Spider-Man 3's Thomas Haden Church as the Sandman
Discuss Thomas Haden Church
Thomas Haden Church lives his real life more like a
cowboy than a super villain. Before calling in a recent interview with
Wizard magazine he was actually driving cattle all day. Now that's the
kind of actor Hollywood needs to play a tough guy like the Sandman.
The Sandman character has always
struck me as an outsider, and an actor who works on a ranch definitely
fits that bill.
Church in a recent Wizard interview
let go of the following facts. The Sandman's general character is of a
isolated kind of guy, a 2007 kind of guy facing all the problems of
today's society. The Sandman is a normal guy dealing with extraordinary
circumstances the best way he can. The storylines between Venom and the
Sandman don't really intersect that much, a fact that Church says was
smart. One very interesting thing he said about movies in general, and I
totally agree, is that a movie starts and stops with the heart of a
character. Church actually didn't know who Sandman was, but was a huge
fan of the first two Spider-Man films.
Thomas Haden Church Facts
He was born June 17, 1960 in Texas.
He began his career as a radio dj.
Sam Raimi had tried to hire Church for another role in the movie "The
Gift" but studio execs insisted on Keanu Reeves.
Most folks probably remember him from
the 90's TV show "Wings" as Lowell Mather the mechanic. He was great on
that show. It was some real funny stuff. "Wings"
Superman the Animated Series voice Timothy Daly, and "Monk's"
He got his own show on Fox called, "Ned
and Stacey" where he played Ned Dorsey a man who gets a beautiful
woman to become his wife in exchange for a place to live to help him get
He does the voice of Brooks the Crow
in the new movie "Charlotte's Web".
He was the villain in the movie, "George of the Jungle".
The Sandman was created by Stan Lee
and Steve Dikto.
The Sandman almost always uses the alias Flint Marko, but his actual
name is William Baker.
The Sandman has the ability to
transform into a malleable sand-like substance which can be hardened,
dispersed, or shaped according to his will. Even if his body is blown
apart he is capable of reforming it.
Sandman Character Story
At the age of three, William Baker
was abandoned by his father and forced to live in poverty with his
mother. Throughout high school, William turned to theft and cheating to
get through class and to make ends meet at home. After accepting a
bribe, Baker was expelled from school and soon found work as a mob
enforcer. Under the alias Flint Marko, Baker became involved in more and
more illegal activity, and slowly developed a violent and bitter
personality. Eventually he ended up doing hard time on Ryker’s Island
for his dealings but managed to escape. Immediately after he fled to a
beach near Savannah, Georgia where he came into contact with sand that
had been irradiated by an experimental reactor. His body and the
radioactive sand bonded, and Marko’s molecular structure was altered
into a sand/dirt-like substance. Marko soon found that he could
transform any or all of his body into sand, and adopted the name Sandman
to match his new powers.
Marko clashed with Spider-Man for the first time at the school which the
hero attended as Peter Parker. Marko was defeated by Spider-Man (who
used a vacuum cleaner), but eventually resurfaced as a member of the
Sinister Six led by Doctor Octopus. After being soundly defeated by
Spider-Man several more times, Marko gave up and took a shot at battling
other superheroes. Most notably, he created the original Frightful Four
to combat the Fantastic Four, but his fledgling group of villains were
beaten by the experienced heroes.
Sandman eventually discovers that—starting with his hand—his body is
slowly transforming into glass, although he is able to reverse the
effect. Afterwards, he decides to resume his struggle with his original
adversary, Spider-Man, and allies himself with Hydro-Man to do battle
with their mutual enemy. The two briefly merge into an unintelligent and
largely ineffective mud monster, but split apart. Afterwards, Marko
becomes deeply depressed, and the Thing of the Fantastic Four supports
him, and encourages him to use his power in the name of good. Sandman
would then make sporadic appearances in various Spider-Man comics,
assisting his former enemy. The first such appearance had him coming to
the rescue of Spider-Man and Silver Sable, who were outnumbered and
surrounded by the Sinister Syndicate. Silver Sable is impressed by
Sandman's performance and recruits him as a freelance operative. Sandman
would also appear as part of the Outlaws, a group of reformed Spider-Man
enemies such as Prowler, Rocket Racer, Puma, and Will o' the Wisp, who
would turn up from time to time to help Spider-Man.
Flint briefly joins the Avengers as a reserve member. Later, he becomes
a full-time mercenary in the employ of Silver Sable, as a member of her
Wild Pack, serving alongside heroes such as Paladin and Battlestar.
He eventually reverts to his villainous ways, claiming to have faked his
heroic career, although it was revealed that the Wizard had used his
mind-controlling "Id Machine" to force him to act as a villain.
Sandman then rejoins a new incarnation of the Sinister Six, which is
working with one of Spider-Man's deadliest enemies, Venom. Venom reveals
that he had joined the team to make sure no one else kills Spider-Man,
and turns on the remaining five. Dealing with Marko, Venom rips off and
swallows a chunk of sand, which apparently destabilized Sandman's body
structure. His body slowly begins to crumble away. He blames Spider-Man,
but ultimately asks him to deliver a message to his mother. He also
expresses remorse that he could not pull off the task of becoming an
official superhero. The Sandman then crumbles to pieces and seems to
die, washing away down a sewer and ending up as part of Jones Beach, New
Sandman's body and mind scattered with the grains of sand. The major
part of his mind merges with the beach and begins swallowing people in
an attempt to piece himself back together. Spider-Man tries to free the
captured people from Sandman's beach consciousness, which is his evil
mindset, and succeeds when Marko explodes from too many clashing
mindsets. Soon the sand of the beach begins to spread to different areas
around New York, and all of the different aspects of Sandman's shattered
mind form individual beings - Marko's good side, evil side, feminine
side and childlike side. Spider-Man locates all of the different
versions of Sandman and attempts to convince them to return to one
being. Sandman's evil side merges with his child and feminine sides, but
Sandman's good side doesn't want to allow evil to become a part of him
again. The new Sandman responds by abandoning his good side completely,
which eventually crumbles into lifeless sand and blows away. While the
new Sandman is not the sadistic monstrosity that his purely evil side
was, he is a criminal and seems to lack any desire to become a hero or
Sandman is one of the villains recruited to recover the Identity Disc,
but is seemingly killed due to mutinous behaviour. At the series' end,
Sandman is revealed to be alive and working along with the Vulture to
manipulate the other villains.
According to Spider-Man: Chapter One by John Byrne, Marko is related to
the Osborn family. This has not been referred to by other writers.
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