The reboot's director, Marc Webb, presumably impressed Sony with his ability to capture teen and twenty-something angst in (500) Days of Summer, his first film as a filmmaker. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's nuanced performance had something to do with that perception, of course, but Webb proved adept at capturing the central character's emotional highs and lows through subtle, unobtrusive camera movement and shot composition. His abilities as a filmmaker will be put to the test with the Spider-Man reboot: in addition to getting believable, grounded performances from his cast, he'll have to handle complex, CG-heavy set pieces (with 3D cameras no less).
Earlier reports suggested Webb was leaning toward Jamie Bell, but Bell's age, 24, probably made Sony executives pause. While 24 isn't necessarily too old to play a high-school aged Peter Parker, it would be if you want to keep Parker in high school for another film or gradually age him up through two additional films. Assuming the Spider-Man reboot succeeds at the box office, and it's hard to make an argument that it won't, especially since it's being filmed in 3-D (rather than the much-maligned post-production conversion into 3D), the actors' ages, regardless of talent or suitability for the role, becomes increasingly important.
Based on the actors still in the running, Logan Lerman seems like the strongest contender. He showed some dramatic range in the underwhelming Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and his age (he's 18). As mentioned, Jamie Bell is 24; Anton Yelchin is 21; Andrew Garfield is almost 27, probably disqualifying him on age alone; and Aiden Ehrenreich is 21.
As we learned with the Captain America: The First Avenger casting, however, who we see as Peter Parker when Spider-Man hits multiplexes two years from now may not even be on the short list. Chris Evans, best known for his role as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films, came in at the last minute, tested for and won the role as Steve Rogers/Captain America.
We'll get a new Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but with production slated to begin by the end of the year, we may still have some waiting to do. Stay tuned to Cinematical for additional twists and turns in the Spider-Man reboot saga.
The Spider-Man reboot is scheduled to hit movie theaters on July 3rd, 2012.
So what do you think? Who would you pick from the short list? Or would you prefer another actor not on the short list to play Peter Parker/Spider-man? If so, who?