First things first: I’m 100% sure that a new Spider-Man franchise is not necessary, but Hollywood being Hollywood, and contracts being contracts, Sony is going to keep spinning out new sequels, prequels, and reboots of their web-slinger until they suck all the money out of it and/or people stop paying to see it. There, I said it.
Sony has been not-so-quietly searching for a new younger actor to take on the iconic spandex-clad role in a new reboot of the story that would potentially take place in high school, again, but is not an origin story (yeah cause, three origin films is too many…). At the same time, Sony and Marvel (the company who owns the character and licenses his use to Sony for films) have reached an accord of sorts that the character can be used by Marvel/Disney in the latest Captain America film, Captain America 3: Civil War, before seguing into a new series of films for Sony that live within the Marvel universe. Then, presumably, the character would also pop-up in the all out assault of Avengers: Infinity War with every other Marvel character in the known universe.
For those not caught up with the Avengers universe, here’s a lightning quick rundown:
The 2006-07 Marvel Comics Civil War plot-line follows the proposed establishment of a hero registration program, and the fracturing of the Marvel Universe characters into two factions (pro and anti-registration) lead by Iron Man/Tony Stark on the pro side, and Captain America/Steve Rogers on the side of resistance. Spider-Man, long a comic world Avengers character but notably and contractually absent from the Marvel universe thus far, provides an all important swing vote in the conflict.
Now Deadline reports that with Captain America 3 filming already underway in Atlanta, the search for the all important new Spidey actor is hitting it’s peak. The long list of potential actors (once thought to prominently feature Ender’s Game star Asa Butterfield, but no longer), has now been whittled down to just 4 – Tom Holland (The Impossible), Charlie Rowe (The Golden Compass), Matt Lintz (Pixels) and Charlie Plummer (Boardwalk Empire). A final decision on the casting is expected to come as early as next week.
First impressions would seem that they are going decidedly younger with the role, the new potential Peter Parker’s have a median age of 18, which would fit the high school vibe that Sony seemingly wants for the new reboot. How a much younger actor will play among the big names of the Marvel Universe (Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johannson, etc) will remain to be seen. Having only seen one of the four actors’ work, Tom Holland – who was incredible in The Impossible, I’m not sure I can make a judgement call on who would make the best Spider-man, but it’ll be interesting to see who the powers-that-be deem worthy.
CAPTAIN AMERICA 3: CIVIL WAR, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, is currently filming and will hit theatres in May 2016.