Saturday, November 21, 2009

RUMORS VS. FACTS: Casting war! Anne Hathaway, Julia Stiles, Rachel McAdams, Romola Garai in SpiderMan 4?

RUMORS VS. FACTS: Casting war! Anne Hathaway, Julia Stiles, Rachel McAdams, Romola Garai in SpiderMan 4?
Four awesome young actresses are reported/rumored to be positioning themselves for a possible role in the next Spiderman movie. The character in contention: The Black Cat.

anne_hathaway julia-stiles
rachel-mcadams romola-garai

But before we go any further, is this newsworthy? Definitely. While it maybe just a fictional character, Black Cat is quite interesting and intriguing. She's been related to Spiderman in the past and her descent into the world of crime is worth a good look. Has casting actually started? No confirmation yet from the studio, but with the names of the actresses being mentioned, fans are, indeed, getting excited.

Two of these fab actresses are known for both period and contemporary films - Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married/Becoming Jane) and Romola Garai ( Inside I'm Dancing/Atonement), while the other two - Julia Stiles and Rachel McAdams are more 'inclined' to portray modern characters, or so it seems... As of this writing, McAdams is already out of contention. Enter... Eliza Dushku! (nahhh, she's been attached to this casting news way back, says MTV). So, among the remaining 3 actresses, who can satisfy the [acting and stunts(?)] requirements to play an authentic Black Cat?

More about the fictional Marvel character and the young actresses in contention after the jump!
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About the Black Cat:
Black Cat is a reformed burglar who continues to walk on the wild side as a detective and adventurer. She's the former girlfriend of Spider-Man, Flash Thompson, and the mercenary known as the Foreigner.

Felicia Hardy grew up as "daddy's little girl," idolizing her father. When Walter Hardy suddenly disappeared, Felicia's mother, Lydia, told her that he had died in a plane crash; in reality, he had been incarcerated for his crimes as a notorious cat burglar. Upon discovering the truth about her father, Felicia became inspired to follow in his footsteps.

However, another tragic event more strongly influenced a redirection in her life. As a college freshman at Empire State University, Felicia was date-raped by her boyfriend, Ryan. She turned her grief and shame into rage, channeling her feelings for revenge towards intensifying her training regime in martial arts and acrobatics. However, she was robbed of a chance for vengeance, as Ryan was killed in a drunk driving accident.

Learning safe cracking, lock picking, and other techniques of thieves, Felicia set out stealing from others to compensate psychologically for what was stolen from her. The first night she took on the persona of the Black Cat she tried to break her father, Walter Hardy out of prison before he died. In the process, she met Spider-Man. After her father's death, she set out to become New York's premier cat burglar.

However, over time, flirtations led to romance with Spider-Man, as Felicia promised to abandon her criminal activities. Spider-Man and the Black Cat often patrolled the city together, with Felicia in love with Spider-Man, the hero. She was reluctant to see Spider-Man unmasked, for fear the excitement of the mysterious romance would be lost.

Appearance: Stands at 5'10", with platinum blond hair and green eyes.

Powers: Though it has been suggested that she had a latent mutant ability to affect probability fields around her ("jinxing"), the Black Cat's original "bad luck" powers were nothing more than meticulously planned stunts, executed with the aid of her exceptional gymnastics and unarmed combat skills. Later seeking power to enable her to be a true partner to her lover, Spider-Man, she made a secret deal with the Kingpin, whose scientists imbued her with a genuine "bad luck" power. This power enabled her subliminally and psionically to affect probability fields, causing improbable, but not impossible, "unlucky" events to occur to enemies within her line of sight. After Dr. Strange removed the jinx Spider-Man contracted, the Cat's powers mutated, leaving her absent the bad luck ability, but with infrared vision, superhuman balance and agility, and long extensible claws.

Abilities: An experienced gymnast and acrobat, can swing from rooftop to rooftop with help from a grappling hook, also an experienced hand-to-hand combatant

Weapons: The Black Cat has retractable claws hidden in her gloves.

Paraphernalia: The Black Cat carries a small grappling hook device, with a built-in release mechanism, enabling her to swing among buildings in a manner similar to Spider-Man and Daredevil, though with marginally less speed than either. She wears earrings of a unique design that aids her balance and allows her to always land on her feet. She wears contact lenses that enable her to see in the UV and IR range, providing excellent night vision.

[ source: Black Cat - Marvel Universe ]

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In Contention: Who should play the Black Cat?

Before we take a look, I'm quoting Drew McWeeny who said something worth reading:

It's one thing when we get down to the point of people doing screen tests... those are serious contenders for something. But just coming in to meet the producers on a meet and greet does not mean someone is "in talks" for a role. It sounds to me like right now, "Spider-Man 4" is at the stage where they are casting a wide next, looking for someone to step in and play The Black Cat, aka Felicia Hardy, one of the many ohmygodhawt female antagonists who have tormented Peter Parker over the years.

These days, once a rumor takes hold, it has a life of its own.  I've seen fanboys complain and say there's something wrong with a film because a rumor that was never true turns out not to be true.  They get so attached to rumors that they hold it against the movie if they somehow end up believing the rumor.  I hope the Black Cat is in the film... she's an interesting character, this franchise's Catwoman, a character who plays both sides of the legal fence, whose morality is a slippery prospect, and who looks absolutely ravishing in a skin-tight suit.
[ read more ]

Good points raised. With these in mind, let's see the list of facts so far and the stars...

Romola Garai: She actually started the casting buzz, when she posted the following on her blog:

"Love is at the root of everything good that has ever happened and will happen." This phrase swam into focus as I moved up the escalator at Oxford Circus tube on Tuesday morning on my way to put myself "on tape" for a part in Spider-Man 4. This is the acting equivalent of the London Marathon in that it's important to try your best as long as you understand that you aren't going to win. [ read more ]

Anne Hathaway: Nikki Finke posted the casting news:

While Sony Pictures insists no decisions have been made, sources tell me that the producers have approached Anne Hathaway to star in the film. Maybe you experts have an idea what she'll play? All I know is that she's wanted for a starring role, and she won't replace Kirsten Dunst who's also cast in the Spidey fourquel. [ read more ]

Julia Stiles: I have not seen her since Matt Damon's Bourne thriller, but she's one of today's most talented, even if she's quite underrated. Says UGO -

Personally, she'd be a great fit. Stiles is an underrated actress and unlike McAdams (who's about to star in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes), hasn't had a leading lady role in a franchise film. Yeah, we saw her in Bourne, but playing Black Cat would get her out from behind a computer screen and bouncing across building tops! [ read more ]

If you've read the background info and attributes of the Black Cat, you're aware that the actress playing the part needs to be physically prepared for it, since this is not just a role with a dialogue. She should appear to be Felicia Hardy and the Black Cat. With this sort of 'duality', the role demands that whoever gets cast, she is not just someone who can be good at drama but can be convincing doing extraordinary action and/or fight sequences.

Think: Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. Thurman may look 'delicate' at times, but when she's The Bride, that's another story. Says Peter Travers at Rolling Stone:

Hot stuff -- though no one beats Thurman for sizzle. She's a warrior goddess, up there with Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. It's Thurman, in her best performance yet, who raises the bar on the role and the movie by showing that the Bride's battle is not without honor or humanity. [ read more ]

As of this moment, I'd say Julia Stiles appears to be the best candidate for the role. She has the good looks and screen presence to play a convincing Felicia Hardy. Anne Hathaway appears to be more on the 'delicate side' and I can't imagine her doing stunts more than what she already did in Get Smart. I could be wrong, of course and Hathaway can, once again, re-invent herself.

Please, no Megan Fox! I can't imagine her with platinum blond hair and wearing the Black Cat superhero costume!

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What's on your mind? What can you say about the current casting news/buzz for the Black Cat and the fourth SpiderMan movie? Among the actresses mentioned, who do you think fits the role? Let us know what you think!

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