[Update: Word is Lerman has NOT been offered the role of Spidey]

After the mess that was the cancellation of Spider-Man 4 and the rumors leading up to that event and afterward, the search for who will be the next Peter Parker may be over.

HitFix is exclusively reporting that Sony Pictures has decided on the man who will replace Tobey Maguire for the Spider-Man reboot and that man (boy?) is Logan Lerman. The news confirms rumors that started with what Lerman said himself when appearing on the Billy Bush Show.

When appearing on that show, Lerman was very honest and open about the status of the Spider-Man talks, against the better wishes of everyone else involved, and had the following to say at the time. This was over two months ago:

“There have been a few discussions, it’s definitely something I’m looking into. It’s [Spider-man] one of my favorite characters ever and I’m a huge fan of the series. I’d love to have more conversations about it. I’m definitely very interested in it.”

Those rumors were later partly squashed when Nikki Finke reported that there had been no business discussions between the studio and Lerman’s reps but we knew here at Screen Rant that Lerman didn’t just make that stuff up. HitFix‘s source claims that Lerman is currently  “almost 100% locked” for the role so there must of been quite a few discussions since that time.

Logan Lerman is a growing star with some significant roles in the recent films Gamer and 3:10 to Yuma, but he hit it real big earlier this year as the lead in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Other rumored candidates that he beat out for the Spider-Man gig include Taylor Lautner, Jim Sturgess, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jesse Eisenberg.

If Lerman is to lead the Spider-Man film franchise in its new direction, we could see the young actor starring in two big franchises for years to come. Playing Peter Parker will no doubt help chances of another Percy Jackson film being greenlit.

As for the Spider-Man reboot, we know it’s coming at us in 3D with a less-inflated budget of $80 million. The story will follow a younger Peter Parker back in high school and will be directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer). The speculation from fans is that the grittier and more realistic take on the live-action adaptation of Marvel Comics’ webslinger will follow the character as he’s depicted in the Ultimate Spider-Man series, written by Brian Michael Bendis.

For the direction Sony is taking Spider-Man going forward, I think Lerman is a good fit. While I have no interest in seeing the movie in 3D, I do like the idea of a grittier Ultimate version of Spider-Man, following in the footsteps of what Marvel Studios is doing with their Avengers line-up.

What do you think about Logan Lerman as Peter Parker in a possible Ultimate take on Spider-Man?

Update: Well it looks like our opinions no longer matter as Deadline is debunking the report from HitFix by claiming that not only is Lerman not confirmed for the role of Peter Parker, he is totally out of the running for the part! As own Mike Eisenberg said, “Many wish to be a weekend superhero, few get to live the dream.”

However, each time this Logan Lerman as Spidey news has popped up, it’s sounded pretty reasonable (at least to me). The HitFix crew is also pretty good about what they report… But Sony seems to be staunchly denying this rumor… Then again, how long was the studio publicly denying that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 4 was falling apart?

For right now, my advice would be to hold off on claiming that ANYBODY is the new Spider-Man. Let’s just pause a second and see how things go after the dust kicked up by this Logan Lerman rumor has settled.

Screen Rant will let you know more on this as soon as we hear confirmation, so stick around for that and other comic book movie news!

The now untitled Spider-Man reboot is set to hit theaters July 12, 2012.

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes

Source: HitFix

Update Source: Deadline