"Spider-Man" villain, The Rhino, is monstrous, muscle-bound and just plain mean. Quite the opposite from quiet little 'ol Paul Giamatti -- known for more cerebral, introverted roles like comic book creator Harvey Pekar in "American Splendor" (2003). Giamatti also doesn't really seem to be much like the Rhino when he is in human form -- Aleksei Sytsevich, a Russian mafia thug.
But Giamatti -- who has not only played a comic book writer but is also a fan of the medium -- has been on a bit of campaign to play one of his favorite villains from his childhood. The 45-year-old actor is in talks to take the role of the man-turned-creature, The Rhino, in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Spider-Man villain, who is known to ram his Rhino horns into cars and buildings, is made deviously powerful by an experimental exoskeleton.
THR's report also points out that Giamatti is a longtime fan of the character: Giamatti was quoted in 2011 as saying, "I thought Rhino was the greatest thing when I was a little kid... It was a guy who was basically in this rhinoceros outfit and I always thought, 'Why don’t they have The Rhino in one of their movies,' but maybe The Rhino wasn’t that big of a deal for anybody but me...If they ever go with The Rhino I would be ready and waiting." He also spoke of his dream role to Conan O'Brien that year, proclaiming to a cheering audience, "I think I would be the best Rhino possible."
The next Spider-Man installment is set to pack extra obstacles for Spidey (played by Andrew Garfield). He'll be battling at least two villains this time. Jamie Foxx was cast last November as a nemesis with both low self esteem and the power to zap people into oblivion -- Electro.
Felicity Jones ("Like Crazy," 2011) is also negotiating a role in the film, according to THR, but the part is not yet known.
Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Sally Field (Aunt May), and Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben) are set to reprise their roles (though it's not yet clear how Ben -- who was killed in the first installment will appear). Dane DeHaan and Shailene Woodley are new additions -- Woodley is playing Mary Jane. Watch out Gwen -- you have some competition!
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is due in theaters May 2, 2014.
Watch 'The Amazing Spider-Man' Clip, Police Chase:
Follow me on Twitter (@meriahonfiah)