Okay, so I've noticed something of a trend. Every Academy Awards ceremony from the past 10 years has had at least one nominee in either the Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor category who went on to be cast in a major superhero film. 1997 - Peter Fonda; Best Actor for "Ulee's Gold," Mephisto in Ghost Rider 1998 - Ian McKellen; Best Actor for "Gods & Monsters," Magneto in X-Men Nick Nolte; Best Actor for "Affliction," Absorbing Man in Hulk Edward Norton; Best Actor for "American History X," Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. 1999 - Kevin Spacey; Best Actor for "American Beauty," Lex Luthor in Superman Returns. Michael Caine; Best Supporting Actor for "The Cider House Rules," Alfred in Batman Begins. Michael Clarke Duncan; Best Supporting Actor for "The Green Mile," Kingpin in Daredevil. 2000 - Jeff Bridges; Best Supporting Actor for "The Contender," Obadiah Stane (Iron Monger) in Iron Man. Willem Dafoe; Best Supporting Actor for "Shadow of the Vampire," Green Goblin in Spider-Man. 2001 - Tom Wilkinson; Best Actor for "In the Bedroom," Carmine Falcone in Batman Begins. Ben Kingsley; Best Supporting Actor for "Sexy Beast," The Vulture in the original Spider-Man 3. (Cast, but character replaced by Venom). 2002 - Nicholas Cage; Best Actor for "Adaptation," Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider. 2003 - Ken Watanabe; Best Supporting Actor for "The Last Samurai," decoy R'as al Ghul in Batman Begins. 2004 - Morgan Freenman; Best Supporting Actor for "Million Dollar Baby," Lucius Fox in Batman Begins. Thomas Haden Church; Best Supporting Actor for "Sideways," Sandman in Spider-Man 3. 2005 - Terrence Howard; Best Actor for "Hustle & Flow," Jim Rhodes (War Machine) in Iron Man. Heath Ledger; Best Actor for "Brokeback Mountain," The Joker in The Dark Knight. William Hurt; Best Supporting Actor for "A History of Violence," Gen. Thunderbolt Ross in The Incredible Hulk. 2006 - Jackie Earle Haley; Best Supporting Actor for "Little Children," Rorschach in Watchmen. .... Now, 2006 is kind of iffy, since Watchmen is definitely in a different category than the other "superhero movies" I listed, but there's been less time to cast guys from that crop of nominees. The point I'm trying to make is that this isn't coincidence. Studios deliberately try to cast their superhero films with Oscar-nominated actors, particularly guys who were nominated just prior to their casting (i.e. Ian McKellen, Willem Dafoe, Ken Watanabe, Thomas Haden Church, Terrence Howard, Heath Ledger, William Hurt). So I'm trying to pose these questions: Do you guys think this trend will continue? And if so, who from either the 2006 crop of Oscar nominees, of the 2007 crop of LIKELY Oscar nominees, do we see getting major roles in future superhero movies... and of course, from the title and the thread it was posted in, we're concerned CHIEFLY with Spider-Man villains. But if a guy just shouts that he needs to be cast as someone who isn't a villain, or a character in a different movie, feel free to say so. Now, just as a refresher, this the 2006 crop of guys: Forest Whitaker for "Last King of Scotland" Leonardo DiCaprio for "Blood Diamond" Ryan Gosling for "Half Nelson" Peter O'Toole for "Venus" Will Smith for "Pursuit of Happyness" Alan Arkin for "Little Miss Sunshine" Djimon Honsou for "Blood Diamond" Eddie Murphy for "Dreamgirls" Mark Whalberg for "The Departed" And here are the guys who have generated the most potential Oscar buzz: Daniel Day-Lewis for "There Will Be Blood" Johnny Depp for "Sweeney Todd" George Clooney for "Michael Clayton" James MacAvoy for "Atonement" Denzel Washington for "American Gangster" Tom Hanks for "Charlie Wilson's War" Viggo Mortensen for "Eastern Promises" Ryan Gosling for "Lars and the Real Girl" Frank Langella for "Started Out in the Evening" Emile Hirsch for "Into the Wild" Jack Nicholson for "The Bucket List" Mathieu Amalric for "The Diving Bell & The Butterfly" John Cusack for "Grace is Gone" Phillip Seymour Hoffman for "The Savages" and "Charlie Wilson's War" Casey Affleck for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" Javier Bardem for "No Country for Old Men" John Travolta for "Hairspray" Tom Wilkinson for "Michael Clayton" Hal Holbrook for "Into the Wild" Max von Sydow for "The Diving Bell & The Butterfly" Paul Dano for "There Will Be Blood" Russell Crowe for "American Gangster" Ben Foster for "3:10 to Yuma" Michael Cera for "Juno" Ethan Hawke for "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" ... My thoughts? Look out for Javier Bardem, Daniel Day-Lewis (though he may be turned off by the idea of doing a big-budget superhero movie), Ryan Gosling, Viggo Mortsensen, and Ben Foster. Though Foster is a longshot for a nod this year, expect him to be back in the game next year and the year after that, certainly in time enough for serious consideration as Electro by the time Spider-Man 5 or 6 rolls around. Don't count out Casey Affleck or Phillip Seymour Hoffman either. I'm predicting that both Javier Bardem and his No Country costar Josh Brolin (who won't be nominated for anything, but had a big year regardless) will be strong contenders to snag the role of Kraven in Spider-Man 4. But enough about my predictions. Thoughts, anyone?