Twitter, ever a source of reliable information (ahem), has revealed an unexpected cameo in Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the follow up to this summer's blockbuster reboot of the superhero franchise. Jamie Foxx has been confirmed to play Electro in the sequel, but he may not be the only villain in the movie. Actor and stuntman Asim Ahmad (The Dark Knight) got roped into the following conversation on the social media service on December 10 (via JoBlo):
Ahmad could have denied Stefanie Levina's claim, or let it go entirely. Instead, he referred to the sequel's screenplay, and the size of the part. Later, he updated his official website with a straightforward statement: "Asim has joined the cast of The Amazing Spider-man 2 playing the role of Professor Michael Morbius, to be released May 2, 2014."
Either he's committing career suicide with an outright lie (which seems hard to imagine, although stranger things have certainly happened), or he's actually playing Michael Morbius in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He elaborated on his statements more clearly afterwards, when asked if on Twitter if he was serious...
@marvel_freshman yep, not a big part mind you, but it's gonna be a blast.— Asim Ahmad (@asimaahmad) December 11, 2012
Morbius is a scientist who turns himself into a vampiric supervillain (and later anti-hero) in the Spider-Man comic books. His most famous appearance also involved a formula originally intended to cure Peter Parker of his powers, only to accidentally accelerate his mutation, giving the hero six arms (temporarily, of course).
Assuming this rumor is true (and it will continue to be a rumor until Sony officially comments, or until we actually see the danged movie), we believe that it's a small part. Asim Ahmad may be a talented guy, but he's not the kind of A-list talent Sony would normally seek to play a villain in a summer blockbuster. More likely, he's an incidental character with a few lines of dialogue whom the writer decided to give a familiar name as a bit of fan service. It's also possible, given that Asim Ahmad is credited as a stuntman and stunt coordinator more often than as an actor on IMDb, that the part will require a bit of stuntwork. It's commonplace for action movies to cast stuntpersons in minor roles that mostly require getting beat up or blown through windows. It saves money on extra actors and allows the director to keep the stuntperson's face in the frame to really sell the gag.
As for the title change to The Spectacular Spider-Man, it may just be speculation. Maybe it's just an idea being bandied about in development. If Asim Ahmad turns out to be playing Morbius after all, this may be an inside track, but until we hear it from a more reliable (or at least highly placed) source, try to imagine a grain of salt the size of a small continent. Now, take it.