After months of lips sealed tighter than the outfit on your friendly neighborhood webslinger, casting news on one of Hollywood's most anticipated sequels has slipped out.
Actress Kirsten Dunst, while recently speaking to a group of reporters, revealed the identities of the villains in the soon-to-shoot blockbuster "Spider-Man 3."
"We have really great people, though, as the villains in this film; Thomas Haden Church and Topher Grace — Venom and Sandman," Dunst divulged before being further interrogated over Church's obvious physical similarities to the brawny Sandman.
"It's the other way around," she corrected herself, listing Grace as Venom and Church as the Sandman. "You're right."
Although the casting of "In Good Company" star Grace and "Sideways" Oscar nominee Church was announced several months ago (see "Topher Grace Joins Cast Of 'Spider-Man 3' ... But As Who?"), those overseeing the "Spider-Man" film franchise have gone to great lengths to maintain the secret identities of their characters. Spidey-senses tingling, MTV News approached Dunst for more information and received another juicy tidbit.
"I think we have ... I'm going to say two and a half bad guys," the "Elizabethtown" star said. "Because I think one of them is resurrected. But yeah, two and a half bad guys, I think, about in this movie."
Dunst, who will once again return as Mary Jane Watson, the object of Peter Parker's (Tobey Maguire)'s affection, would seem to have opened up the possibility of a previous Spider-Man nemesis — Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin or Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus — returning to the silver screen. Both Marvel Comics and Spidey's studio responded with a "no comment" to Dunst's web of revelations, but her statements are nevertheless certain to inspire the rabid speculation of movie lovers, comic book geeks and chat-room enthusiasts everywhere.
For those unfamiliar with the villains, Venom is the name for an alien spacesuit that attaches itself to human bodies while attempting to take down the similar-looking webcrawler with its equally effective superpowers. The Sandman, meanwhile, is actually William Baker, a career criminal who survived a nuclear-reactor meltdown while lying on a beach. With his body mimicking the properties of sand, he can transform his malleable body into various shapes and sizes.
In one final (albeit smaller) revelation, the 23-year-old actress told MTV News that she expects Mary Jane to develop into more of an adult in the third film and less of a rag doll. "Obviously we've all grown up again," she said. "I'm sure the relationship with Tobey Maguire and I will again [be] a complicated love affair. So it's always in there. Hopefully I won't be swinging from ropes or anything or screaming in this one."
"Spider-Man 3" is scheduled to begin filming early next year and is expected to swing into theaters on May 4, 2007.
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