Our Predictions on Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Sinister Six Roster

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Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The highly anticipated film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is the third in the Tom Holland Spiderverse. It is set to release in theaters only on December 17, 2021. At CinemaCon this year, we finally got our first look at the long-awaited superhero flick. It was no surprise that it was worth the wait.

The trailer explains to us that Doctor Strange has messed with time, space and the multiverse, which, as Benedict Cumberbatch puts it in the trailer, “We know frightening little about.” This seemed to bring about a whole bunch of old villains from the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield Spiderverses.

Through the trailer and cast listing, it would seem there are five total villains. While not all of these characters have been 100% confirmed, the culmination of it all makes sense to be leading towards the next film being focused on the Sinister Six.

The Sinister Six first appeared in comics in 1964. There have been over a dozen versions of the group. The first was organized by Doctor Octopus and included Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture, and Kraven the Hunter. If you just watched the trailer, one of these names may have triggered something in your mind.

While the villain team-up has always been hinted at for movies, there has been no word of the Sinister Six appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The ideas presented in this article, besides the confirmed castings, are theories and should not be taken as fact at this time.

Confirmed in “No Way Home”

Doc Ock

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Doctor Octopus, or Doc Ock as he is more commonly referred to, has been one of Spider-Man’s oldest villains, first showing up in Amazing Spider-Man #3 in 1963. His mechanical tentacles are what give him his name. They are fused to his spine and have minds of their own. However, they still obey the good doctor’s commands. He is the founder of the first Sinister Six, so it would only make sense that if you are building up to that sort of villain team-up you would include the original mastermind. 

The character was portrayed on the big screen by Alfred Molina in the second of the Tobey Maguire movies. Molina will make his return to the franchise in Spider-Man: No Way Home (Into the Spiderverse, an animated film, also had Doc Ock but as a female version).

Though it was long thought to be rumor and hearsay, both the trailer and the film’s IMDB page have confirmed his involvement. The trailer seems to make Doc Ock the main antagonist though others are confirmed to show up.

Electro

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Electro first appeared in comics in 1964. His power is that he can absorb electricity and release it as bolts. He was a member of most of the Sinister Six team-ups including the first and most current iterations. The villain was also a part of the Superior Six and Sinister Seven. He is another no-brainer of a character to include.

Jamie Foxx played Electro in 2014’s Amazing Spider-Man 2, starring Andrew Garfield as Spidey. Foxx has been confirmed via the cast list on IMDB. In an Instagram post from October 2020 that has since been removed, Foxx revealed that he would not be the blue version but still will be, as he put it, “a thousand percent badass”.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

This is not surprising since fans were not happy with the portrayal of the character we got before. Electro does not feature in the trailer but you can see bolts of electricity around the 2:13 and 2:27 marks. So come on down, Sinister Six member #2.

Green Goblin

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Many have taken the name Green Goblin. The first one, Norman Osborn, debuted about 6 months after Electro and for years he went on to terrorize Spider-Man and those he cared about. An insane genius, he has no superpowers but his mind and technology are his weapons. The leader of the Sinister Twelve team and a signature Spidey villain, it is no wonder this character is one that got the nod.

Willem Dafoe is remembered well for his portrayal of Norman Osborn in the 2002 Tobey Maguire-led Spider-Man movie. Dafoe brought his signature crazy look and undeniably evil laugh to the character that, in my opinion, is one of the best comic book villains ever to be seen on screen.

At 2:28 in the trailer, we see a goblin grenade roll onto the screen and we hear that maniacal laugh. Not only that but Dafoe has been confirmed on the official cast list, so he is guaranteed to show up on the screen.

Very Likely to Show Up

Lizard

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Dr. Curt Connors aka Lizard was a geneticist and among the earliest of Spider-Man’s villains. Lizard possesses super strength, speed, and endurance. He was a member of a few incarnations of the Sinister Six and also was part of the Sinister Twelve group which was led by Green Goblin.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Rhys Ifans was not the best Lizard, but that was probably due more to poor CGI and character design than anything. We all loved Ifans in The Replacements as the foul-mouthed, cigarette-smoking placekicker, though not so memorable as Dr. Curt Connors. And while there has been no official word that Ifans is joining the ensemble, there is a glimpse of what looks like Lizard at 2:26 of the trailer. Watch out, Peter!

Sandman

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Sandman is another original member of the Sinister Six and has been a member of almost all iterations of the team, including the Superior Six, and Sinister Twelve. Showing up in the comics in September of 1963, Sandman is an ex-con who, through a freak accident while escaping prison, has his molecular makeup become sand-based. He is able to alter his shape and travel through the ground quickly. He can also fly in the form of a sandstorm.

Thomas Hayden Church will always be the loveable Lowell Mather from Wings, but he was also one of the bright spots in the very contentious Spider-Man 3, the final film in the Raimi Spider-Man series. Church brought real humanity to Sandman and a character you cared about. He had an anti-hero arc and that could lead to some fun side plots for the villain team-up.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

While Church is not listed in the cast and all rumors of him being in the movie have been shot down, the trailer does show a sandstorm at both 2:13 and 2:27 amid some lightning bolts. Could Electro and Sandman be hanging out together? We think it is highly likely.

And Then There Was One

So with the first five members of the team-up being pretty certain to us at this point, we have to ask who the sixth member of a Sinister Six team-up could be. These 12 possibilities are ranked from “Quite Possible” to “Not A Chance”. Let’s break down how each character could join the team-up.

“Quite Possible”

Scorpion

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Scorpion is an interesting character with superhuman abilities and a cool rocket launcher tail. Scorpion first appeared in the comics in 1964. While a member of the Sinister Twelve, the character merges with the symbiote Venom for a short while.

Michael Mando appears briefly in 2017’s Spider-Man Homecoming as the villain Scorpion but his after-credit scene is what is the most interesting part of the performance and the reason he is at the top of the “quite possible list”. Mando approaches Keaton’s Vulture in the prison hall and asks Keaton if he knows who Spider-Man really is because he has some friends on the outside who are very interested in meeting him.

Many believed Mando’s line was a reference to the Sinister Six although this theory has not come to fruition. Plus with the recent emergence of multiverses in the MCU, it is hard to believe that Mando would be friends with Doc Ock from a different universe. However, with such a vendetta against Spider-Man and Molina’s character knowing the true identity of Spider-Man, it would be an easy way to get Mando’s version of Scorpion onto the team.

Hobgoblin (Ned Leeds)

spider-man homecoming peter parker tom holland ned
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The comic book version of Ned Leeds is very different from the MCU version of the character. Introduced in 1964 as a reporter at the Daily Bugle, he was Peter Parker’s rival when it came to Betty Brant, eventually winning her affection. He is eventually brainwashed to become Hobgoblin, used in a deception plot, and through a web of lies is killed.

Jacob Batalon has played Ned Leeds in four MCU films and is Peter Parker’s best friend. It is no surprise he is listed in the cast for No Way Home. However, could this be the last time we see Ned Leeds in the MCU? In the trailer for No Way Home, we do see Ned in the beginning, before Dr. Strange performs the spell. Following that we do not see Ned in the remainder of the trailer. Peter does bring up Ned during the spell, worried his best friend will forget he is Spider-Man.

Recent social media pictures showing a much leaner Batalon lead us to wonder what his role in No Way Home will be following Strange’s meddling. Could Ned be brainwashed by one of the multiverse villains and then become Hobgoblin and be killed? Will he actually forget that Peter is Spider-Man and through a side plot become Hobgoblin? Both would be great emotional struggles for the protagonist in any film, so it earns the second spot for the possible sixth member.

Kraven the Hunter

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Kraven is exactly what his name says, a hunter. He is an expert tracker and is always out to get exotic game, hence his obsession with Spider-Man. Showing up in the comics in 1964, Kraven is part of the original Sinister Six and always seems to pop up on the team from time to time.

Back in May, it was revealed that Aaron Taylor-Johnson would play Kraven the Hunter in a solo movie, slated for a 2023 release. From that casting, it was reported via FandomWire that Kraven will appear in No Way Home. While nothing has been confirmed by Sony officially, this could be a good place in the story to introduce the character. If it were to happen, it most likely would be an after-credit scene to tease the solo film.

“Hard to Imagine”

Vulture

Spider-Man: Homecoming - Michael Keaton
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Also part of the original team of six, Vulture showed up in the comics one issue before Doc Ock. With the ability to fly and a genius IQ, Vulture, AKA Adrian Toomes, was always a thorn in the side of Spider-Man. He has been a member of most of the Sinister team-ups, including the Sinister Twelve and the Superior Six.

Michael Keaton is always fun to watch on screen, and Spider-Man: Homecoming was no different. He was great as Vulture/Toomes and after his conversation with Scorpion in the after-credits scene, it could be a possibility that he shows himself again. However, because he was less than willing to reveal Spider-Man’s true identity, the chance he joins with this version of the Sinister Six is slim, though not zero. We would love to see Keaton in another MCU film.

Shocker

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Shocker is constant pain in Spider-Man’s backside. He is a skilled engineer and developed gauntlets that deliver electrical shocks to his victims. He showed up in Spider-Man comics in 1967 and has been a member of the Sinister Seven, Twelve, and multiple Sinister Six teams.

In Spider-Man: Homecoming Bokeem Woodbine plays Herman Schultz, who is a member of Vulture’s crew. He actually killed the original user of the gauntlet and was dubbed the Shocker by Keaton in the film. This version of Shocker’s gauntlet was actually designed by the MCU’s version of the Tinkerer and stolen by one of Peter’s classmates after Schultz was arrested. This makes it highly unlikely that Woodbine will return as Shocker and it is more likely that he was a slight Easter egg for the MCU. While you should never say never, this character’s story might be fully told.

Rhino

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

If you are a TMNT fan then this analogy might help; Rhino is basically the Bebop and Rocksteady of the Marvel universe. Debuting in 1966, he is a Russian thug who was altered by scientists and given the abilities of a Rhino. He was a member of one iteration of the Sinister Six in the comics. That team did include Doc Ock, Electro, and Sandman though.

Paul Giamatti’s appearance as Rhino was very short in Amazing Spider-Man 2, and he did not show up as Rhino until the very end. Unlike the genetically altered comics version, this Rhino was gifted a mech suit by Harry Osborn, and that was the last we saw of the character.

The next Andrew Garfield film was scrapped. Had it been made, we would have probably gotten a Sinister Six film since the after-credits scene from Amazing Spider-Man 2 teased the villain group. Despite the connection to other characters on this list and the fact that this rendition of Rhino was so far off from the comics in every single way, no fans are clamoring for Giamatti’s return.

“Longest Shots”

Mysterio

Mysterio Spider-Man Far From Home
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Mysterio, another founding member of the Sinister Six, was a criminal, stuntman, and special effects artist in the comics. Hitting his first panel in 1964, Quentin Beck’s motivation was revenge against Spider-Man, after the hero foiled one of his schemes. Mysterio was always after the web-slinger, which is probably why he was a part of almost every early Sinister team up.

In 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jake Gyllenhaal gave a good but not great performance. His character, who dies at the end of the film, is a former Stark employee bent more on revenge and sullying Stark’s name than being a Spider-Man villain. Parker, for this version of Beck, was more a means to an end. However, Gyllenhaal did reveal the identity of Spider-Man while framing the hero for his death. Mysterio is an expert at sleight-of-hand so he could have faked his own death still and show up in No Way Home.

The other curveball that could be thrown our way is Bruce Campbell showing up as Mysterio. Rumors have always been thrown around that Campbell, who appeared in all three Sam Raimi Spider-Man films as different characters, was in fact the master illusionist tailing Peter Parker. While Campbell has always denied this in numerous interviews, it is no secret that there is a strong working relationship between Raimi and Campbell. There has also been speculation that he will show up in Raimi’s Dr. Strange sequel, The Multiverse of Madness. While it certainly would be fun to have Campbell play Mysterio, he does not seem like the right fit for this Spider-Man franchise.

Venom

Venom
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Venom is one of the most infamous Spider-Man villains of the modern era,  first showing up in the comics in the 1980s. An alien symbiote who likes to feed on anything alive, he attached himself to reporter Eddie Brock giving him superhuman abilities. As mentioned above he was once attached to Scorpion, where he joined the Sinister Twelve. He has also been a member of one of the versions of the Sinister Six.

Tom Hardy portrayed Eddie Brock’s version of Venom in the $855 million 2018 blockbuster film. The sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage is slated for an October 1st release date, just two and a half months prior to No Way Home. While Sony has been adamant that Venom and Spidey will not be teaming up anytime soon, in an interview with Variety, Sony executive Sanford Pantich revealed that it will eventually happen. Sure it would be cool if the two met (even Tom Hardy wants it to happen), but this is not when it will happen. We are pretty confident about that.

Shriek

Courtesy of Marvel Comics

Shriek is a mutant who has the ability to manipulate soundwaves. She shows up in the Maximum Carnage run in 1993 and was also a member of the Sinister Sixteen, a short-lived crew. Naomie Harris will portray Shriek in Venom: Let There Be Carnage alongside Tom Hardy. It has yet to be seen if she will be playing the traditional mutant version of the character. Since she is appearing in a Venom movie it is highly unlikely that she will show up in a Spider-Man film anytime soon.

Morbius

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Morbius is not a traditional Spider-Man villain. He first appeared in 1971 after succumbing to vampirism while trying to cure a blood disease. Morbius and Spider-Man only crossed paths in relation to the cure for vampirism. Morbius has never been a member of any Sinister team-up.

In 2022 we will meet Jared Leto’s Morbius for the first time. The film was delayed and so it could be said that in the timeline Morbius is supposed to be before No Way Home. Also, in the trailer for Morbius, we do see Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes. Could this be Vulture trying to recruit Morbius into the Sinister Six? Highly unlikely since Morbius has never been a part of the Sinister Six.

Carnage

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

Carnage is an evil symbiote and the main antagonist in the comic run Maximum Carnage. A product of the ’90s, Carnage is the main Venom villain. Attached to a criminally insane killer, Carnage is always dangerous to have around. Carnage has never been a member of any Sinister team up and usually only cares about himself. Woody Harrelson will portray Carnage/Cletus Casady and star alongside Tom Hardy and Naomie Harris in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. While there is pretty much a zero chance of this happening, it is a fun one to speculate.

“Not A Chance”

There is only one character deserving of this section and it is actually a repeat from above. The Topher Grace version of Eddie Brock/Venom. Let’s pretend he was never Venom. It, however, would be unfitting to not add him here with most of the other Raimiverse villains showing up on the list. Still, we will be glad when it is 100% confirmed this is not happening.

Diary of a Fanboy

As writers, we all have our opinions. Here at Nerd Reactor, it is no different. John Nguyen, Nerd Reactor himself, hopes we do get to see Scorpion because of the story connection. John was also very excited at the thought of Kraven the Hunter showing up. Perhaps both will appear.

I think Keaton would be amazing to see in this film. Having him interact with Molina and Defoe would be priceless. Seeing Ned play out the Hobgoblin story arc would certainly be good for the character and the actor. I could see an actor like Defoe have a one-off in this film and Ned takes up the mantle of Green Goblin to become Hobgoblin.

As we have seen with MCU films in the past, keeping to the comic story arcs does not always happen. Could we see one of the confirmed villains die and two from the list emerge as new members of the Sinister Six? Will we even get a Sinister Six? We would like to hope so seeing as all signs point to it. The next trailer could reveal more that can lead to names on this list being crossed off. We also may just have to wait until December 17th. Until then, have fun speculating with us. Let us know what your theories are for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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