As memories fade of what could have been Spider-Man 4, we get closer and closer to Sony’s younger and grittier 3D reboot of the franchise. The big question surrounding the restart of the franchise and the return of Peter Parker to highschool is on who will play the title character, taking up the mantle for Tobey Maguire.

Early reports had Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson, Gamer) as the leading candidate and HitFix went as far as saying he was locked for the role, before Deadline completely shot it down and added that he’s not even a contender. Now comes an exclusive from Heat Vision which lists the current five Spider-Man 3D candidates.

Director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) has been spending his last few months meeting and testing a pile of actors to find the right Peter Parker and the list is now down to the following five young men: Jamie Bell, Alden Ehrenreich, Frank Dillane, Josh Hutcherson and Andrew Garfield.

Hutcherson we already knew about from an IESB report in early April but the other four haven’t been publicized as candidates until now. He’s the youngest of the group at 18, while the others range from 19 (Dillane) to 27 (Garfield).

The idea is to cast a relative unknown so it’s somewhat surprising to see British actor Jamie Bell in the running who’s had big roles in Jumper, Defiance and the upcoming Jane Eyre adaption and Tintin films. He’s crazy talented in my opinion so no complaints here.

We won’t go into the history and details of each until the list narrows. Selecting the star of a comic book movie is a dangerous game and we’ve played along with it too many times before. Let’s wait and see who becomes their actual top pick before jumping the gun. As we know, there could easily be subtractions and additions to the list of candidates (read: Captain America casting).

What we can confirm about Sony’s restart of the Spider-Man franchise is that it’s coming at us in 3D with the modest 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.

Of the Spider-Man reboot candidates we now know of, who do you think should get the role?

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The yet-to-be-titled Spider-Man reboot is set to hit theaters July 12, 2012.

Source: Heat Vision