First Look: Jamie Foxx Gets the Blues as Electro in ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′

Mark Deming
Movie Talk

The world got its first look at Jamie Foxx as the villainous Electro as "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" filmed some scenes in New York's Times Square. And fanboys will doubtless be saying both "Cool!" and "Huh?"

In photos snapped on location, Foxx is seen in light-blue metallic makeup covering his face with matching the icy-hued contact lens. There's a thick pattern of lightning bolt-like veins snaking down his face and neck.

That's the "Cool!" part, while the "Huh?" should come from serious comic book fans who've been following Electro's antics in "Spider-Man" since he debuted in the comic in 1964. On the printed page, Electro wore a large mask that looks like a series of lightning bolts and his skin is a normal color, while his costume was a bold green and gold.

In all fairness, Electro was later given a new look by Marvel, with the character donning a sleek black costume and losing the mask in the "Ultimate Spider-Man" comics, while an animated adaptation presented a blue Electro who bore similarities to Foxx's makeup. But for many fans, the original Electro was the definitive presentation, and if you go to Marvel's website and look up Electro's biography, it's the classic era Electro that's used to illustrate the piece.

This means for his movie, director Marc Webb has chosen to toss out the most familiar look of a character known to "Spider-Man" readers for close to fifty years in favor of something dramatically different. Given how obsessively detail oriented fans of classic comics can be, this could earn "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" as many enemies as friends from a key segment of its target audience.

In the Marvel universe, Electro is a former electrician who has been treated poorly by life before he's struck by lightning. Now capable of sending out bolts of electricity at will, he sets out to take his revenge on the world. "Electro is a great character," Foxx said after being cast in the role last December. "I think Electro will be an exciting character to play because he's a … genius electrician-type person, and he gets the short end of the stick from the whole world, and the next thing you know he turns it on."

Of course, for every person who wants to know what happened to Electro's mask, there are likely a few more who either don't know the character or are eager to see how he's been revamped for the 21st Century. So this is probably a good gamble for Webb and his creative team, though it also invites the question, how many other details in the known Marvel universe are up for grabs in this movie? We won’t find out for sure until "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" opens in theaters in May 2014.

Watch a clip from last summer's 'The Amazing Spider-Man':