Paul Giamatti could get a little horny as The Rhino in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

Ha ha! OK, I get it. Ha ha! First there was the casting of Jamie Foxx as Electro and now there’s this. So yeah, I finally get it. Director Marc Webb is just trolling us fans to see if he can get a rise out of us. But I ain’t playin’ into your hand, Webb. Nosiree! I am not gul-

Oh wait. This is for real. Paul Giamatti really is in talks to play the Rhino in the Amazing Spider-Man sequel. Well, damn.

THR were the ones to break the news that not only was Amazing Spider-Man 2 definitely going to go the two villain route but that Paul Giamatti would be the one to strap on the horn, alongside Jamie Foxx’s Electro.

Now when the casting of the most definitely black Jamie Foxx as the traditionally white electric powered villain happened, certain groups on the interne responded using their two favourite weapons, Caps Lock and exclamation points, as they are wont to do. I was not a part of those groups. See I realized that his physical appearance actually had little to no bearing on Electro as a character.

However, that’s different for Rhino. Introduced way back in 1966, Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich was originally nothing more than a Russian thug who volunteered for an experiment that bonded a special suit to his body, which gave him enhanced strength and speed. Now known as the Rhino, he would then spent the next 40 years or so getting tricked into running into and getting his horn stuck in lots of walls by Spider-Man. The occasional bit of face punching would also occur.

But over the last few years Rhino has been reinvented, as way more depth has been added to his character, turning him into a reluctant villain and even occasional ally of Spider-Man.

Now here’s the rub of it: If Webb and co want to go with the old dimwitted muscle incarnation of the character, then why not just head on down to the WWE and find some biceps on legs that has time in his busy schedule of fake-fighting to strap a horn to his forehead? Why cast an actor of Giamatti’s caliber? And if it is because they’re leaning towards the more complex, modern incarnation of the character, well then there’s still a problem. A big problem. As in a problem with Giamatti not being big enough.

See Aleksei is a hulking mountain of a man, who thinks that using his physical strength and stature to hurt and intimidate is the only way to get things in life. But then, like the best reformed villains do, he meets a lady who convinces him of a better way. This entire story is one of the best and most tragic of modern Spidey tales, and would make for a brilliant character arc in a movie.

There’s just of course, as I mentioned before, the not so big problem of a 5ft8 Paul Giamatti being cast in the role. Also, whereas Rhino has a physique that looks like it’s been carved from granite, Giamatti’s looks like it’s been carved from a loaf of wet white bread.

Now admittedly yes, we do live in a world where Halle Berry can successfully play an old Asian man, and Giamatti has certainly in the past shown an ability to appear intimidating and threatening through performance alone, but you got to think that this is going to be (pun intended) a real tall order for him.

Coincidentally, the same report from THR that broke the casting news about Giamatti also stated that English actress Felicity Jones has joined the cast, but in an unknown role. Could she be the Rhino’s lady? I could certainly see that working.

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About The Author

Hello ladies. Look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man, now back to me. Sadly, he isn’t me, but if he stopped watching horrible Michael Bay movies, he could be as much of a hardcore film geek as me. Look down, back up, where are you? You’re on a South African movie blog with the man your man could be as big a film geek as. What’s in your hand? Back at me. I have it. It’s a warm box of freshly popped popcorn, butter melted awesomeness wafting in your face just like you like. Look again, the popcorn is now diamonds. Anything is possible when your man stops watching Michael Bay movies. I’m on a horse.

  • DarthofZA

    Webb… you had my full support with the first movie. Your characters made sense. You made Peter Parker actually feel like Peter Parker…. but I’m really really really confused as to what you’re doing now? I truly am hoping you know what you’re doing and it is just so far above our mere mortal understanding that we don’t see it yet, and that I will be pleasantly surprised at the movies.

    • http://twitter.com/blahsum James Francis

      You really didn’t see the big cracks in his first adaptation? Sure, it wasn’t bad, but lacked the substance of Raimi’s first Spider-Man.

      • DarthofZA

        I saw the cracks… but what Raimi’s lacked was the Peter Parker from the comics. Webb had Peter nailed perfectly.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kervyn-Cloete/610830836 Kervyn Cloete

          At the time of release for Raimi’s Spider-Man, I truly loved it. Over the years though, that opinion has lessened somewhat. That was especially the case once I watched Webb’s take on the character and world and saw, in comparison, just how wrong Raimi got the characterization.

          That’s not saying Webb didn’t make plenty of mistakes, coz he sure as hell did (I cringe every time I remember the cheesiness of the crane swinging scene), but he definitely got a few things right though.

          • http://twitter.com/blahsum James Francis

            But is that a fair assessment? Will you still feel this way about Webb’s film in a decade?

          • DarthofZA

            In a decade, we’ll probably have a new Spiderman reboot on our hands…..

        • http://twitter.com/blahsum James Francis

          Fair point. I guess my problem was that the film had too little Spider-Man and too much Peter Parker.

  • http://twitter.com/deanorhan Dean

    I just remember Rhino getting turned into a key chain. Maybe that’s where Webb is going with this…

  • Admiral Chief Troll Erwin

    ummm, will it be low-angle shots?

  • Admiral Chief Troll Erwin

    Rhina? Or Rhino? Or were you going for Rihanna? :P

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kervyn-Cloete/610830836 Kervyn Cloete

      Yeah, I typed this article up in the wee hours of this morning while my brain was still busy with it’s warm up. Had an embarrassingly large amount of typos, but they should all be fixed up now. I hope.

  • http://twitter.com/blahsum James Francis

    Hey, why not? Why is it assumed that to play a ‘dumb thug’ character you need someone like a wrestler? Giamatti is very versatile and has shown he can tackle nearly any role you throw at him. He was John Adams AND Dr. Satan! So this should be interesting.

    Here’s the problem: can Webb handle it? He could hardly keep Rhys Ifans from chewing the scenery – another top caliber actor. We’re either going to get serious awesome or serious ham from Giamatti.

    Either way, I now have a reason to watch the second Spider-Man.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kervyn-Cloete/610830836 Kervyn Cloete

      It’s not about Giamatti’s acting chops, as I mentioned. In that regard, I have zero concerns. It’s the fact that the most defining trait of Rhino is him being this giant of a man, and then you cast somebody that isn’t.

      • http://twitter.com/blahsum James Francis

        They didn’t cast short people for hobbits or dwarves…

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kervyn-Cloete/610830836 Kervyn Cloete

          True. Which is why I said that they could probably pull it off with visual trickery. But this will require more than just forced perspective trick shots. Essentially you’re going to end up with just Paul Giamatti’s face playing the role. Surely there equally talented folks who are a bit closer in appearance? Maybe not in pure muscle mass (you’d need to hit the body building circuit to find that) but at least in stature.

          • http://twitter.com/blahsum James Francis

            Now that they can fit any actor into any fantasy-style role, they can pick who they want. And we know they can pull it off. I guess that’s my point: if this was ten years ago, I’d agree with you. But these days it’s not an obstacle. They even shrunk Chris Evans for Captain America, though I have to say that was a little bit jarring…

            Also, Paul Giamatti’s face can still outperform most full-bodied actors. :)

  • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

    Paul Giamatti has inspired me to go audition for the lead role in the next He-Man film. Physical size and lack of nipple harnesses be damned!