Some projects in Hollywood seem like they never get off the ground (see all the turmoil surrounding The Three Stooges), while other project like The Social Network go from idea to potential Oscar winner in only a few months.

The Spider-Man reboot seems to fall in the latter category (Oscar-winning potential excluded) because it feels like just a few months ago we were discussing the news of how Sony let everyone attached to the Spider-Man 4 project go, decided to reboot the series, hired Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) to direct and announced Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) would be the new web-slinger.

Even as production on the Spider-Man reboot began last month – as verified by the set pictures of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) – Webb is still adding actors to the roster and the latest to join his crew is C. Thomas Howell. There is no official word by Sony on Howell’s character in Spider-Man other than that his name will be Ray.

There aren’t many characters from the Spider-Man canon named Ray, so the only comic book-related possibility to choose from is the father of Peter Parker’s current comic book girlfriend, Ray Cooper. With the knowledge that Gwen Stacy is going to be Peter’s main squeeze in this film, the chances of the character being Ray Cooper are slim.

It was rumored that Zooey Deschanel could be joining the cast as Betty Brant and maybe Howell will play her father – of course that’s only speculation on our part. More realistically, Howell’s character is new to the Spider-Man universe and was created specifically for the film.  We already know the Curt Connors and Flash Thompson are returning to the story and Denis Leary will be Gwen Stacy’s father, George.  Only time will tell how many other characters will join the party, but as production ramps up over the next couple weeks I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of news.

Howell had a great run during the ’80s with roles in popular films like The Outsiders, Tank and Red Dawn. Unfortunately, the quality roles available to him started to decline as he has starred in mainly direct-to-video films such as War of the Worlds and The Da Vinci Treasure, both produced by The Asylum.  Maybe a role in Spider-Man is exactly what he needs to kick-start his career once more?

Spider-Man swings into theaters July 3rd, 2012.

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Source: EW