[Update: Click here for the official announcement of who is the new Spider-Man.]

Word over at IESB is that Josh Hutcherson (aka Gabe from Little Manhattan, one of the cutest movies in the history of cinema) is now in the running to play Marc Webb’s teenage web-slinging Peter Parker in Spider-Man.  Hutcherson’s rave reviews may stem largely from his indie works – Little Manhattan, and the upcoming Sundance hit The Kids Are All Right – but he’s no stranger to blockbusters or genre flicks.  He was in Zathura, Journey to the Center of the Earth and will feature in MGM’s remake of Red Dawn.

IESB doesn’t specify where they’ve gotten this exclusive nugget of info, but do say they’ve contacted Hutcherson’s representation to see if there’s any truth to the rumor. They point out that both Hutcherson and Percy Jackson‘s  Logan Lerman, who was previously thought to be a lock for the new Spidey, are both “young, unknown, cheap” and ideal for the reboot’s purposes. Too bad Julie Taymor already snapped up indie rocker Reeve Carney for her Broadway production of Spider-Man, because the guy’s a dead ringer for Pete.

Still, to carry off a new franchise that will doubtless have a plethora of sequels, Hutcherson would be a smart way to go, since he’s been acting (quite well) since a tender age.  At least it’s a tighter race than all that Captain America hullabaloo, though then again, it’s early yet.

With a slated release of July 2012, the casting of the role of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man should be announced sooner rather than later. Emphasis on ‘should’. There’s been comparatively little outcry over the casting rumors so far… what do fans think? Are these two young actors interchangeable as far as the community is concerned, or is there yet another actor that you’re pulling for?

Source: IESB