How I would go about successfully utilizing multiple villains in a Spider-Man film.

How I would go about successfully utilizing multiple villains in a Spider-Man film.

Having read numerous posts over the years about how poorly multiple villains have been utilized in a single film, I thought about how I would do it if I were calling the shots.

There are 2 ways of effectively doing this, in my mind.

1)- The montage.

What I would do with a montage is similar to what the First Spider-Man movie did. It was the scene after Peter assumes the responsibility of being Spider-Man. There are a number of shots showing Spidey thwarting crimes and saving the day in a number of different scenarios, only in my version, he would be battling super villains. You would see short snippets of him battling different foes, (mostly second or third tier,) utilizing some classic Spider-Man imagery. It would give the filmmakers an opportunity to feature a number of fan favorites without having to commit too much time, (up to and including the entire film,) on character development.

The downside to this method is that you don't get any character development, and you shortchange fans of said villains. Say Scorpion were used as one of the villains in this montage, and he were your favorite villain, you might be very disappointed, maybe even angry, if he got all of 5 seconds of screen time. This could potentially embitter a lot of people.

(CONTRIBUTOR'S NOTE: Having read this article several times over, I've realised that I didn't specify that the montage should be IN ADDITION TO whatever existing villain(s) and storyline are already being established in said film. It is not meant as the only means of visualizing antagonists. Sorry that I was a bit too vague.)

On to the next idea.

2)- The gang of puppets.

This use of multiple villains would work much more effectively, I think, and give multiple villains more screen presence without sacrificing precious screentime with excessive backstory and/or character development. The basis for this idea came from The Amazing Spider-Man issue 319, where Spider-Man goes up against the Scorpion, Shocker and Blacklash. Long story short, all 3 are working for Justin Hammer, and Spidey gets caught in the middle. On one page of said issue, Hammer has a screen with the images of a number of super powered operatives in his employ/debt.

Now, take this basic idea, substitute Norman Osborn (secretly) for Hammer, add the Tinkerer as a front man, and it could easily be used for a film. The storyline might play out roughly like this:

Osborn hires Tinkerer to create weapons to combat the emerging threat that Spider-Man poses to his interests. Tinkerer takes it a step further and integrates the weapons into suits. Then, he is tasked with finding people to wear said suits and battle Spider-Man. He does so, and POOF, you have a gang of super villains.

The benefit of using this concept is twofold: Firstly, you would get substantial screentime with multiple (tech based) villains. The plethora of fight scenes would be dazzling. Secondly, even though you've had little to no character development, what you have done is establish the existence of villains that can be brought back in future movies. You've also added a mystique to each of those characters that would leave audiences clamoring for a return of their favorite thug(s). The beauty of this is that you've given them a reason for being there without having to go into depth explaining it. Personal motivations for each character could be established in later films, if they were brought back.

Here are some villains that could be used for this venture:








These are just some of the many villains that could be used in this way. Any others that I missed that are your favorites? Post below.
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Member Since 6/24/2009
Filed Under "Fan Fic" 1/31/2013
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
GhostZillaRider - 1/31/2013, 9:03 AM
After having posted this, I realized that I left out Vulture and Mysterio.

My bad.
DrDoom - 1/31/2013, 10:07 AM
Montage of supervillain battles would be a waste of characters.
TheLokey1 - 1/31/2013, 11:47 AM
High powered henchmen is the only real way to make multiple villains work in a Spider-Man movie. The problem with SM3 was that each villain had to be tied to Peter on some emotional level and that's too much back story to fit into a 2 hour movie. Every character suffers for it.

Lets face it, Electro and Rhino are henchmen level villains, sure they have their own motivations but they don't need a lot of screen time to explain it. They don't have personal connections to spider man, they just need to work for someone who does. Namely Oscorp, which has the available technology to arm these villains with cool gadgets.
FirstAvenger - 1/31/2013, 11:52 AM
This would be the best way to do this, good job!
Tainted87 - 1/31/2013, 11:57 AM
Here's to COMPLETELY missing the point....

Multiple villains can be utilized with equal or semi-equal focus.... and the movie can be successful.

People need to STOP thinking of them as "villains" and more along the lines of CHARACTERS. Once that box opens up, the rest should be relatively easy to see.

I mean come on, a villain is just a character who puts people in harm's way for selfish reasons. Anyone is capable of that.

So here's what I expect you to do, and yes, I do dare give you instruction. I expect you to visualize OSCORP as the conduit of spook central. Consider that OSCORP is responsible for human testing, splicing DNA, and hundreds of other impractical-seeming experiments and prototypes.... OSCORP is the weapons supplier. OSCORP is the dark side of Wayne Enterprises.

Considering how Webb has pretty much spelled that out in interviews, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that OSCORP will be the zero-fault organization behind every catastrophe that ends up giving birth to something twisted, whether it is the Lizard serum, the Oz formula, or any application of animal DNA. Electro will be a thief, Vulture will be the mastermind trying to take OSCORP from Norman, and the Rhino will be a more obvious distraction.
GhostZillaRider - 1/31/2013, 3:49 PM
@Tainted87- Let me start by saying that you've come across as condescending and arrogant. Thanks for that.

As far as your "characters as opposed to villains" statement, I totally concur, however, in the case of fitting multiple "characters" into a Spider-Man movie, there are 2 inherent issues. The first speedbump lies in the fact that Spider-Man needs "characters" with an opposing mindset to bring about conflict. Since he is a hero, he kind've needs "villains" to bring out his most likeable and admirable traits. He could go up against "characters" that are not inherently villains, being victims themselves, (either as guinea pigs, mentally disturbed/troubled people, etc...) however, those people would require a bit more explanation, which brings us to speedbump number 2; The need for character development. What I've suggested in my article is a way to get around that dilemma, whilst still supplying a robust number of antagonists, and doing so in a way that needs little explanation and even less actual character development.

On to another point that you've made; Having OSCORP as the "conduit of spook central". Once again, I'm in agreement with you. In fact, the situation involving the Tinkerer that I presented is an extension of your own thought process, albeit a little less direct. Keep in mind, however, that the situation that I've presented here is more of an example, one meant to illustrate the basic formula that I have in mind, that formula being the "Gang of Puppets". I opted for an example that veered away from genetic testing since the movie has already touched on that point, as did the video game, and I didn't feel that it was necessary to over utilize that specific plot device. Going the tech/weapons route has the added perk of rounding out the Green Goblin when he finally does show up, because you can have him genetically altered as well as having him utilize tech and weaponry, and it has effectively been explained where it all came from.

Furthermore, I don't believe that I "need" your instruction. I believe that I have a pretty good feel for what you're trying to get across, and an even better feel for the points that I'm trying to make. I believe that they are similar, if not on the exact same path.

Next time, try contributing in a manner that is suggestive, as well as collaborative, instead of just talking down to me as if I were an imbecile. I am not one, and do not care to be spoken to as if I were.

Thanks for your input.
Tainted87 - 1/31/2013, 4:01 PM
Trust me, coming off like an asshole was the plan. Glad it worked out in the end, because I wanted the point to at least be received. Good to see that you are an intelligent individual.

I think my problem with your article was in the montage idea - it just wouldn't work, and shouldn't be considered. Imagine if, during Cap's WW2 montage, you saw him dueling with Baron Zemo for all of two seconds, and then you never saw him again. People would go NUTS!

"Spook Central" is Ghostbusters, by the way. I think that's what Ray refers to Dana's building, considering the ectoplasmic activity and such.

Take care
GhostZillaRider - 1/31/2013, 4:20 PM
I know that the montage idea wouldn't work out as well, hence why I offered another option. Also, I do believe that I pointed out that the second option was a better one.

That being said, I think that the montage has it's place. If one wanted to illustrate how Spider-Man becomes such a proficient fighter in a very short amount of time, one could use the montage (with third tier, who-gives-a-shit villains) to show time passing and experience gained. Characters that might be good for this type of scenario: Stilt-Man, Trapster, Overdrive, Speed Demon, Ringer, Will-O'Wisp, Prowler, and Puma. It would also benefit the overall story progression by making the point that there are tons of super powered criminals popping up, where there were little to none before.

As an aside, and for future reference, I don't respond well to people coming across as assholes. It is entirely unneccessary with me. As you've observed, I am an intelligent individual, and don't need condescension to open my mind to differing/better viewpoints. If you see my screen name or avatar pop up, converse with me instead. Beautiful things tend to evolve from said conversations.

And I thought I recalled a bit of Ghostbusters in that spook central reference. Not gonna lie; I was a little too steamed at the tone of the post to take precise note of where the phrase originated.

Hope to see you again under more cordial circumstances. You take care as well.
GhostZillaRider - 1/31/2013, 4:43 PM
@thefirstavenger97- Thanks for the kind words. They're very welcome.
DurtyTalynt - 1/31/2013, 9:43 PM
I personallly think that alot of comic book films kept copying from things that worked with other films. But to get back to what you posted i like your ideas and this could work. I liked batman returns with multiple villians. X2 could of worked but i dont like the stryker as a character and it felt cheap to make him some military general and give the xmen backgrounds based off of strykers ideas for mutants.
breakUbatman - 1/31/2013, 10:02 PM
They just need to build a world that is not so Peter Parker oriented in my opinion. Everyone in TASM knew or was connected to Peter Parker.

Instead it should be a more expansive world or underworld like in the TDK saga (sorry haters), they had Crane working with Falcone under Ra's Al Ghul. Ra's had the vendetta while the other two were in it for financial gain. It's only later that Batman involves himself in their plans.

Personally I would tweak the idea just a bit , obviously this isn't how Marc Webb will go but just off the top of my head for multiple villains:

Octavious conducts illegal experiments and has Electro in a suit to channel electricity to whatever it is. Vulture is a tech thief who is supplying black market components to Ock (so the tech is self explanatory). The tech heists are what attract Spideys attention and through fighting the Vulture he is lead to Otto. Otto uses Electro and Vulture as his muscle and in the end you have the accident that fuses the arms to Otto's body. Vulture manages to escape at the end.

Next movie Vulture breaks Ock and Electro out of prison and has some tech based friends in tow like Rhino, Scorpion and the Shocker. An unconventional lineup but you have a gang now and this time its personal.

In reality though CBM's should dump the trilogy mentality and just be like Bond or push for at least 6 movies. I want to see Kraven

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