Tuesday 10 February 2015

Casting Call: Spider-man

If you haven't heard by now, where've you been? Sony have struck a deal with the guys over at Marvel Studios for their most valuable property, Spider-man, to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near future.

That's right, the famous web-slinger will be going toe-to-toe with RDJ's Tony Stark and Chris Evans' Captain America - for realsies this time. It's thought that the new Spider-man will be another reboot that retools the character from the version seen in Marc Webb's divisive Amazing Spider-man series.

But, before we see we see any new Spidey action, there are certain bridges to cross - namely, who'll be playing Peter Parker himself (other than Andrew Garfield that is). Therefore, this post contains my thoughts on who should don the red and blue lycra for Spidey's latest foray to the big screen.

Logan Lerman

At 23 years old, Logan Lerman isn't too far removed from Peter Parker's high school origins - certainly closer than Andrew Garfield was when he took up the role in 2012 (Hint: he was 27 during filming).

He looks the part (handsome, but not still kinda baby-faced) and isn't a super famous actor that is going to be bigger than the character. He's appeared in a handful of acclaimed roles, such as David Ayer's Fury and Darren Aronofsky's Bible epic, Noah.

However, it's his performance in 2012's The Perks of Being a Wallflower that best qualify him for the role of Peter Parker - in what is his best role to date, Lerman played Charlie, a socially-awkward 'wallflower' that struggled to fit in around his peers at high school. Introverted and unable to express himself, Charlie begins to come out of his shell once he meets two seniors, Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), and before long he's all grown-up and found his voice.

It's this kind of arc that could be applied to a new Spider-man series - whilst I don't think we need to see Spidey's well-charted origins again, it would be great to see this gradual understanding of adulthood and responsibility grow naturally within Peter, something that I think The Amazing Spider-man series kind of bypassed.

Anyhow, Logan Lerman would be ace as Peter Parker. Marvel, get it done.

Dylan O'Brien

Like Lerman, O'Brien is another young adult adaptation alumni - whilst Lerman found his feet in the shaky Percy Jackson series, O'Brien burst onto screens in last year's actually quite decent Maze Runner adaptation.

He's a lot less proven that Lerman however - Maze Runner aside, he hasn't been in too much that tells us he'd be great for a summer tentpole like Spider-man. A cursory glance at his IMDB page shows The Internship (meh), 'Teen Wolf' (meh) and one episode of 'New Girl'.

Hmm, maybe not the strongest contender then.

That being said, he does have the looks - it's actually kinda spooky how similar he looks to Andrew Garfield don't you think? Plus, he was pretty good in the lead role of The Maze Runner - it wasn't great, but the series proved itself to be a semi-decent Hunger Games hopeful under his strong lead performance.

If Marvel/Sony are looking for a solid if uninspired choice, maybe O'Brien should be on that shortlist...

Josh Hutcherson

Okay, okay - I know how this looks. Essentially, I've just drawn up a list of hunky looking actors from young adults films and rambled about how they may fit into a new Spider-man film. None of these choices are particularly inspired - but, consider how Marvel will be looking at it. They're going to want someone known, popular and attractive to (re)reboot their most famous character for what will be the second time in less than a decade. Y'know, someone they can plonk into press junkets who'll banter about how old RDJ is or how much fun it is playing Spidey (kinda like Garfield, except they can't have him anymore).

That's why Josh Hutcherson (best known for this role as Peeta in The Hunger Games) would also fit the mould. Let's face it, the dude is out of a job now that shooting on the Lionsgate series is wrapped and he needs a new gig - would he fit into the Marvel universe? He's probably 'not geeky' enough for Peter Parker and is also kinda typecast as Peeta - I'm not sure audiences would see him as anyone else after The Hunger Games (a.k.a the Radcliffe syndrome). Still, not a bad choice and he's the right age too (22).

Honourable Mentions

If Marvel/Sony are heading down the hunky young white dude avenue (that's not a weird euphemism, I promise) then Australian actor Callan McAuliffe would be someone to consider - he's still only 20 and has a very small never of roles to his name, the largest of which is 'young Jay Gatsby' in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.

A Spider-man fancast wouldn't be complete without throwing Donald Glover's name into the mix (no matter how unlikely it may sound). Whilst there is no doubt in my mind it'd be awesome, I think that ship sailed a long, long time ago. Lastly, Connor Paolo is another name who sprung to mind.

What're your thoughts on the latest Spider-man news? Who would you like to see play Peter Parker? Let me know in the comments section below!


  1. I don't want another young Spiderman. I'd rather see him show up in the Marvelverse older and already established in his powers. I'd love to see Tobey Maguire reprise his role, but I doubt that will happen. I just don't think I can do origin story Spiderman again.

    1. Whilst that would be pretty cool, I think it's unlikely that's the route they'll take - Peter Parker has always been about a dorky high school kid and putting someone so young alongside the Avengers is probably what Marvel is looking to do. But yeah, another origin story would suck - we've seen it enough times to get the idea.

  2. I'll be very interested to see how this pans out...

  3. Nice list! I can't really see Hutcherson, as he lacks the Spidey-figure, but the others would work. Honestly, I don't think that Marvel can pull off ANOTHER Spiderman origin story. Brittani hit the nail on the head... He has to be well established!

    1. Thanks Tanner :) Yeah, completely agree about the origin story thing too - they should just pull an Incredible Hulk and cut to the chase after the opening credits. I don't know if Peter has to be 'well-established' (he should still be in college) but skipping high school wouldn't be such a bad idea :)

  4. I have to agree with Brittani, I think it's better that they have Spiderman an established character rather than starting another origin story. But whomever Marvel decide to cast, he's going to have big shoes to fill as the franchise isn't exactly in need of a reboot (the Tobey Maguire ones are still fresh, and Garfield just stepped off the role recently).

    1. Glad everyone is on the same page haha - Marvel take note ;) Origins should be confined to the opening credits - after that, fast-forward to an older and more mature Spider-man. Thanks for commenting!



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