Jamie Foxx, who played classic Spidey villain Electro in the Andrew Garfield-starring The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is in final talks to reprise the role for the latest Spider-Man installment, starring Tom Holland and being made by Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.
Why yes, I do have some thoughts on this, thanks for asking.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was an entirely forgettable sequel to an entirely forgettable Spider-Man film. The Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man films focused on teenage angst and lots of grunting during fights, and some convoluted conspiracy backstory concerning’s Peter Parker’s parents that was never resolved due to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 bombing at the box office. This Amazing reboot bombed so badly that plans to expand on the Spider-verse were scrapped, and eventually Marvel and Sony started talking about bringing Spidey to the MCU.
Foxx’s Electro was a boring bad guy, and he added to that weird teenage angst movie vibe with the hoodie he wore over his high tech suit. Did anyone like Electro? Was it the way the character was written, or was it Foxx’s portrayal of the character? I’d wager a little from column A, a little from column B. But this will be a rare instance where the director and actor will have an opportunity to wholly re-invent the character — maybe the second time’s the charm?
I will admit, it seems very suspicious of Sony and Marvel to bring back a villain that was not especially liked the first time around. There seems to be a lot of speculation around a “live-action” multiverse of Spider-Man films, but I don’t see it playing out that way. Sure, you’ve got J. K. Simmons playing J. Jonah Jameson in a cameo at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, but who else do you really get to play Jameson? Of all the Spider-Man movie villains so far, Foxx’s Electro is a strange choice to bring back, and I have to wonder if Sony is actively trying to sabotage the MCU at this point with ridiculous villains. It seems incredibly unlikely Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield would be tapped to reprise their prior Spider-Man roles, and without them it’s not really a multiverse of Spider-Men, is it?
So why bring Foxx back into the roll? There’s a lot of multiverse speculation, primarily because Spider-Man is known for crossing the multiverse almost annually in the comics. But — I don’t think casting Foxx is a doorway into the multiverse. If they were doing to open a door to the multiverse, it’d be with Alfred Molina as Doc Ock — or somebody as equally liked from previous Spider-Man films. Amazing 2 is not the doorway to a multiverse for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. Foxx was cast because Sony thinks it will create buzz and generate interest in their Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (SPUMC!).
Jon Watts will be directing Tom Holland (and Jamie Foxx) for the third time in Spider-Man 3, currently scheduled for release on December 17, 2021 — although I would treat that date as tentative at best. Filming on Part 3 should begin soon. Also don’t forget, the MCU get’s one last shot at Spidey before Holland’s contract expires in an Avengers-like romp in ’23 or ’24.