suicide Squad and The Boys, so I’m sure she’d jump at the chance to enter the MCU. Yuri Watanabe has unlimited potential, and once you factor in Wraith (who could form a new street level Defenders-esque team), it’s a no brainer that the character needs to appear in a future Spider-Man film.
07. White Rabbit (Samara Weaving)
The rumored casting of Yeun gives me hope that Marvel is going small scale in the next one, instead of trying to double down on No Way Home‘s ridiculous excess. Don’t get me wrong, I love that movie’s scale but I think it’s time to get Spider-Man back to his roots. The Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man roots. No more space adventures and multiverse shenanigans. It’s time to return to the old school. Since Hollywood is already obsessed with nostalgia, let’s go all the way back to the late 80s, early 90s period of comics when Spider-Man routinely teamed up with another superhero to tackle a meddling, albeit fun adventure. That’s what I want and that’s what I’m going to pitch, which will inform the rest of my casting.
My imagined fourth (or is it seventh?) movie is going to follow the same structure of one of those comics: the two heroes team up to tackle a low level criminal that is either working for a bigger criminal or sets the stage for a confrontation between the heroes and the bigger bad. I’m changing it slightly to two big bads. White Rabbit is an Alice in Wonderland themed criminal that commits Alice in Wonderland crimes. I would cast Samara Weaving (which I totally forgot about when I made that previous comparison) to try and make her Marvel’s Harley Quinn. If you adapt this character, the similarities are too much to ignore, so just lean into them. Like Quinn, I’d make her a criminal mischief maker more than an actual villain. She pops in and out of the film every time there needs to be an action beat until she accidentally robs the wrong bank which introduces Spider-Man to a gang war between New York’s biggest crime lords. Maybe she’s involved in the third act, maybe she’s used as bait. I dunno, but I want a comedic villain at the start to bring in some added levity and to emphasis just how big of a threat the other bads are.
06. Alistair Smythe (Orlando Bloom)
Before No Way Home brought back all the fan favorite villains, Tom Holland’s solo films were doing a good job bringing villains we hadn’t seen before to our screens. I want that trend to continue, so I’d like to see Alistair Smythe appear as a potential threat to Spidey. Okay, yes, I know the character technically appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but the character might have received two lines and thirty seconds of screen time. Alistair Smythe was a major character in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, developing the robotic Spider-Slayers before becoming one himself. Give me Orlando Bloom—who I have been patiently waiting to see cast in another blockbuster film franchise—as Smythe, and pair him up with Kingpin in a plot to stop Spider-Man. Smythe can be heavily wounded and return in the sequel as the Ultimate Spider-Slayer. If No Way Home established that Norman Osborn and Oscorp do not exist yet in the MCU than Alistair Smythe would be a good substitute.
05. Rhino (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
Unlike Batman, Spider-Man really only has one major crime boss: Kingpin. Yes, there’s the Rose but that’s his son – which makes it less a gang war and more of a revenge plot – and that isn’t as interesting to me. I want two titans going at it with Spider-Man in the middle. I’m obviously bringing back Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin because he’s perfect, but my options for an rival of equal measure were limited, so I decided to slightly alter a characters origin to get my second mob boss. Aleksei Sytsevich (aka The Rhino) started off as a member of the Russian Mafia but after he underwent the experiment that gave him his super human strength and rock hard skin, he immediately left to become a comic hoping super villain. Flip his origin and he’s more interesting. He was a notorious bank robber back in the day who stole enough to create a criminal empire. He now runs the Russian Mafia after he systematically killed off the higher Dons. He’s battling Kingpin over complete control of the City.
An iconic villain needs an equally iconic villain to go up against and an actor as good as D’Onofrio, needs an actor equally as commanding of the screen. Pitting him up against Schwarzenegger (complete with Russian accent), is just insane enough to work. The eight year break from acting, really helped him reign in his over the topness. The one liner spewing uber badass of yesteryear is barely there nowadays. I want to see *this* era Schwarzenegger play a comic book villain. The one from Sabotage and Maggie. You can even put him in some metal gauntlets and have him fight Spider-Man. The man is still in crazy shape.
04. Tombstone (Mark Wahlberg)
A gang boss is only as good as their loyal right hand man, which makes Kingpin the deadliest because he has more right hand men than he has right hands. His best and most famous one, is the albino with the filed teeth: Tombstone. If you’re familiar with the 90s cartoon, you definitely know this guy. He’s a great looking henchman but he has never transcended past that. There’s no great Tombstone arc in the books and he’s barely in the newer games. A memorable spotlight in a new movie could change all that. I’m going with Wahlberg because he just worked with Holland on Uncharted and their chemistry was the best thing about it and because I know he can be a cold hearted bastard, as well as scene stealingly hilarious. Combine those two, keep him an albino and make the teeth fake instead of filed (which he uses to intimidate people when he smiles but he can’t talk in them, so every time he interacts with Spider-Man, he has to take them out) and you got yourself a new fan favorite.
03. Frog-Man (Jack Black)
Before you go to the comments to accuse me of being drunk and/or insane, Google images of Frog-Man and tell me Jack Black wouldn’t be perfect. After the events of No Way Home, Peter is going to be subconsciously searching for a new companion. A wise cracking, crime fighting pal would fill both holes in his heart, with the other being left by Tony Stark. He’d be drawn to Frog-Man out of loneliness and would continue teaming up out of a need to have just one person that can relate to his life. He would be in it enough to call it a team up but he wouldn’t be the second lead. He’s really just there as connective tissue to lead Spider-Man to the actual plot. Oh, and he’s actually really good at fighting crime. That’s the joke. It’s Jack Black dressed as a frog (he’d most likely just provide VO for a stunt man wearing a padded costume) who’s really good at kicking ass. It can even lead to a spin-off. Jack Black needs to be a superhero and Spider-Man is his only shot.
02. Harry Osborn (Freddie Highmore)
Wait a minute, didn’t you just mention that No Way Home established that the Osborns didn’t exist in the MCU? Of course I did, but I’m about to go off on a tangent, so get ready. The reason Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn couldn’t find any trace of Harry Osborn or himself online is because they’re both hiding. I’m rewriting the Norman Osborn of the MCU as an abusive husband and father with one too many failed inventions. He’s a failure compared to Maguire’s Norman, one that has yet to receive any acclaim for his work. Norman’s wife leaves in the middle of the night with Harry and the two go into hiding, changing their last name. Harry Osborn still exists, and I’d introduce him in the next Spider-Man film to set up the Osborns. Maybe he’s Peter’s next door neighbor in his apartment. Maybe his mom has just died, so they can both relate to that. The fact he has secrets he doesn’t want the world to know about will keep him from asking any probing questions to Peter about where he sneaks off to at all hours of the day. Freddie Highmore is an insanely gifted talent capable of giving us tremendous, yet nuanced performances. His work as young Norman Bates in Bates Motel is all the proof I need that he could deliver a refreshingly new take on Harry Osborn. In the early 2010s, he was a popular choice for Peter Parker, but I think he’d make a better Harry. If written well, Harry can become a complex character with a complicated family history. I’d love to see Highmore sink his teeth into such a role, especially if it reminds the world that he’s an amazing actor who should be getting way more film roles than he currently is.
01. Black Cat (Anya Taylor-Joy)
Marvel and Sony would be crazy to not introduce Black Cat in the next Spider-Man trilogy. It would be a literal no-brainer considering Sony is desperate to spin the character off into her own film franchise with Silver Sable. It also just makes sense to have the character in the next Spider-Man movie given the state they have left Peter Parker in. Peter cannot form connections, but why can’t Spider-Man, especially if it’s with another costumed character. It hasn’t been revealed yet what characters like Doctor Strange and the Winter Soldier remember of Spider-Man, since Holland’s version takes his mask off A LOT during the Avengers films. But, it’s clear that Spider-Man will form new relationships with other superheroes meaning they are fair game in the world of Spidey’s Besties. A cat-and-mouse movie where Spider-Man is trying to stop Black Cat (who is pulling off heists to pay off a debt to Kingpin) would be very entertaining. It’s the same reason the Batman / Catwoman relationship works so well. The hero knows they shouldn’t fall for the criminal, but they do anyway. For casting, it needs to be Anya Taylor-Joy. Not only would she act circles around Tom Holland (which would be in character come to think of it), but it’s a role that would allow Taylor-Joy to sign on for whatever future projects she wants to do. The money she would make from Marvel would allow her to continue acting in non-IP films like Last Night in Soho. It’s a win-win for all involved.
What Spider-Man supporting characters or villains do you want to see appear in a future Spider-Man film?