Last night, Beyoncé Knowles dropped her shock and awe operation on the world of entertainment by releasing a previously unannounced new album at the stroke of midnight. Not to be outdone by the music side of the business, Hollywood decided to get in on the action, with Sony Pictures dropping a movie bomb of its own. The studio behind The Amazing Spider-Man is going to expand and widen their Marvel cinematic Universe with two standalone spin-off franchises, the first being Venom, and the second a film that revolves exclusively around The Sinister Six.

Not much is known about how The Sinister Six will evolve and form itself into a standalone entity. What we do know is that it will tie into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Amazing Spider-Man 3, which are both being used to introduce these six master criminals. In this summer's sequel, we will get Rhino, Electro, and Goblin. And if we're to trust in the trailer's Easter Egg, we'll be getting Vulture and Doctor Octopus in 2016 with The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Not all of these characters are part of the original Sinister Six line-up, though. So just how fast and loose are they going to play with the source material? And just how much do you actually know about the Sinister Six? We've decided to break it down for you, just so you have some of the proper background on this ragtag team of social misfits. Most interesting thing is, they've never worked well as a team!

1 Doctor Octopus Organized the First Incarnation of the Sinister Six

Doc Ock

To have the Sinister Six, you have to have Doctor Octopus. And if The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer is any indication, he'll be one of two main villains in the next sequel, coming summer 2016. While no casting info has come forward, some speculate that B.J. Novak, who is playing an as-yet-unnamed doctor at OsCorp in the next installment, could actually be playing this bio-tentacled terror. Dr. Otto Gunther Octavius forms the Sinister Six after suffering three defeats at the hands of Spider-Man, the last of which sees the police successfully removing his tentacles. He uses his mental link with these mechanical limbs to break out of jail. After his escape, he contemplates all the ways he can finish off Peter Parker once and for all, and his best solution is to gather Spidey's most powerful foes. Like some wild party planner, he stretches his tentacles far and wide for support. But only six individuals with a grudge against the web slinger get back to him in a timely enough manner. Not on the initial roster is Lizard, who kicked off the rebooted The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012. Also not part of the original team are The Amazing Spider-Man 2's Rhino and Goblin. That may change, as Paul Giamatti has hinted he is involved in plans for the Sinister Six in past interviews. And we all know that Dane DeHaan, who plays Peter's best friend Harry Osborn, is along for the long haul. Will they keep him locked into The Amazing Spider-Man franchise, or will he headline his own? We don't know yet.

RELATED: Spider-Man Spinoff Sinister Six May Happen at Marvel

2 Original Line-Up Includes Doc Ock, Electro, Kraven, Mysterio, Sandman and Vulture

Sinister Six original line-up

When Doc Ock first assembles the Sinister Six, only these guys answered the call. If Goblin or Rhino had of heeded that early invitation, this could have very easily turned into the Sinister Seven (of which there was an incarnation at one point), or The Sinister Eight (there once was a Sinister 12). Over the years, the comic book has seen a number of different members come and go. Its entirely possible that Goblin will replace Kraven, maybe Venom is taking over for Mysterio, and who knows if Rhino will be around long enough to fill Sandman's shoes. All have been a part of the team at some point in the comic's history, and while Doctor Octopus was a longtime leader, Harry actually took over at one point. Maybe he'll go over the head of Doc Ock here, too. Its clear that they're not playing by any strict rules in terms of the source material. So its not yet clear just how much they'll stick to that initial incarnation, or how they will veer off in different directions (as there have been 10 different line-ups so far in Marvel's history with the operation). It should be noted that this team of villains is not easily held together, and at first, the mob decides to face Parker alone in a series of six different fights. Six fights and a gang bang climax sounds like a pretty cool structure for their solo adventure to us. What do you think?

3 Spider-Man Lost his Powers During The Formation of The Sinister Six

Spider-Man Loses his Powers

Peter Parker losing his powers is basically the synopsis of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2, although he only fights Doctor Octopus in this particular storyline. Also of note, it plays off the main plot of Superman III. So its safe to say this crucial throughline has been done before. And done well. But not in this particular rebooted universe. Could this be one of the main character arcs for Peter Parker as The Sinister Six comes together as a standalone movie? As the story goes, Peter lost his powers due to his own self-loathing and regret over the death of his Uncle Ben. It was during one of his more contemplative moments behind the mask, thinking about his hand in the fate of Ben's life, that he lost his balance and fell down the side of a building. He still suits up to face off against the Sinister Six despite his lack of powers, eventually gaining them back during his solo fight with Electro. He then goes onto battle the rest of the gang at full strength. Again, there's no telling if this detail of the plot will become part of the movie, but we think it should.

4 Daily Bugle Secretary Betsy Brandt Plays a Key Role In The First Sinister Six Attack

Besty Brandt

Way back in November of 2010, Zooey Deschanel was being eyed for the role of Daily Bugle boss J. Jonah Jameson's sexy personal assistant, Betsy Brandt in The Amazing Spider-Man, with John Slattery the top choice to play Jamison, himself. This element of the story was axed, and we haven't yet heard anything about either character appearing in this summer's sequel. Though there has been a pretty strong rumor that Jim Carrey will cameo as the character, which will be expanded in future movies. Who knows if Zooey Deschanel will still be cast in the part, though she's a perfect fit and worked with Marc Webb on his break through debut (500) Days of Summer as his leading lady. The one thing that's clear is this character will probably be introduced into the franchise soon, and she plays a key role in the execution of The Sinister Six's plan to kill Peter Parker, thus ending Spider-Man's heroic grip on Manhattan. This gang of miscreants has learned that Brandt plays an important role in Spider-Man's life. In the comics, the two are romantically linked, and she is actually Peter's first love interest. Will this franchise kill off Gwen Stacy and have Brandt move in as the new girl in Peter's life? They'll probably recast if that's the case, as Zooey Deschanel might appear to be a tad too old for Andrew Garfield, despite there only being a 3 year age difference between the two of them (we think it could still work). Betsy is kidnapped by The Sinister Six along with what Doc Ock assumes is an innocent bystander...Turns out, it's actually Aunt May! Which means Sally Field could continue to play an important, expanded part in this universe, which we like to hear. Both Betsy and May were held hostage and threatened with death if Peter didn't attempt to save them. There's a lot of fun to be had here, as Sally Field and Zooey Deschanel (a dream team in our opinion) could possible have to contend with the villains in their liar for an extended amount of time. We'd be into that.

5 Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) Helps Spider-Man Fight The Sinister Six

The Human Torch

Here's one thing that swings far from left field. In the original Sinister Six team-up against our friendly neighborhood web-slinger, Spidey had his own right-hand man in Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch. This member of Fantastic 4 heard about Peter Parker's dilemma, and came to his rescue..Sort of. Parker deemed the fight a purely personal one, and didn't want to see Johnny get hurt. So he kept his crime-fighting buddy on the sidelines as he continued to wage war against the supervillains. This would be a great way to cross-over the two franchises, and it would probably excite Marvel fans to no end to see this play out on the big screen. But alas, 20th Century Fox owns the rights to Johnny Storm, Human Torch and Fantastic 4, and they are in the process of launching their own extended Marvel universe that also includes the X-Men. A Spidey/Torch team-up on screen, however likely in the comics, will probably never happen on screen in our lifetime (but crazier things have happened).

6 Kraven and Mysterio Have Never Made a Live-Action Appearance


Right now, it looks like original Sinister Six members Kraven and Mysterio won't even be included in the movie, instead replaced by Lizard, Rhino and/or Goblin (already established characters). Which is disappointing, only in that it would be cool to see how these two characters look in the real world established by this reboot. Back in the Sam Raimi days, fans wanted Bruce Campbell to take on the role of Kraven, though he is far too old now. And no one's ever really been clamoring for Mysterio to make an appearance of any kind. He's also not the best choice for an established actor who wants his face seen on screen, as he wears a fogged-up dome most of the time. We seldom see Mysterio Cosplay at Cons, he's not on the top of any to-do list. It makes sense to have him replaced by a more iconic and popular villain like Venom. While the character has never appeared in any live action incarnation of the Marvel property, he has been featured on numerous versions of the cartoon series, and in a few of the video games. The closet he's come is having appeared in the video game based on 2004's Spider-Man 2. Kraven has also been featured in a number of the animated series, as well as the original movie tie-in video game...But he goes Mysterio one better! Kraven was actually seen live, on stage, in the Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, where he joined the Sinister Six after being mutilated by Goblin. Is it at all possible that the stand-alone movie will curb from this bomb of a Broadway disaster? Again, anything is possible (but we kind of doubt it).

So, now you know a little bit of the background on this group of super villains. Is it risky for Sony to place their bets on a standalone feature with bad guys as their main protagonists? Heck, yeah! That's why we like it. Are you excited by the potential this new franchise spin-off has? We certainly are.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange