Marvel fans the world over are likely still pinching themselves, unable to believe that after years of wishing, Spider-Man is finally going to be joining Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. The studio had previously hoped to include the iconic web-slinger in Captain America: Civil War, and after months of internal discussions, that seems to be the plan. As if that weren’t enough of bombshell, the hunt for a new actor has kicked off instantly.
Although the “Civil War” comic series (which will act as inspiration for Marvel’s movie counterpart) included an adult Peter Parker, recent reports have claimed that Spidey will once again be returned to high school, with an actor significantly younger than previous star Andrew Garfield (31), to help Marvel and Sony target a younger audience.
With that in mind, we’ve singled out a handful of young actors who either have been, will, or should be considered for the part, and how their strengths could be put to use in bringing a new Spider-Man to life. Read on for our list of 6 Actors Who Should Play The New Spider-Man.
Ever since newcomer Ansel Elgort crashed onto the scene with standout performances in Carrie and The Fault in our Stars, it was clear that a part in the Divergent series wouldn’t be the last high-profile role he would land. As a heartthrob among younger audiences, the 20-year-old would perfectly fill Sony and Marvel’s demand for a leading man sure to be popular among the same high schoolers he’ll be rubbing shoulders with on screen.
He may not have the more action-oriented resumé of others on our list, but if we had to choose, Elgort’s dramatic chops would be better served in a role like Peter Parker than, say, a WarGames remake. Any young actor is going to be challenged when asked to share the screen with Captain America and Iron Man, but we have little doubt that Elgort could rise to the occasion.
The 23-year-old Logan Lerman has turned in a number of memorable performance over the past decade, with studios seeming to believe that his breakout blockbuster success is merely a matter of time. Finding success when part of an ensemble cast of truly talented co-stars – in 3:10 to Yuma, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Percy Jackson, Noah and most recently, David Ayer’s Fury – may bring his potential for carrying a franchise like Spider-Man into question.
On the other hand, it’s fair to say any young actor would have a hard time outshining Brad Pitt or Russell Crowe. Whatever the case, Lerman is a perfect illustration of the actor that Marvel and Sony could select for their reboot: youthful, likable, inoffensive, and a known quantity to young audiences. Casting his name into the ring almost goes without saying; likely why rumors of him being a frontrunner are cropping up already.
Sure to be lesser-known than the other actors on our list, Alden Ehrenreich has turned in a wide variety of small roles before taking the spotlight in the novel adaptation Beautiful Creatures. As one of the most memorable (or perhaps less offensive and over-the-top) performances in the YA romance, his ability to match the likes of Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, and Emma Thompson in a flawed but harmless story was, understandably, overlooked.
Without knowing exactly how committed the studios are to differentiating the next take on Peter Parker from those previous, it’s hard to know if Ehrenreich would be a fit. Playing the good-natured (and at-times awkward) lead in Creatures shows he could carry off the stereotypical Peter, but if the plan is to extend beyond high school into a more relatable adult Spidey, then Ehrenreich would be an intriguing pick.
The minds at Marvel’s parent company don’t need to be sold on Australian actor Brenton Thwaites, having already cast him as the young star of Pirate of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales after a strong performance as Prince Phillip in Disney’s Maleficent. And among the rest of the YA novel adaptation stars on our list, Thwaites has had to overcome more hurdles than most.
Younger audiences will be familiar with Thwaites for his performance as ‘Jonas’ in The Giver, with horror fans having recently seen him in last year’s Oculus. It’s not an indictment of Spider-Man‘s chances to point out that in both cases, the 25-year-old actor was forced to craft a full character from a sketchy outline. And Disney’s focus on Thwaites could be reason enough for Marvel and Sony to hand him another flagship series.
If it wasn’t clear already that young adult novel adaptations are a veritable testing ground for future stars, it should be by now. Dylan O’Brien took a similar lead role in The Maze Runner, pitting him as the de facto leader of a band of young survivors (again, forced to carry a film in an under-developed role), but our reasons for believing he could carry a teenage superhuman are drawn from elsewhere. Teen Wolf, to be specific.
Though his role as “Stiles” Stilinski was mainly used for comic relief opposite his werewolf best friend, O’Brien proved a scene-stealer with a sense of humor and sarcasm that rarely faltered. The Maze Runner series is sure to broaden his exposure, and with a knack for teen humor established, it’s also no surprise that he’s been rumored as a Spider-Man frontrunner. Where Logan Lerman seems a known quantity by this point, it’s hard not to favor the extra edge that O’Brien could bring to the role of Peter Parker.
As movie fans take to deliberating a potential Spider-Man actor, many factors are considered: does he have the right sense of humor, the right voice, the right build – and above all else, the right look. But one key factor is too often overlooked: Peter Parker isn’t just a high school student, but a brilliant one. And in the found footage Project Almanac, Jonny Weston turned in a performance embodying the nuance that a well-rounded Peter should exemplify.
It may seem like an unfair advantage, with Weston so recently portraying the vulnerability of adolescence, the brains needed to manipulate time itself, and even the emotional breakdowns that arise when teens are given more power than they can handle. But Almanac succeeds almost entirely due to Weston’s skills, meaning his age (27) shouldn’t be a factor – especially once he’s exposed to the masses in the upcoming Insurgent.
That concludes our list of actors that we feel could play the boyish, bullied, and brilliant Peter Parker – as well as the empowered and witty Spider-Man – the big screen. Who Marvel or Sony agree upon will rely on several factors, not the least of which being the versatility to share the stage with Marvel’s biggest heroes AND carry a teen-targeted solo series.
What are your hopes for the next Spider-Man? Do the actors on our list fit your idea of the direction the studios will take, or do you hope to see a drastically different twist on the character this time around? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Spider-Man Joins The MCU: Discussion
The new Spider-Man movie will be in theaters July 28, 2017.