by Matt Harper
Webb argued that The Lizard was the right choice for this new film because the villain fit the theme of the story, saying, “We all have a missing piece. How we look to fill that void is how we define ourselves. It made sense. After I figured that out, it was a logical choice.”
Makes sense. But as a longtime Spider-fan, there are other reasons why The Lizard makes an amazing and compelling villain for Spidey to tangle with. Here are just a few.
Curt Connors and Peter Parker are Friends
Sure, Peter had personal connections to Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus and Venom (just to name a few). Sam Raimi’s Spider-flicks even weirdly tried to retcon Sandman’s backstory to create a connection between the villain and webhead (but let’s not go there). What was always great about Curt Connors was it wasn’t just that they knew each other – they were friends, and had a great mentor/mentee relationship. When Connors became The Lizard, there was reluctance on Peter’s part to fight him – it wasn’t that he couldn’t beat The Lizard, it was that he was being forced to fight someone out of control that he knew and respected.
It’s (Possibly) Spider-Man’s Fault
If we’re getting technical, Curt Connors in the comics was responsible for his initial transformation into The Lizard when (like so many great comicbook scientists) he experimented on himself. Since then though, Spider-Man has used his own science know-how (and sometimes his own radiated blood) to try and cure Curt Connors… to varying degrees of success. Marc Webb has hinted that in his flick though, Peter Parker might just be directly responsible for creating the monster terrorizing Manhattan. Not only is this a great way to streamline the story, but creates a lot more dramatic weight on our hero than say… a glob of alien goo falling randomly onto his scooter.
The Character is Open-Ended
There’s a freedom that comes from picking a slightly lesser-known villain (just look at “Batman Begins”) for a big superhero movie. And I’m sure people out there will disagree with me, but (in my opinion) there are not many iconic Lizard stories in Spider-Man’s vast history. Or let’s put it this way: there were probably more recognizable villains that Marc Webb could have gone with for his new Spider-Man film. But that’s part of what makes him such a good choice! There’s room to maneuver and make tweaks to the character to fit the story. This goes back to Webb’s initial comment about picking the villain to fit the themes of the movie they wanted to make – and to tell the Spider-Man story that made sense to them.
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