If it were up to you who would you have chosen to be the big bad in The Amazing Spider-Man? Green Goblin? Doc Ock? Venom? Carnage? Morbius, the living vampire? Did anyone say the Lizard? He may not be everyone’s favorite or even Spidey’s most famous villain but producer Matt Tolmach recently spoke to SFX Magazine about why the Lizard is integral to Amazing Spider-Man‘s plot.
We made a real concerted effort to tell a different story. And this is a villain that serves the story we’re telling about ‘Who am I? Where did I come from?’ There are thematic reasons why Curt Connors (the Lizard’s alter ego) is the right villain for this movie. Sometimes a movie is made or broken by its villain, and a great villain is somebody who is as inextricably tied into the story as the lead. They are often the personification of the thing that the lead is trying to overcome. And that’s what this is.
Sounds if you were fearful the Lizard was only about bringing some muscle for Spidey to tangle with, feel relieved. The Lizard will be packing as much of a psychological punch as a physical one. The trailers have made this apparent, setting up important interactions between not only Spider-Man and the Lizard but Peter Parker and Dr. Connors, too.
The cool thing about Spider-Man villains is that they’re not just villains—they usually play a bigger dramatic role. In this case Peter has a very powerful relationship with Connors. There’s a connection between Connors and Peter’s past. There’s something there that you’ve never seen before, and there’s also a sense in which there are two paths you can go down—the path of the hero or the path of the weaker man.
The more I read this, the more excited I am to see Andrew Garfield and Rhys Ifans hash this out. I think we’re in for a real treat this summer, maybe the best Spider-Man/villian interaction since Alfred Molina and Tobey Maguire. What do you think?
And finally, are you one of those fans who can’t believe they would ditch the Lizard’s signature lab coat? Well, get over yourself.
Look, this is the big-screen interpretation of it. You have to think about it—on the one hand we’re making a decision to tell a story that lives very much in the real world. That was a big part of the conversation—to ground it in our world, a world where there’s gravity, where the laws of physics apply. There’s a tangible explanation for how things are done.
And in that world there has to be a Lizard. So how do you do that? You have to make the Lizard something that could come from this world. And that’s where you depart—literally—from the pages of the comic book. That said, I think purists will be very very happy about how we depict the Lizard.
I think The Amazing Spider-Man is going to rock. I know I was skeptical when I heard they were thinking of rebooting the Spider-Man franchise so quickly after that abomination, Spider-Man 3, but I’ve got high hopes for this reboot.
How do you guys feel about Amazing Spider-Man, and in particular choosing the Lizard for the villain?