[Update: The new Spider-Man has been chosen!]
Columbia Pictures officials have reportedly selected eight final candidates to star in their Spider-Man reboot, and - having seen the screen tests for six of them - are set to at long last reveal the identity of the new Peter Parker very soon.
The most recent rumor pegged Jamie Bell as the top choice to play Spider-Man and he is indeed one of the eight finalists. Curiously, one of the previous top 5 contenders to play the lead in director Marc Webb's 3D spidey pic - Josh Hutcherson - looks to be out at this point, while Frank Dillane (Harry Potter 6) remains on the list, despite his commitment to attend London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Despite his declared lack of interest, Kick-Ass's Aaron Johnson is still on the list, as is Percy Jackson's Logan Lerman - the fellow who was once rumored as "100 % locked" for the Spider-Man role. Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro) and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) were previous top 5 candidates, though this is the first time I've heard that Anton Yelchin (Chekov in Star Trek) and Michael Angarano (The Forbidden Kingdom) are in the running as well. It's not exactly been an easy-to-follow process though, has it?
[caption id="attachment_66318" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="Three of the new Spider-Man candidates."][/caption]
None of these candidates really stand out above the others. They all have experience playing a young man whose journey into adulthood is beset by extreme circumstances, and - perhaps equally as important - look young enough to be convincing as a teenage Peter Parker. Even the oldest of the lot - the 26-year old Garfield - is about the same age that Tobey Maguire was when he first played Spidey back in 2002.
The studio heads understandably want to get one of these actors locked in the role of Spider-Man before they get to casting any of the other significant parts. At this point, the only other substantial rumor was that Michael Fassbender would play the villain, which may be The Lizard. Now that Fassbender has accepted the role of Magneto in X-Men: First Class, I wouldn't expect to hear any other Spider-Man cast-related rumors until the lead is publicly unveiled.
Director Marc Webb demonstrated in last year's quirky indie rom-com 500 Days of Summer that he can handle the difficulties and concerns of a young man's life on screen with relative grace and ease, so hopefully that will work in the Spider-Man reboot's favor. Columbia Pictures president Matt Tolmach previously spoke about the tone the studio is aiming for with the latest cinematic incarnation of the webslinger - one that will should be rather different from that of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. Hopefully, the reboot will rejuvenate the franchise after the lackluster entry that was Spider-Man 3.
What do you think? Which of these young actors do you want to see play Peter Parker? What would you like to see done differently in the Spider-Man reboot from previous films? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.
The Spider-Man reboot is due out in regular and 3D theaters in the U.S. on July 12, 2012.
Thanks to Screen Rant reader "Aknot" for alerting us about this. :)
Source: Deadline (via IGN)