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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Martin Starr & Logan Marshall Good join Spider-Man: Homecoming

Edited By Robert Beach 
Damn, it must be casting season as this is the 4th recent article I’ve written about casting news. If you haven’t been following the slow drip of casting news coming out of Marvel/Sony’s latest Spider-Man blockbuster, here’s the deal. 

We were all introduced to the new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, earlier this year during his star-making turn in Captain America: Civil War. Since then, Sony has slowly been announcing casting for his solo film Spider-Man: Homecoming, most notably with Michael Keaton, the original Batman, signed up. More recently Donald Glover, of Community and The Martian, was rumored to be playing a role in the film much to the Internet’s engagement. 

Now, two new names have joined the cast list in the form of Logan Marshall Good, of Prometheus and The Invitation, and Martin Starr, of Party Down and Silicon Valley.

The news is still fairly scarce on who these two are playing, but the current word is that Good will be playing an additional villain for the film. Ever since it was revealed that Vulture was going to be ONE of the villains in Spider-Man: Homecoming, rather than the only bad guy, we can only speculate on what other villainous figures might circle the film as well. 

A lot of this has to do with the bizarre inter-relationship between Sony and Marvel at this point. See, Sony owns the rights to make Spider-Man movies and movies out of Spider-Man’s various adjacent characters and mythos. As such, if Sony wants to make a movie about Aunt May or Green Goblin or anyone else Spider-Man, they’re perfectly able to. 

However, after the disappointment of Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man film series, they decided it’d be easier to adopt a shared custody of the Spider-Man rights with Marvel. Now, Marvel is more or less in charge of the production of the new Spider-Man movie while Sony takes a cut of the profits. Where things get weird is that neither studio has so far addressed the 2 Spider-Man spin-offs films Sony has in the works: Sinister Six and Venom.  

Both of those films are set to feature some pretty prominent Spider-Man villains, and it’s unclear if they’ll be tied to the Marvel universe or Spider-Man: Homecoming. The main consensus seems to be that Venom will be free from all ties or connections, but Sinister Six is meant to spin out of the new Spider-Man series, which would fit with Vulture and a few other bad guys popping up to menace Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Given all of that, it makes sense that Logan Marshall Good would be slotted into an additional villain role, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Martin Starr was a villain as well. As far as possibilities, that’s a little harder to say. Good is a solid actor with the right direction, yet there aren’t really a ton of Spider-Man villains that he fits with. I could see him as a version of Shocker, though Shocker is a pretty low-level bad guy. Still, bringing in a B-lister like Shocker to fill out the film would be a good call.  

However, if Spider-Man: Homecoming is setting up Sinister Six, and will feature fellow Avengers like Iron Man, I feel like they’d need some pretty heavy bad guys. My central guess is that Good is playing Hydro Man. Yeah, a C-list bad guy, but his power is major enough to make him a legitimate threat and a good reoccurring bad guy, especially if the producers didn’t want to try and recast Sandman. 

Speaking of, I genuinely doubt we’ll see any villains from the Sam Raimi or Marc Webb Spider-Man films. If we do, it’ll most likely be the big names like Doctor Octopus or Green Goblin. As for folks like Sandman, Electro, Rhino, or the Lizard, they’ll probably be left to sit this film out. I could see Starr being slotted into a fairly reimagined version of Doc Ock. Then again, pretty much any version of Doc Ock in the films would require some pretty major reworking to be interesting. 

Doc Ock is a common member of the Sinister Six, and one of the few Spider-Man foes general audiences know, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him show up in Spider-Man: Homecoming. There aren’t many other villains I could see Starr fitting into. We’re too early on for Carnage, Mysterio has allegedly been promised to the Netflix side of Marvel, and he lacks the intensity of someone like Kraven the Hunter. I’d honestly find it more likely for him to play an offbeat minor villain like Boomerang, the Beatle, or Swarm. 

Swarm, a deadly living horde of bees who is also a Nazi

Obviously, nothing is confirmed with Starr, so he could be playing a supporting character rather than a villain. If that was the case, he seems like a believable teacher for Peter’s high school. There isn’t really any supporting character Starr is absolutely perfect for, and I doubt we’ll see him slotted into Peter’s collection of older male heroes like J. Jonah Jameson or Captain Stacey.  Some folks are speculating Starr will be reprising his incredibly brief role in The Incredible Hulk as ‘unnamed student,’ but frankly I find that a little far-fetched. 

Starr’s character was only ever named in the film’s novelization where it was suggested he was Amadeus Cho, an Asian American super genius and best friend to the Hulk. If that is the case, Starr seems both far too old and far too white to be playing Amadeus Cho. What’s more, I doubt Marvel is keen to kick up another whitewashing outcry after the heat they created by casting Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One.  

What seems most likely is that Starr will be fit into the film as a non-canon comedic relief character in the vein of Michael Pena in Ant-Man. Still, if the shocking twist is that he’s a college professor developing a deadly bee weapon, just remember who called it first. 

Spider-Man: Homecoming is scheduled for release in July 7, 2017.

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