For moviegoers and comic book fans, the toughest part of seeing a fast-tracked reboot of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise will be seeing an entirely new cast reprise the roles of many characters we’ve come so familiar and fond of.

The title role of Peter Parker aside, the key supporting characters in his life helped define Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies and let them work for mainstream audiences (ignoring Spider-Man 3, that is). Two characters of note who brought the real heart to Spider-Man were of course Aunt May and Uncle Ben, played to perfection by Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson respectively. How do you replace them? Start by bringing in Martin Sheen!

The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive scoop on Martin Sheen being in final negotiations for the part of Ben Parker. Uncle Ben, as he’s better known as, is pivotal in Peter Parker’s development and transformation into the superhero we all know and love him as. It’s Ben who coined the world-famous catch-phrase, “With great power, comes great responsibility” and no truer words can be spoken.

It is Uncle Ben’s death that pushes Parker into becoming Spider-Man and that raises the question of how director Marc Webb’s 3D reboot will tackle Spider-Man’s origin story. Will Ben appear in flashbacks or will he play a role in the present and die (again) at the hands of a burglar? We definitely will see a bit of Peter’s past as we know they’re on the hunt for a 4-6 year-old boy to play the toddler variant of him.

Sheen will join a cast which already includes Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Rhys Ifans as the villainous Lizard. Now we can look forward to who is cast as Aunt May.

[Update: Just a few hours later news broke that Sally Field is in talks to play Aunt May]

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The Spider-Man reboot was written by James Vanderbilt and is being produced by Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin. Filming starts in December and the film will be released in 3D on July 3, 2012.

Source: THR