In the wake of last year’s disastrous hacking attack on Sony Pictures and the subsequent leak of gigabytes of e-mails, documents and scripts, the studio is lucky to have any secrets left to keep. Among the details: that Sony’s deal with Marvel Studios to make Spider-Man part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – via a Phase Three reboot – has actually been in the works since before the initial line-up of films was announced.
As Sony presents its upcoming slate of films at CinemaCon – and Spider-Man more or less confirmed to appear in Captain America 3 meaning casting news is on everyone’s mind – official word from the studio or details uncovered by attending are hotly anticipated. In fact, some new Spider-Man rumors have already emerged.
Collider Editor-in-Chief Steven Weintraub (currently at CinemaCon) explained on Twitter that the current Spider-Man buzz is that Marvel and Sony have the lead role narrowed down to five actors, some of whom are in their very early twenties. No names named, but several actors already rumored for the part would fit the bill, including Dylan O’Brien and Ansel Elgort. O’Brien has denied being approached (though things might have changed) and Elgort was fairly neutral on the idea of playing Spider-Man when we asked him about it.
Obviously gossip isn’t the same as concrete information, but the rumors of Sony and Marvel seeking a very young actor to play Spider-Man turned out to be true when Marvel boss Kevin Feige confirmed the reboot will focus on a high school-aged Parker. With the start of production on Captain America: Civil War imminent, Marvel and Sony can be expected to lock down an actor very soon – if they haven’t already.
as most of you probably know, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR starts filming in a few days. Spidey needs to be cast...— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) April 22, 2015
I'm hearing Marvel/Sony has it down to the final 5 actors in contention for SPIDER-MAN. Some are in very early 20s. I couldn't get any names— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) April 22, 2015
But with filming set to begin very soon, I'm pretty sure we're going to learn who the new SPIDER-MAN is within the next week or two.— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) April 22, 2015
one last bit on SPIDER-MAN. Not 100% but pretty sure I saw Drew Goddard walking around the hotel today. Sony presentation is in a few hours— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) April 22, 2015
With regards to the final tweet, Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods) is reportedly set to write and direct Spider-Man. Goddard isn’t new to the MCU; he developed Netflix’s recent adaptation of Daredevil and was originally set to act as showrunner before his commitment to Sinister Six meant he had to hand over to Steven S. DeKnight. He also has a working relationship with Joss Whedon that dates back to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
[Update: TheWrap reports that the shortlist includes Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars), Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game), Tom Holland (In The Heart of The Sea), Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar) and Liam James (The Killing).]
Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were 26 and 28 years old, respectively, when they filmed the Spider-Man chapters that featured Peter Parker in high school. Considering the reports of teenage actors auditioning for the main role in the Spider-Man reboot, as well as Feige’s thoughts on the subject, it seems like the MCU Spider-Man is being designed with Peter’s high school years in mind, rather than having him only stay in school for long enough to get his superpowers.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17 2015, Captain America: Civil War on May 6 2016, Doctor Strange on November 4 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on May 5 2017, Spider-Man on July 28, 2017, Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 2017, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 on May 4 2018, Black Panther on July 6 2018, Captain Marvel on November 2 2018, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 on May 3 2019 and Inhumans on July 12, 2019.