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Jamie Foxx plays villainous fan-favourite Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is generating a lot of attention for its villains. But fans are especially excited about the presence of Electro – a fearsome foe played by Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx.

Created by Marvel godfather Stan Lee and legendary artist Steve Ditko, Electro first appeared in February 1964 in the ninth edition of The Amazing Spider-Man. So he's long been a fly in Spidey's proverbial ointment. However, he began life as an ordinary engineer named Max Dillon, who was irrevocably changed when lightning struck the power line on which he was working. Turning to a life of crime, he soon adopted the name Electro.

Now, we're sure fans already know this but just as a reminder of how popular Electro is, he was voted the 87th greatest comic book villain of all time in an IGN poll. The reasons for this are many-fold – for starters he's genuinely deadly, having one million volts of electricity at his fingertips, literally.

He's also long been an essential part of Marvel lore, having crossed paths with iconic Marvel characters from both inside and outside the Spider-Man universe. These include Magneto in the former camp and Doctor Octopus in the latter – in fact, Electro is a key component of villainous ensemble The Sinister Six, the origins of which are rumoured to play a part in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Add to this the depth that the filmmakers are reportedly bringing to the character. "I think with all of the Spider-Man villains there is a certain empathy to them," Jamie Foxx says. "The way we crafted Electro, when he's Max you definitely feel for him because he's been sort of shut out and no one really cares about him."

Little wonder that fans are so excited. It sounds like the film has stuck close to the essence of Electro whilst making Foxx' characterisation more visually arresting and dare one say it – sympathetic?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is released on 18 April 2014.