Rumors have being going crazy lately regarding who Spider-Man might be facing in his first solo outing back under Marvel's control. We have seen Scorpion, Vulture, and most recently Kraven as the big-name villains Marvel is possibly looking at. What we do know is that Marvel wants to use a villain we haven't seen on screen yet, which I think is a great decision. We have seen Green Goblin plenty of times so far. We had a good version of Doc Ock thanks to the wonderful Alfred Molina. We have seen Lizard, Sandman, Electro, Rhino, and Venom all as well. Thankfully, Spider-Man has one of the best rogues galleries out there. Let's take a look at a few villainous possibilities:
Mac Gargan started out as a private investigator. J. Jonah Jameson initially hires him to figure out how Peter Parker is able to get such good photos of Spider-Man. Eventually Jameson convinces Gargan to allow Dr. Farley Stillwell to experiment on him so that he can defeat Spider Man. Unfortunately the experiment overwhelms Gargan and he truly goes crazy, becoming the villain known as Scorpion. -Marvel's wikia page
Steven Strait is one actor I would love to see get a shot here. A native New Yorker, Strait has been on the cusp of a breakout for several years now. Perhaps a role in a Marvel film would push him into the spotlight. Another good choice I would like to see would be Josh Hartnett. I think he is a talented actor who deserves a good shot in a comic book movie. A role like this gives him that chance and could leave the door open for a return in a Sinister Six film down the road.
Herman Schultz is a career criminal who built a suit that could send out shockwaves to crack large safes and give him an advantage against police. Cocky and arrogant, he could be a formidable foe for a young Spider-Man.
Personally, I think it would be fun if they got Tobey Maguire to come in and play the role. I don't think that would be very likely, however. Mike Vogel or Cam Gigandet would be my alternate choices. They both have plenty of experience and would do the role justice.
Spencer Smythe was a brilliant roboticist and engineer. He built the original Spider Slayers at the request of J. Jonah Jameson to take out Spider-Man. He would later die due to radiation poisoning during an attempt to kill both Spider-Man and Jameson.
My casting choice here would either be Charles Dance or Sam Neill. Both carry a strong, older presence while still seeming young enough to be at work in a lab.
Spencer's son and successor in every way, Alistaire inherited his father's genius for robotics. He perfected the Spider Slayer design, even building a suit that would allow him to walk again. He blames Spider-Man and Jameson for his father's death and continues in his quest to punish the both of them.
I think that Joe Anderson or Aiden Turner would work very well in this role. Starting out as the son eager to please his father, either one could really portray the vengeful brooding nature Alistaire falls into after his father's death.
Sergei Kravinoff/Kraven the Hunter
Kravinoff was born into an aristocracy that had lost its importance. In an effort to reclaim his sense of nobility, he became the hunter Kraven, one of the world's greatest and most skilled hunters. He would be convinced by his half-brother, the villain Chameleon, to hunt Spider-Man in an effort to find a new sense of purpose in life. He is aided by a number of elixirs given to him by a jungle priestess that grant him the strength and speed of a savage beast.
For this role I think Timothy Olyphant or Oded Fehr would be great choices. They may not be the big name some people are looking for like a Gerard Butler, Joe Manganiello, or Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but they would be excellent in my opinion. Both have solid action experience under their belts and both carry themselves well. Given the opportunity I believe they would perform masterfully.
Born Dmitri Smerdyakov, the half-brother of Sergei Kravinhoff, Chameleon had a gift for impersonation at a young age. He was ultimately trained in the art of spy-craft by the Soviets. He relied on his skills and a mixture of costumes and make-up to conceal his identity. He wore a multi-pocket disguise vest in which he kept the materials he would need to mask himself at short notice.
Mads Mikkelson is who I would love to see in this role. He can play a brilliant villain. His work on Hannibal was absolutely wonderful. Viggo Mortensen would be a great choice here as well, though he could also work for the Kraven role. I would think either one of these two guys would be huge pickups by Marvel for a role that could come and go whenever needed.
I believe Scorpion or Kraven would provide the bigger, more physical danger for Spider-Man. Shocker could be an early threat in the film while one of the other two comes in a bit later. If you don't want to use Dr. Stillwell for Scorpion's origin, you could use Spencer Smythe, and introduce his son Alistair, as the creator of Scorpion's suit. If you don't want to use Shocker, Chameleon would be an excellent threat as well. He also works, since he could bring Kraven to New York himself, or even convince Jameson to hire him. A good combination of these characters would be a good early threat to Holland's Spider-Man without necessarily over-saturating the film.