[UPDATE: False alarm, Josh is NOT the new Spider-Man, but there has been an official announcement from Sony. Click here to learn who is the new Spider-Man.]
Blue Sky Disney Blog is breaking the exclusive news that Josh Hutcherson (Bridge to Terabithia) has been cast as Sony's new Peter Parker in the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, which is being directed by Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer).
This ends month of speculation about who would play the new Peter Parker/Spidey and (as with any big answer) opens the door to new questions...
So the new Spider-Man isn't Jamie Bell, or Alden Ehrenreich, Frank Dillane or Andrew Garfield. Sorry Donald Glover, it seems your dreams of being black Spider-Man will have to wait. But with Josh Hutcherson we do get an actor who has shown some solid range in the past - and, most importantly, is appropriately young enough for the Spidey reboot we were promised.
Sony said early on the goal was to make the franchise more 'youth-oriented' and 'gritty' (apparently that's not an oxymoron); Webb was hired to direct likely because of the stylish youth-cool vibe he created in 500 Days of Summer, and of course, the glaring pun of his name. But then we started hearing actors being nominated for Peter Parker who seemed a bit too old to be playing high school students (sorry Jim Sturgess).
Hutcherson is almost eighteen and has acted in big-budget young adult fare like Zathura and The Vampire's Assistant, as well as dramatic fare like The Kids Are All Right and the Red Dawn remake, which is currently stalled over at MGM. Added bonus: with Journey to the Center of the Earth under his belt, Hutcherson has already tackled big-budget 3D action. The kid looks pretty solid from all angles, really.
I'm sure Sony will be quick to put out something official about the casting. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, we can start in on the next big questions: Who will play the villain (it's probably The Lizard), and who will play the love interest?
The Spider-Man reboot will be in theaters on July 3, 2012.
Source: Blue Sky Disney Blog