There's been a lot of heated discussion lately as to who should don the webby red and blue. Not surprisingly, Sony wasn't really paying attention to any of it, and stuck with their final five candidates. While Drew McWeeny at HitFix heard Josh Hutcherson was very, very close to becoming the new Peter Parker, Bleeding Cool reports that Sony and Marc Webb have settled on Jamie Bell. We're trying to get an official confirmation from Sony, so stay tuned.

I think Bell is a surprising choice. He's certainly the biggest name of the bunch, and a very good actor, but his performances tend to lean towards the intense and angry. Even when he's playing a quiet secondary character, Bell is just burning up with something. It's his gift as an actor. Perhaps that's the right attitude for great power and responsibility, but Parker is supposed to be awkward, nerdy, and an unlikely hero.

It's also strange to see Sony go for one of their older picks. Remember, this Spider-Man is supposed to be set entirely in high school, and Bell is 24. He certainly looks young for his age now, but so did Tobey Maguire (who still doesn't look his age.) If Sony is aiming for another trilogy, won't they run into the same problem they did with Maguire, and have an actor who is far too mature to be believable as a teenager? He's likely to be 30 by the end of the story, or close to it.

As I said, without official confirmation all protests feel a bit too much. But what do you think of Bell as Spider-Man? Are you up in arms he's not even American? (That's sarcasm.)

UPDATE: Sony has told us that they are officially not commenting on this, which means they did not deny it, so ...