Will The Black Cat be dropping in on 'ole Spidey in the upcoming fourth Spider-Man film?
One can never accuse the production of Spider-Man 4 of failing to feed the rumor mills. It gives Batman 3 a run for its money, and ironically enough, very few people are actually excited for the film. Its rumor mills have become a calorie-loaded artery-clogger of a deep-fried fast food serving that we just can't stop eating. (It would have killed that Super Size Me guy in like a week.) The latest rumor, of course, seems to be no exception.
According to Mania, "reliable sources" (meaning some anonymous party, not the CNN Sunday talk-fest) are telling them that the one and only Felicia Hardy, aka The Black Cat, is set to be in the mix, and that actress Rachel McAdams is in talks to take the role. (Take a second to fight through the grease-related indigestion on that one.) In fact, it is being said that the beautiful Red Eye and Wedding Crashers star has already met with producers and will portray the Black Cat very much as the romantic (or potentially romantic) interest for which the character served in the comics.
According to Mania: "Our sources tell us that the Black Cat's story fits well with Raimi's Spider-Man formula, which always finds the villains troubling not only the costumed hero, but also becoming entangled in Peter Parker's personal life as well."
The Black Cat was originally conceived in the late 70's as a female antagonist for Spider-Woman. However, creator Marv Wolfman was then moved to the main Amazing Spider-Man title, where he decided to implement the character there. While the relationship dynamic between her and Spider-Man often begs the criticism regarding its similarity to that of Batman and Catwoman over at DC Comics, there is a certain nuance that makes it unique. The Black Cat (like Catwoman) is a nocturnal-working cat burglar, who is often depicted as a "tweener" in regards to her good/bad ambiguity. However, she is genuinely more focused on a romantic relationship with Spider-Man and more often finds herself on the side of good. This desire often puts the relationship into a kind of flux where, at times, it is actually reciprocated by Spider-Man (or is one-sided and delves into unrequited "stalker" territory. Ex: Her quest to get real superpowers so that Spider-Man will accept her as an equal. Do I smell a pet rabbit boiling on a stove?)
Exactly how this will factor into a film in which (we can only presume) Spider-Man will deal with his former Professor's transformation into the vicious, iconic villain, The Lizard? (Which is evidenced by Dylan Baker signing on to return to the film series.) Do we need any more anachronistic romantic messes after Spider-Man 3's stunt of bringing Bryce Dallas Howard's Gwen Stacy (Spidey's girlfriend who is famous for being killed in the comics by The Green Goblin) into the mix? I would hope that Sam Raimi will not be pushed into yet another situation where he is forced to take on villains that have no conceivable place whatsoever in the actual script. **cough**Venom**cough**
Obviously, this is but one of a myriad of rumors regarding the film. However, the possibility of a push for multiple villains is a very realistic concern. Given how much will be required for this fourth Spider-Man to redeem the series, let's hope that this (prospectively final) Raimi outing in the franchise will be able to shine and cap-off what will hopefully go in the books as an overall solid series of films.