When the announcement broke that Andrew Garfield will play Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s upcoming Spider-Man reboot, most moviegoers had never heard of the 27-year old actor, who was born in the U.S. but raised overseas in Britain.

Garfield  is seemingly okay with his unknown status (which is about to become much more known once The Social Network arrives in a few weeks); as he put it in a recent AP interview, “I’m just a performer who plays roles.  I don’t want to be a celebrity.  I don’t want to be famous.  I just want to have a nice, fun life, creating things I want to create.”

The character of Spider-Man is a huge favorite with comic book fans and Garfield counts himself amongst those that grew up loving the adventures of everyday nerd turned super-powered crime fighter, Peter Parker.  Like many others, Garfield connected to Peter’s struggles as a physically weak but emotionally strong and capable young man.

Here is how the actor put it himself:

“It was always something that gave me hope as a skinny little kid whose sense of injustice about the world didn’t match his sense of strength about his body.  I found it so inspiring and uplifting and reassuring.  To be a part of that mythology and that legacy is a true honor.”

Production on the Spider-Man reboot begins this December and Garfield is about to set to work on his physical training as the acrobatic web-slinger.  He expects “… to be doing a lot of flexibility training and a lot of strength training” since he will naturally “have to swing and stuff.”

Tobey Maguire played Spidey in Sam Raimi’s blockbuster trilogy and spent a fair amount of time working out and bulking up for the part – even though a large chunk of the action sequences in those films involved a CG Spider-Man.  The reboot will reportedly be gritter in tone than Raimi’s movies so it is possible that Garfield will end up doing more stunt work in costume that Maguire did.

Maguire played up the kind but nerdy and mildly naive aspects of Peter Parker’s personality in Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man movie – the character retained those quirks to some degree, even as Maguire matured and took on more responsibilities throughout the franchise.  Garfield may take a slightly different approach to the role and portray Parker as someone with grander plans in mind, who then gets the opportunity to truly make a difference in the world around him via his newly-acquired superpowers.

Will Garfield’s Spidey be a darker, more driven hero than Maguire’s was?  Moviegoers can at least take solace in the fact that they won’t likely see Peter Parker dancing around the streets of New York (a la Spider-Man 3) in the reboot.

Spider-Man is scheduled for release in 2D and 3D theaters on July 3rd, 2012. If you want to here Andrew Garfield talk more about playing Peter Parker / Spider-Man, go HERE.

Source: The Associated Press (via Yahoo)