Spider Man 2 Rhino Paul Giamatti

Behold Aleksei Sytsevich– a.k.a. The Rhino.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb tweeted this first image of Paul Giamatti as the thick-skinned villain, although it is obviously before the character is fitted with his ramming horn and armor that is surgically grafted to his radiation-enhanced body.

The Rhino is one of two — or possibly three — villains Andrew Garfield’s webslinger will face when the movie opens a year from now. He’ll also be contending with Jamie Foxx as Electro, a power line worker who suffers and accident that allows him to harness electricity at will. Dane Dehaan of Chronicle is also appearing in the movie as Harry Osborne, though it’s unclear whether he’ll take on the mantle of Green Goblin in this film.

Giamatti’s character is a Russian mafia thug who, unlike Electro, isn’t very bright — in every sense of the word. We don’t quite know what his backstory in the movie will be, but in the Marvel comics he agreed to be part of the Rhino grafting experiment because it seemed like a way to elevate his status in the criminal underworld.

The Sideways and John Adams actor gave an interview to ShowBizSpy nearly two years ago saying he wanted the part: “I thought Rhino was the greatest thing when I was a little kid. It was a guy who was basically in this rhinoceros outfit and I always thought, ‘Why don’t they have The Rhino in one of their movies,’ but maybe The Rhino wasn’t that big of a deal for anybody but me. … If they ever go with The Rhino I would be ready and waiting.”

The barbed wire on the forehead is a nice touch. There’s also tattoo writing on his arm, but it seems too fuzzy to read. Any readers happen to know what the symbols tattooed on his knuckles mean? My guess is not: “Be a Patient Driver.”

We’ll learn more when the movie opens May 2, 2014.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 142 minutes
  • Marc Webb