He's about to have one of the biggest roles of his career as this December'sDjango Unchained, but Jamie Foxx has already lined up a new role that may eclipse even that one. The comedian-turned-movie-star is reportedly in early talks to play the villain in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, reportedly as the hyper-electric baddie Electro.
According to Variety, the Electro character could be tied into the post-credits scene featured in this summer's The Amazing Spider-Man, which involved a mysterious man talking to that film's villain, Curt Connors, but with a lot of lightning flashing in the background. That connection seems like a stretch to me, but The Amazing Spider-Man took pains to set up a mythology that woudl likely expand into the next film, so whatever Electro winds up doing in the sequel, it should somehow be linked to the destruction caused by The Lizard in the first film.
As for Foxx, he's never had a role in a superhero film before, and since winning an Oscar for Ray in 2004, has taken on a diverse mix of comedies and action films, many of which would up as box office or critical disappointments (Miami Vice, Dreamgirls, The Kingdom, The Soloist, Law Abiding Citizen and Valentine's Day represent a pretty rough stretch of the mid to late 00s. But with Django Unchained on its way he's poised to establish himself as a top-flight talent once again, and his hiring for The Amazing Spider-Man might suggest there are truly great things waiting in that Tarantino-directed performance that nobody has officially seen yet. It's kind of amazing to think that a guy who got his start on In Living Color will now be menacing Peter Parker on the streets of New York, but surprises like that are what keep modern superhero movies interesting, after all.
[Who is Electro?]
Real name: Maxwell Dillon
Occupation: Professional criminal
Group affiliation: Sinister Six
Base of operations: Mobile
First appearance: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #8
History: High-wire lineman Maxwell Dillon was struck by lightning while in contact with power lines still connected to their spool. The unusually configured magnetic field generated by the wound spool of cable and live, high-tension wires induced a body-wide mutagenic change to his nervous system. Dillon found himself transformed into a living electrical capacitor, powered by the micro-fine rhythmic muscle contractions that normally regulate body temperature.
Adopting the gaudy garb of a so-called super-villain, the deranged Dillon sought to use his newfound power for personal gain. Electro's first and most frequent nemesis has been the wisecracking, web-slinging super hero known as Spider-Man. He also has battled the blind adventurer Daredevil, the star-spangled Super-Soldier Captain America and the fabled Fantastic Four. Generally, Dillon's criminal actions are governed by a desire for money or revenge.
Hoping to energize his campaign to smear Spider-Man's reputation, Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson surreptitiously secured Electro's supercharged services to battle the web-slinger on national television. Before an audience of millions, Spider-Man stood triumphant once more. Electro's extended string of ignominious defeats nearly came to an end when the world-weary villain, hungry for respect, attempted to deprive the entire city of power by drawing it into his body. Dillon almost killing himself as a result, again meeting defeat at the hands of Spider-Man.
Unable to best the wall-crawler on his own, Electro often has sought strength in numbers. Early in his career, he and five other members of Spider-Man's rogues gallery united under the leadership of Dr. Octopus -- brilliant, respected scientist turned tentacled terror. The inaugural incarnation of the Sinister Six also included the shifty Sandman; the illusion-casting Mysterio; the high-flying, lowdown Vulture; and Kraven the Hunter. The villains' master plan: Pummel the wall-crawler relentlessly until one of them managed to defeat him. The outcome: Spidey 6, bad guys 0.
Stinging from their initial failure, the Six stepped up their efforts. With the half-demon Hobgoblin standing in for Kraven, they planned to hold the world for ransom under a cloud of poison gas. Spider-Man was no match for the villains' collective might, but Dr. Octopus deserted Electro and the rest of team when he discovered he could sell the gas as a cure for cocaine addiction. Without Doc Ock's guidance, the Six easily were dispatched by Spider-Man. A subsequent scheme to destroy their treacherous leader ended when the rudderless rogues went their separate ways after failing to achieve their objective.
Height: 5 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 165 lbs.
Powers: Maxwell Dillon possesses the ability to generate electrostatic energy at a rate of about 1,000 volts per minute and store up to 1,000,000 volts. At 10 feet, his maximum charge is more than enough to kill a normal man. Electro is able to emit lightning arcs from his fingertips at speeds of up to 1,100 feet per second, achieving a maximum distance of about 100 feet. In addition, he can override electrically powered devices and manipulate them mentally. Apparently, Electro's powers also can disrupt Spider-Man's ability to cling to walls.