Paul Giamatti in Talks to Play The Rhino in 'Spider-Man 2' (Exclusive)
Felicity Jones also is in negotiations to join the Sony sequel.
Paul Giamatti is in talks to join The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as the villain known as The Rhino, and Felicity Jones is negotiating for an unspecified role.
The duo would bolster an already impressive cast. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are back as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, Jamie Foxx is portraying bad guy Electro, Shailene Woodley is Mary Jane Watson, and Dane DeHaan is Harry Osborne.
The Rhino first appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #41 in 1966 as a thug from a Soviet Bloc country who wore a superhuman suit that made him invulnerable while giving him superstrength and superspeed. It also had a deadly horn on top.
In more recent comics, he became a sympathetic figure who found himself allying with Spider-Man.
The character Jones would play has not been revealed.
The role is a dream part for Giamatti, who in the past has said The Rhino was one of his favorite characters when he was a boy.
“I thought Rhino was the greatest thing when I was a little kid,” he told Collider in March 2011. “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.”
Around the same time, he also talked about the character on Conan: “The Rhino was fantastic," he said. "He was, like, a Russian guy. He was real fast, and he hit stuff real hard."
The sequel, being directed by Marc Webb, is eyeing a February production start.
Giamatti most recently appeared in Rock of Ages and is shooting the JFK drama Parkland with Zac Efron and Jacki Weaver. He is repped by UTA, Kipperman Management and Sloane Offer.
British actress Jones might be best known for starring in the 2011 Sundance darling Like Crazy and also appeared in Hysteria, the period romantic comedy about the invention of the vibrator. She is repped by WME and Jodi Peikoff Law.