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Spider-Man 4 has been beset by rumor and delay of late, most of which seems to center around the villain for the piece. Director Sam Raimi reportedly hated the last script draft, and wants to hinge the film on classic bad guy the Vulture. Sony has been said to want any other character as the antagonist.

And in the midst of all this, John Malkovich was reportedly cast, or at least eyed for the Vulture. Now he’s told an Italian sports show (of all things) that he’s waiting for a new draft of the script, which would seem to suggest that he is on board in some capacity. At least for now.

Malkovich didn’t refer to his character by name, but as BadTaste.it reports, he said that filming has been delayed and he’s waiting for a new script, and hopes they’ll be shooting soon. Boilerplate stuff, sure, but that’s confirmation that he’s been involved up until this point. And while there was also the story that Anne Hathaway was mixed up in the film as a character called the Vulturess, remember that she’s apparently been nixed, and hopefully that character has gone away as well. But we don’t even know that for certain at the moment.

Malkovich has also stepped into the cast of Red, where he’ll replace John C. Reilly. Sad to see the latter go, but Malkovich keeps the cast’s high profile from sinking¬† — Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Mary Louise Parker, Brian Cox, Richard Dreyfus and more is a hell of a cast for an adaptation of a comic book most people know nothing about. Willis plays a retired black-ops guy who comes out of retirement to face down a group of younger killers. Malkovich will be one of Willis’ contemporaries, a retired CIA agent “who is erratic and paranoid that everyone is out to kill him and joins Willis in is quest to find out who wants them dead,” says THR. The part is written as comedy.

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