The news for Spider-Man 4 / The Spidey Reboot has been chugging along pretty promisingly. But today comes a curious bit of casting that makes you wonder how overloaded this script might be.

THR’s Heat Vision reports that Spider-Man 4 has landed Campbell Scott and Julianne Nicholson for the unenviable role of Peter Parker’s parents. You know, the ones that died, and left him an orphan. Since Parker was defined by the sturdy life lessons of his aunt and uncle, it seems like a waste of time, talent, and money to work his parents into the narrative.  From what I understand, they don’t even factor into Brian M. Bendis’ Ultimate reboot which is what this movie allegedly draws on.

But an even bigger question mark is raised over the newest villain to the piece.  Look not at Spidey’s endless (and awesome) rogue’s gallery.  THR says they’ve cast Irrfan Khan in the dastardly role of Van Atter.  Who is Van Atter? What are his motives? Why must Spidey fight him? Damned if I know, as he’s not a character that exists in the comics. He may be a combination of a number of villains, but there’s no additional information from THR.

So there you go.  Spider-Man’s greatest battle may be with the ghosts of his parents…and Van Atter who preys on them. Or something.

 ETA: James Stewart in our comments and Badass Digest both point out that this could be Nels van Adder, the “Proto-Goblin” from one 1990s issue of Spider-Man. Discuss amongst yourselves.