Casting suggestions for Spider-Man 4's vinyl-suit-clad feline femme fatale, Black Cat, are being thrown around like confetti at the moment.
She's a shady character, hidden behind a gigantic shock of white-blonde hair, who arrives boasting an abandoned one-time romance with our web-slinging protagonist.
So basically, the contenders must be plausible as a former squeeze of the 34-year-old Mr Maguire, be able to carry off that wacky enormo-wig, and be a dab hand at rearranging criminal faces.
Naturally, we saw this challenge as a soft excuse to look at loads of hot pictur-...no, wait, to consider the relative merits of some likely leading ladies. In an not-at-all superficial way. At all.
Anyway, for your perusal, 18 stellar names we reckon could get the job done...
The Actor: Asia Argento
Purr: A proper tough cookie. Knows a thing or two about working with (indeed, living with) seasoned horror directors. Can probably run, jump and miaow better than a real cat.
Hiss: Looks too much like she might have superpowers for real; the Felicia Hardy bits could be unconvincing. Might look profoundly odd with a huge platinum weave.
Vinyl Score: Not exactly the longest leading lady out there, but a whip-like 6 out of 10 nontheless.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Only 3 lives out of 9, sadly.
Next: Anne Hathaway[page-break]
The Actor: Anne Hathaway
Purr: Seems to radiate the perfect balance of maturity and mischief. Pretty good box office pull. Pretty good pull for Spidey, too, frankly.
Hiss: Lacks experience in the action hero field. Doesn’t look as though she could beat up more than a couple of hundred goons without getting tired.
Will She Look Good In Vinyl? Basically, yes. 8.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Typecasting may be her downfall, we fear. 5 lives out of 9.
Next: Rachel McAdams[page-break]
The Actor: Rachel McAdams
Purr: Started to veer a little closer to action roles of late, largely thanks to the punchy comic book stylings of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and her femme fatale role. Sultry to smiley in the blink of a costume change.
Hiss: Looks at risk of blowing away in the next stiff breeze. Which is presumably why she still hasn’t done any hoodlum thumping before.
Vinyl Score: An inappropriately willowy 5.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? We don’t reckon this’ll be the one that gets the cream. 4 lives out of 9.
Next: Maggie Gyllenhaal[page-break]
The Actor: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Purr: Effortlessly breaks six foot in heels - see that silhouette and quake, criminal underworld! Exemplified the chameleonic nice/naughty thing in Secretary, too.
Hiss: Her only real experience in superhero world is The Dark Knight. And she kept getting offended, throw out of windows etc. May lack claws, we feel.
Vinyl Score: An impressively solid 7.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Fairly likely to land on her feet if she tried it. 7 lives out of 9..
Next: Jennifer Garner[page-break]
The Actor: Jennifer Garner
Purr: Kicked more ass than a short-tempered donkey-herder in Elektra. Very handy at physical stuff in general. Perfect age to be a Maguire ex.
Hiss: Besides the fact that she’s been an on-screen action woman already, not too many.
Vinyl Score: An intimidating 8.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Making the jump from one needlessly snug hero costume to another is almost unheard of. 2 lives out of 9.
Next: Rose McGowan[page-break]
The Actor: Rose McGowan
Purr: Has a modicum of higher-octane stuff under her belt, thanks largely to the two Grindhouse fi. Suitably feline features.
Hiss: About the size of a golf club. Looks infinitely more comfortable as a brunette.
Vinyl Score: A compact but bijou 5.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? She’s had sort of a weird couple of years, to be honest, and doesn’t quite appear ready just yet. 4 lives left.
Next: Natalie Portman[page-break]
The Actor: Natalie Portman
Purr: Has V For Vendetta on her CV. Revealed a hitherto-cloaked ability to look eye-poppingly edgy in a recent rockabilly-styled mag shoot.
Hiss: Still a bit too slight to set the bad guys a-tremble. Always manages to look younger than she is on screen, despite being within range for the role.
Vinyl Score: A coltish 6.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? A dark horse for Black Cat, say we. 6 lives left.
Next: Scarlett Johansson[page-break]
The Actor: Scarlett Johansson
Purr: Box office catnip. Looks as though she could probably pack an impressive wallop. Equipped herself admirably as Octopus apologist in The Spirit.
Hiss: A bit on the young side, if we’re being absolute sticklers for realism. Although, y’know, perhaps exceptions aren’t always a bad thing...
Vinyl Score:: Can we do a Nigel Tufnel, and make this one go up to 11?
Cat In Hell’s Chance? If she was actually up for it, nobody else would stand a snowball in hell’s chance. Quite unlikely, of course, but blind optimism prevents us from awarding anything lower than 8 lives left.
Next: Eva Mendes[page-break]
The Actor: Eva Mendes
Purr: Stacks of skirmishing skill, thanks to thug-crunching turns in 2 Fast 2 Furious, Ghost Rider, The Spirit...
Hiss: Seems to have drifted into rather less smack-happy waters with post-Spirit projects - perhaps she’s started to mellow a little? Can’t be having that. May also struggle with the albino quiff.
Vinyl Score: A ferociously feline 8.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? A fairly reasonable shout on balance, but somehow we just don’t see it. 5 lives left.
Next: Jessica Biel[page-break]
The Actor: Jessica Biel
Purr:Blade: Trinity, Stealth and the forthcoming A-Team movie should all have given her a solid grounding in more rambunctious fare. Doesn’t come across as a pushover, by any means.
Hiss: Despite the distance she’s come in recent years, there’s always the risk of that squeaky-clean image lingering in the background for those of us with long memories.
Vinyl Score: Would very probably look as though she’d never worn anything else, and never should. 9.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Might lack enough of that crucial wildcat snarl. 4 lives left.
Next: Malin Akerman[page-break]
The Actor: Malin Akerman
Purr: Showed us precisely why she was a shoo-in for this list with her scene-stealing turn in Watchmen. Naturally blonde, so no problems with that preposterous Black Cat barnet.
Hiss: Despite baddie-pounding with aplomb as the Silk Spectre, hasn’t really done much else to convince us she’s a born actioner. Presumably keen to avoid taking an overly similar role, too.
Vinyl Score: An effortlessly rubbery 7.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? She’s almost too obvious a choice right off the back of Watchmen, so it won’t happen. 3 lives left.
Next: Angelina Jolie[page-break]
The Actor: Angelina Jolie
Purr: Bags of athletic adventures to recite from, and arguably the most feline features in Tinseltown today. Plus it’s Angelina Jolie, ferchrissakes - we won’t be calling on any witnesses here, m’lud.
Hiss: Err...we might sort of ‘miss’ the rest of the film?
Vinyl Score: We pity the fool who tries to play devil’s advocate here. 10, obviously.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Hard to escape the feeling that it would weirdly skew the whole franchise, never mind the film itself. Sadly unlikely; 1 lives left.
Next: Carey Mulligan[page-break]
The Actor: Carey Mulligan
Purr: Hooray for home-grown talent! Also, if we’re allowed to give our goggle-eyed inner teenagers a brutal reality check, large chunks of this list do kinda feel overly familiar. Mulligan is cautiously emerging as a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Hiss: Let’s face it though, she’d be a spectacularly controversial choice. Somehow seems better suited to a Mary Jane sort of role, in all honesty. Besides, she’s really far too young. Maybe Spider-Man 5 then, eh?
Vinyl Score: A bit of a mystery. Which actally piques our interest all the more, but we’d better go with a safe 6 for now.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? We’d really like to think so. But no. 1 life left.
Next: Uma Thurman[page-break]
The Actor: Uma Thurman
Purr: Could clearly pummel seven bells out of anyone idiotic enough to step to her. Actually looks far more like the character from the original comic books than anyone else we can think of. Plus she’s just, y’know, implausibly awesome.
Hiss: If poor Peter Parker really had broken up with her at some point in the past, she’d have eaten him for breakfast. Despite there only being five years’ difference, Tobey Maguire just doesn’t have that ‘older woman’ look about him.
Vinyl Score: A statuesque 9.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Don’t see why not, and it’d make us grin like Cheshire Cats. 8 lives left.
Next: Rhona Mitra[page-break]
The Actor: Rhona Mitra
Purr:Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Skinwalkers, Spartacus, Beowulf...yep, this one knows the territory. Also, British! A veritable tsunami of instant bonus points, obviously. Because we’re that shallow.
Hiss: Don’t really see her as a platinum blonde sorta woman - there's a very good reason why she got the gig as live action model for the Tomb Raider games, and it involves lots of words like ‘sultry’.
Vinyl Score: An effortlessly distracting 8.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? You’d get no argument from us, regardless of how risibly wiggy the wig looked. We still can’t go any higher than 7 lives left, though. Sigh.
Next: Kate Beckinsale[page-break]
The Actor: Kate Beckinsale
Purr: Another English entry! And another one with more horror/fantasy/general comic brawling experience (Underworld, Van Helsing, Whiteout) than you could shake a whole bunch of fists at! We’re doing well here, us plucky islanders.
Hiss: We can’t really think of a hiss. WE CAN’T REALLY THINK OF A HISS!
Vinyl Score: Abso-fricken-lutely. 8.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Quick, everyone down the bookies! 9 lives left.
Next: Rie Rasmussen[page-break]
The Actor: Rie Rasmussen
Purr: We’re essentially basing this entirely on Angel-A, as she was unswervingly mesmeric in every scene. Largely because Luc Besson pretended she was about 12’ tall. (She’s only actually about 10’.)
Hiss: What she has done has been fairly solid, but let’s face facts - you couldn’t wrap a stick of gum in her filmography, so Raimi would be wheeling her in as more of an eye-catching curio than anything.
Vinyl Score: They’d have to increase the vinyl budget by about 50%, but you’d be unlikely to hear anyone outside the costume department protesting. A towering 10.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? Probably a bit of a furball, in truth. 2 lives left.
Next: Christina Ricci[page-break]
The Score: Christina Ricci
Purr: Easily intriguing enough a personality to be a masked crusader in real life. Does a great line in the sort of withering sarcasm that could strip paint at 50 paces. Recently showed a worryingly animalistic side in Black Snake Moan.
Hiss: So very, very wee. Also, there’s a distinctly cherubic vibe - albeit a twisted one - to her, which clashes somewhat with the black catsuit.
Vinyl Bonus: A rarely flaunted 7.
Cat In Hell’s Chance? We’re going to stick our collective neck out and say that, despite the fact they might have to make two sets of differently sized props, she’d sink her claws in brilliantly. 7 lives left.
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