EDITORIAL: What the Rhino in the Amazing Spider-Man 2 means for video games
Yesterday it was rumored that veteran actor Paul Giamatti may be portraying the Rhino in Sony's upcoming sequel to the Amazing Spider-Man. But what does that mean for last year's Amazing Spider-Man video game?
As long as there has been Spider-Man movies, there have been video games that are released with them. Some are good (The Amazing Spider-Man), some not so good (Spider-Man 3...well, the Nintendo DS version is great, seriously pick it up). But one thing that all the games have in common with each other is that at some point in them you will face the marquis villain from the corresponding film, and the experience will be padded out with foes you never expected to get the silver screen treatment.
That is, perhaps, until now...
The latest buzz in the rumour mill is that veteran actor Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Shoot Em' Up) could possible end up playing the Rhino in the Amazing Spider-Man 2. The Rhino, for those who played last summer's the Amazing Spider-Man from developer Beenox and publisher Activision which served as a sequel of sorts to the film, was among the roster of Spidey foes that you tangled with.
The Rhino has been featured in movie related Spider-Man games before (Spider-Man 2 and 3, and the spin-off Friend or Foe) but was roped in with the "probably never to be seen on film" villains like Shocker, Vulture and Scorpion. At the time, production was still ongoing with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, and they had yet to exhaust the A-list roster yet. With the recent rebooted continuity under director Marc Webb, it seems they want to use other rogues to differentiate themselves, such as the Liard and Electro.
Should the rumour turn out to be true and the Rhino is indeed a part of the sequel, it will mark the first time that a villain will have appeared in a video game and then in a feature film with respect to the Spider-Man franchise. That leaves one to wonder if the events of last summer's Amazing Spider-Man game will actually be considered canon to the new film series of films.
For those who didn't play the game, the origin of the Rhino was a slight twist on how Dr. Connors became the Lizard. Aleksei Sytsevich is a thug who undergoes an illegal Oscorp procedure and is cross bred with rhinoceros DNA to become a rhino hybrid. This origin could work well in the sequel as opposed to having an elaborate origin sequence for the Rhino, as I'm assuming that will be saved for Electro, and just have him as an escapee from the Oscorp labs who then goes on a rampage.
Should they want to add some depth to the character, they could work in how Aleksei volunteered for the procedure as he had nothing to lose and wanted to cause the damage to the world he felt inside, similar to the sympathetic characterization of the Rhino found in the most recent pages of the Amazing Spider-Man comic.
One of the areas that the Amazing Spider-Man game failed in my opinion was the development of the rogues you faced. Building upon the cross-species genetics origin of the Lizard was clever, as there are a lot of Spider-Man foes who have roots in the animal kingdom, but the cast you faced were portrayed more as mindless monsters instead of characters with agendas or motivations. I'm not the biggest fan of the Scorpion for example, but I know at the very least what makes him special is his desire to get out of the suit he was put in by J. Jonah Jameson.
With the Amazing Spider-Man sequel set to start shooting shortly for its May 2014 release date, it will be interesting to see the developments that take place with this latest casting rumour. The Amazing Spider-Man game did a first for a Spider-Man movie tie-in by expanding the source material in another medium as sequel material as opposed to being a loose interpretation of a film. I would think it would be an honour for the team at Beenox to see their interpretation of a classic character make it in the movie, and a nice bonus for gamers who picked up last summer's game like myself.
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