The Smythe family have a long history with Spider-Man, going all the way back to the late 1960s. Alistair is actually the son of the original slayer's creator, Spencer, who helped J. Jonah Jameson create the killing machines to rid New York of the menacing web-slinger.
Whether or not Novak will play a large role, or we will see the actual robotic, Spider-Man-hunting slayers in action remains to be seen. With The Rhino decked out in a mechanical suit, it's not out of the question that the suit's inventor would be included in the story. Perhaps he's featured there as a precursor to a future plotline where he eventually makes some robotic improvements…?
What do you think? Is this movie getting way too bulked up with characters and plotlines?