Spider-Man: No Way Home had a lot of hype building up towards its release. From the moment the first information came out about the film, fans knew they were in for a treat. Villains from previous installments, including Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, were going to be back after over a decade since their original debut, to go up against Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
Among the returning villains was Jamie Foxx’s Electro. The difference between him and the returning Raimi villains, however, is that while they were universally loved, the same couldn’t be said for the electric blue baddie.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a highly-criticized movie, and Foxx’s take on the iconic Spidey villain was among the many negatives brought up by viewers. For those that have seen No Way Home, it’s clear even the filmmakers behind the project knew they had to make some changes. Out of the entire cast, Electro was probably the most different from his original take.
Now, a VFX Supervisor on the film has revealed the steps they took to make sure they didn’t end up overpowering the villain during their complete overhaul of the character.
Avoiding Overpowering Electro
In an interview, artist Brendan Seals, the Visual Effects Supervisor for the Melbourne Luma Pictures Offical, revealed how Marvel Studios and their VFX team worked together to avoid overpowering Jamie Foxx’s Electro in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Specifically noting Electro’s introduction during his brief scuttle with Spidey near the powerlines, Seals said how it’s important “to be mindful” not to make the villain so strong, which can happen with a “lack of constraints,” that it would feel like Spider-Man has “no hope of beating him:”
“You’ve got to be mindful in the design process that you don’t come up with so many abilities or lack of constraints that it seems like Spider-Man would have just no hope of beating him. In other words, Electro can’t move too far away from the power lines because then he won’t have his power source any longer. So he was, in a way, tethered to those power lines, meaning he couldn’t go as far as Spider-Man could.”
Giving Spider-Man a Chance
It’s interesting to hear these details about how the designers intended Jamie Foxx’s Electro to be tethered to various power sources. Those power lines in his introduction scene are specifically mentioned as an example, but that didn’t really come off as a limitation to the general audience.
It didn’t seem that he was specifically tied to those lines, or that he was substantially less powerful off of them. After all, he still had respectable powers even after getting away from them.
That said, his situation in the final act came across as they intended. While Electro still had power without the Arc Reactor, the device very clearly gave Electro an extreme amount of power—an advantage which would be lost if it was snatched away, as it was shortly before he was cured.
A big example of this design mentality in another Marvel Studios film is during Avengers: Infinity War where, despite Thanos’ world-ending powers thanks to the stones, he had to very specifically close his fist (or snap at the end) to make use of anything of them.
This is not a limitation he has in the comics, but on screen, it led to some extremely fun and well-orchestrated sequences—the best example being the battle on Titan. It also provided just a little hope in a nearly hopeless situation.
Spider-Man: No Way Home releases digitally on March 16.