5:30 pm EDT, January 28, 2013

Paul Giamatti added to ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ as The Rhino

If you thought that the inclusion of Electro and Harry Osborne in the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man sequel were enough for Spidey on the villain front, we have massive news for you.

According to THR (via Slashfilm) Paul Giamatti is in talks to take on the role of The Rhino, a villain that has been with the series since 1966. This comes as strange news, given that we’ve already received confirmation that Jamie Foxx will make an appearance as Electro. Add Daniel DeHann joining the cast as Harry Osborne and we have a full blown case of the same type of villain overload that Spider-Man 3 hit trouble with back in 2007.

The Rhino, for the uninitiated, originated as a “Soviet thug” by the name of Aleksei Mikhailovich Sytsevich. His super-suit gave him the ability to be super fast, super powerful, and with the inclusion of a huge horn on his head, super deadly.

Although no further information is in place, including whether or not The Rhino will actually be one of the film’s villains, Giamatti has expressed extreme interest in playing The Rhino in the past, so we know that he’ll jump into the role if Sony gives him the opportunity.

An interesting theory concerning The Rhino’s place in the Spider-Man universe can be found over at Latino Review, where they bring up the claim that a rhino appears on the same DNA tree as the spider and the scorpion in the Oscorp lab. The video game tie-in for The Amazing Spider-Man introduced The Rhino as the result of an experiment hosted by Rajit Ratha, who is played in The Amazing Spider-Man by Irrfan Khan.

This leads us to believe that we may not see The Rhino charging at Spider-Man after all. He might just be a continuation of Dr. Ratha’s experiments with cross-species genetics. The Rhino has been known to team up with Spidey occasionally in the comics, so the idea of having the Rhino exist in this universe as an experiment gone wrong could be an interesting and heart-breaking way to introduce the famous villain to the franchise.

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