The casting bonanza for the new SPIDER-MAN—who will appear in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a new standalone franchise for Sony—hasn’t been as widespread or varied as some expected, but it has been a little hectic. Finally, though, it appears that things are nearing the home stretch, as a final decision on who will follow Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as the new webslinger is now expected next week.
The first crop of young actors who emerged on the shortlist were Asa Butterfield (ENDER’S GAME), Tom Holland (THE IMPOSSIBLE), Nat Wolff (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), Timothee Chalamet (INTERSTELLAR), and Liam James (THE WAY WAY BACK). Then, reports swirled that Marvel and Sony had narrowed their search down to Butterfield and Holland, with the former having the edge as the “frontrunner”. Most recently, a rumor surfaced that Butterfield was about to enter negotiations for the role, but that was quickly rebuffed by a number of trade reporters.
So where does that leave us? Well today, THR reports, Marvel and Sony screen-tested the finalists for the role and that crop of contenders is as follows: the aforementioned Butterfield and Holland, as well as Charlie Rowe (Red Band Society), Matthew Lintz (PIXELS), Charlie Plummer (Boardwalk Empire), and Judah Lewis (a newcomer who appears in the upcoming Demolition and POINT BREAK).
The tests took place in Atlanta, where Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is currently in production. This new Spider-Man will make his debut appearance in CIVIL WAR, with his scenes shooting in June, so both the location and timeliness of the screen tests makes sense.
Marvel and Sony are now apparently ready to make their final decision, with that expected to arrive early next week. Present at the screen tests were Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, former Sony exec and SPIDER-MAN producer Amy Pascal, and CIVIL WAR directors Joe and Anthony Russo. THR’s report cautions that there is a slim chance Marvel could come away not liking any of the aforementioned actors and could keep looking, but as time is of the essence, I imagine that scenario is unlikely.
We know that the studios are wanting to cast a teenaged Peter Parker to tell high school-set stories in the standalone franchise, and to provide a nice foil for the adult actors that currently populate the MCU. Holland and Butterfield are both 18, Rowe—who is leading the new David Fincher-created HBO comedy Video Synchronicity—is 19, and the other actors could be as young as 14.
So no, we don’t know who will land the role of SPIDER-MAN just yet, but it sounds like we will imminently. After that, Marvel and Sony will get crackin’ on finding the director for the first new SPIDER-MAN movie, with a shortlist recently emerging that includes Jonathan Levine. Stay tuned, folks!