Rebooting "Spider-Man." A Mistake? And Who Should Be Peter Parker?

4/17/2010 Posted by Admin


Rebooting "Spider-Man." A Mistake? And Who Should Be Peter Parker?

By our guest blogger, Joel Crabtree

In January, it was widely reported that Sony and Sam Raimi had parted ways with the "Spider-Man" series. At that moment it occurred to me that the studio had just thrown away a multibillion-dollar franchise in favor of a reboot. It didn't make any sense to me in January, and it still doesn't now.

With the casting of "Captain America" out of the way, the rumor mill has turned to "Spider-Man." With "(500) Days of Summer" director Marc Webb on board, and a script from the incredibly talented James Vanderbilt, the only piece missing now is a cast.

Knowing that the franchise is moving in a younger direction (the new film will take place in high school), news sources have set their sights on teenage actors. To be honest, it feels a bit like NBA scouts at a Pee-Wee game — something about it just seems wrong.

All the same, the most recent rumor reported by IESB is that Josh Hutcherson ("Bridge to Terabithia," "Zathura") is in the running for the role.

Hutcherson, an incredibly talented young actor with a lengthy filmmography (especially at age 17), unfortunately just isn't cut out to be Spider-Man. His foremost problem is that he can't play a convincing nerd. Kind of crucial when you're looking to play Peter Parker.

Before Hutcherson, of course, HitFlix reported that "Percy Jackson's" Logan Lerman was "almost 100% locked" for the role. Obviously a day or so later that was proven false.

So, what have we learned from all this? Until the contract is signed, these casting rumors are just that. But it sure is fun to speculate. Here are some names that you might (or might not) hear tossed around for the role of Peter Parker:

Carter Jenkins: The definition of a lovable loser, Jenkins (18) is someone who should be considered the frontrunner for Peter Parker. The star of "Aliens in the Attic" had a supporting role in "Valentine's Day" earlier this year, playing an awkward teenager looking to become a "man," so to speak. It's a role that seems to come naturally to him — probably because he actually is an awkward teen, something that should work to his advantage for this role. Above all else, he's a smart actor, something the reboot could use.

Freddie Highmore: Highmore is the ultimate dark horse in the race. In fact, he's such a dark horse, he's not really even in the race, but he should be. Highmore's known mostly for his successful career as a child actor in films such as "Arthur and the Invisibles," "The Spiderwick Chornicles" and "August Rush." Now 18, "Spider-Man" could give him a chance to slowly transition into more mature roles. It could also be beneficial for Sony because of Highmore's surprisingly dedicated fan-base.

David Henrie: An outside choice, that's for sure, but anyone who has watched Henrie on "Wizards of Waverly Place" (pschhh ... not like I watch it religiously or anything) knows that he's a superstar waiting to break out. If cast, he would bring a new spin to Peter Parker. Henrie can be geeky and nerdy, but he also has charisma that would easily win over audiences. He can play cool, but more often than not Henrie's the butt of his own jokes — perfect for Peter Parker. "Spider-Man" would be a big step in his career, but you know, it might be an even bigger (and surprising) step for the franchise.

Michael Angarano: Sure, Angarano ("Sky High," "The Forbidden Kingdom") is a little older than the studio might want (he's 22), but he also is one of the few actors his age who has had lead roles in movies marketed toward adults ("Snow Angels"). Angarano would find himself incredibly comfortable in the role, and the actor presents the lowest-risk option for the studio. He's already proved he can take the lead in high-profile projects.

The actor who does win the "Spider-Man" lottery should think twice before signing on for the project, however. What seems like the role of a lifetime for an actor in their late teens or early 20s might just stunt the development of a budding career.

The "Spider-Man" reboot is slated to hit theaters July 3, 2012.

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