Sony's reported to have been eying actors for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 who could play an athletic and handsome Harry Osborn - as opposed to director Marc Webb's original lineup of young stars, which was composed of actors better fit to portray a brooding outsider version of Harry (who could conceivably take up the Green Goblin mantle after his father).
Well, it appears that Webb got one of his initial choices after all - as breakout star Dane DeHaan is confirmed to join Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy in the Amazing Spider-Man sequel. Similarly, Jamie Foxx and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) can also now be counted as officially onboard for the superhero blockbuster.
Sony released an official press release revealing that DeHaan is set for Amazing Spider-Man 2, around the same time that Webb confirmed the news via Twitter. DeHaan thereafter Tweeted that "To say I'm excited is an understatement," while Sony's confirmation included the following statement from Webb:
"Dane is an exciting and extraordinary young actor and he is a fantastic addition to our cast," Webb said.
Over the past year, DeHaan transitioned from playing troubled young men on the HBO TV series In Treatment and True Blood - to similar, but more challenging, roles in the found-footage flick Chronicle and period crime drama Lawless; he also makes a brief, but memorable, appearance in the opening minutes of Lincoln. Next year, DeHaan should keep his win streak alive with roles in The Place Beyond the Pines (from Blue Valentine writer-director Derek Cianfrance) and the beat generation memoir Kill Your Darlings with Daniel Radcliffe and Elizabeth Olsen.
DeHaan will follow in James Franco's footsteps (from director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy) by bringing Harry Osborn to life on the big screen. As was mentioned before, DeHaan as Harry could eventually go to become a villain in the Amazing Spider-Man narrative thread (like Franco did in Spider-Man 3). However, that will depend on how exactly Norman Osborn - who has yet to be officially cast - fits into 'The Untold Story' of Peter Parker; not to mention, other possible villains who could show up somewhere down the line.
Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx (who stars in Django Unchained this month) is indeed now set as the antagonist Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2. In fact, for the time being, Electro is the sole villain announced for the followup - though, some twists and surprises could well be in order, given that the revised script draft was penned by geek-favorites Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek) and Jeff Pinkner (Fringe) - who drew from an initial draft written up by Amazing Spider-Man alum James Vanderbilt.
Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley is playing classic red-haired Spider-Man love interest Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man 2. However, it's been speculated that her character will have a limited role in the main proceedings - which continue to deal with Peter's ongoing journey toward maturity - and that Mary Jane could play a more important role in later installments, once these films move closer and closer to recreating Gwen Stacy's eventual fate from the comics.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 begins shooting early next year, for a May 2nd 2014 theatrical release date.