- The 2017 Spider-Man reboot will have to truly differentiate itself from the past two franchises - one of which came to an end just one year ago - in order to succeed.
We already have a new Peter Parker, who'll be played by Tom Holland, and now we need a cast of villains and supporting characters to surround him with. Kevin Feige - who's co-producing the new film along with Sony - has already stated that he'd like to see villains that have yet to show up on the big screen (sorry Green Goblin fans), and that the next slate of films would take a more character-driven approach to the wall-crawler and hue closer to a John Hughes film than an Avengers movie.
With that in mind, here are ten characters, either villains or normal New Yorkers - that we'd like to see in the series this time around.
The PunisherThis one's likely a long shot, as injecting the bloody antics of Frank Castle into the teenage sensibilities of a John Hughes flick don't quite fit Feige's vision, but it's something we'd love to see nonetheless.
The Punisher made his comic book debut in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #129, and fans have longed to see the two characters meet up on screen ever since.
With Peter Parker now able to exist in the pre-established MCU, and with the Punisher set to make his debut into that universe in Daredevil's second season next spring, there's no better time to merge these two characters and keep the exciting crossovers going.
Plus, with Punisher already established, director Jon Watts wouldn't have to waste precious screentime giving Castle an origin story and could instead spend that time on the things we REALLY want to see. He doesn't have to be the main villain, but some kind of cameo or small role would be a great nod to the fans.
KingpinWhile we're on the subject of Daredevil characters, it'd be a mistake not to mention Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin, who absolutely deserves to show up in a Spider-Man film.
Not only did D'Onofrio do a great job with the role, but Kingpin has long been one of Spidey's biggest foes. Now that Marvel and Sony can coexist, there's no reason not to bring the Kingpin into the fold, even as someone in the background pulling the strings for another villain or antagonist.
ScorpionSpeaking of stooges who could be controlled by someone like Kingpin, there is likely no better candidate than private investigator MacDonald Gargan, who became the villain known as the Scorpion.
Initially hired by J. Jonah Jameson to find out how Peter Parker managed to take such great pictures of Spider-Man, Gargan was eventually tasked with participating in a barely-tested process that would give him the characteristics needed to take down the wall crawler.
He was given the suit and powers of a scorpion, which unfortunately drove him insane and led him into a life of crime.
Scorpion would be a visually interesting villain with a compelling story, and could easily factor into the plans of a larger adversary, like Jameson, Kingpin, or Norman Osborn.
Plus, he's long been a key member of the Sinister Six, so if Sony is really still keen on making a film about the supervillain team, Scorpion would be a good candidate.
Flash ThompsonFlash Thompson has already appeared in both previous Spider-Man franchises, but he's always been a one-note supporting character who's disappeared after the first installment. If done right, however, he could be one of the most important characters in the franchise.
Since Peter's going back to high school in 2017, that means that Flash - the run-of-the-mill jock and bully - is likely just around the corner. He wouldn't just fit well into the John Hughes-esque soap opera side of the story, either. His destiny as Venom could prove invaluable to the franchise as a whole.
After graduating high school, Flash enlists in the military and eventually loses his legs in combat. He then goes on to become Agent Venom, donning the famous symbiote for 48 hours at a time (in order to evade letting it take control of him) and embarking on dangerous missions for the military.
Agent Venom would be a great way to introduce Venom back into the cinematic fold in a post-Spider-Man 3 world, and could sidestep Feige's "villains we haven't seen yet" rule via a technicality.
Carlie CooperThis third Spider-Man franchise will feel stale immediately if either Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson are the primary love interests, so we suggest that someone like Carlie Cooper enter the mix.
Cooper is friends with Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy and became one of Peter's key romantic interests after 2007. She eventually learns about Peter's wall-crawling alter-ego which, of course, puts her in imminent danger.
Carlie is also eventually injected with the Green Goblin formula and becomes a foe known as Monster.
So, a new love interest with a potentially tragic and villainous destiny? Sounds like a superhero soap opera, alright!
Hydro-ManHydro-Man is not one of the most well-known Spider-Man villains, but if Jon Watts takes a page from the character's role in the 1994 Spider-Man animated series, he could be a great fit for this new John Hughes-esque take on the franchise.
In the series, Morris "Morrie" Bench is a former boyfriend of Mary Jane Watson who was expelled from school and sent to join the Navy by his parents. While at sea, he was involved in an accident with a strange chemical, which changed his cellular structure and allowed him to control and transform into liquid at will. He then returns to New York to reclaim Mary Jane's love and goes up against Spider-Man.
With a bit of creative finagling, the character could fit quite well into this new franchise, ramping up the teen drama and delivering the requisite big screen spectacle.
Vin GonzalesPeople who've only seen the Spider-Man films probably assume that Peter Parker only has one friend, Harry Osborn. However, that's not the case. One person who's been left out of both franchises is Peter's romantic rival and eventual roommate, Vin Gonzales.
In the comics, Vin is a friend of Carlie Cooper and member of the NYPD. His relationship with Spidey is a bit tricky; he was once mistaken for the wall crawler by Kraven's daughter and beaten nearly to death for it. He also tried framing Spider-Man for murders around NYC in order to sway public opinion away from the web slinger.
A character like Vin could easily be factored into this new franchise as one of Peter's friends, and his distrust for Spider-Man could offer a great dynamic for the film to explore.
Kraven The HunterKraven the Hunter is one of the most popular and important Spider-Man villains, and is a character in desperate need of the live-action treatment.
Kraven is a maniacal big game hunter, who sets his sights on Spider-Man to prove that he's the greatest hunter in the world. He succeeds in capturing Spidey, then goes as far as to put him into a coma and bury him alive on his estate.
Kraven's also important to the Spider-Man mythos at large, as he's the half-brother of another villain, Chameleon, and a founding member of the Sinister Six.
It's hard to see how Kraven could fit into the first installment of this new Spider-Man reboot, but he'd be the perfect adversary for a sequel and could go on to become a fun villain in the larger MCU.
Felicia Hardy/Black CatFelicia Hardy is one of Peter Parker's more famous love interests, and though she has shown up on film before (played by Felicity Jones in The Amazing Spider-Man 2), she wasn't given very much screentime or a proper adaptation - which makes her a great candidate for this new franchise.
Hardy is the daughter of a renowned cat burglar and is sexually assaulted during her freshman year of college. Refusing to become a victim, she becomes the Black Cat, and follows in her father's footsteps.
Felicia eventually falls for Spider-Man and even strikes up a romantic relationship with Peter Parker (neither one of them knowing the other's identity, of course).
While introducing the Black Cat this early in the franchise may be hard to do, bringing Felicia in early on would be wise and could greatly complicate Peter's love life, again adding to the soap opera elements that Feige and co. are aspiring to.
MysterioMysterio is another of Spider-Man's most famous and formidable rogues, and is ripe for live-action adaptation, especially now that general audiences have grown more accepting of outlandish concepts in superhero films.
Quentin Beck is a special effects whiz and stunt man who turns to a life of crime following countless rejections in Hollywood, using elaborate (and often humorously creative) illusions and hypnosis.
He's constantly foiled by Spider-Man, but is the kind of low-level threat that this new franchise needs, as Kevin Feige hopes to lower the stakes so that Peter Parker isn't constantly tasked with saving the world.
We've already seen Peter go up against physically imposing villains, but have yet to see him face anyone that truly challenges him mentally and psychologically. Mysterio is the perfect adversary for that.