Friday, July 2, 2010
Normally the eve of a holiday weekend is an opportune moment for an organization to announce drastic layoffs or to put out reams of documents for dirt-diggers to sift through. For Sony, this is the ideal time to announce that it has found a new actor to star in its lucrative “Spider-Man” movie franchise.
On Thursday evening the studio said that Andrew Garfield, a relatively unknown 26-year-old actor who was born in the United States and raised in Britain, had been hired to play that famous red and blue web-slinger as well as his nebbishy alter ego, Peter Parker, according to the Heat Vision blog of The Hollywood Reporter.
Mr. Garfield’s credits include the Terry Gilliam movie “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and David Fincher’s coming Facebook film, “The Social Network.” (If that résumé feels a bit light, ask yourself, what movies had Tobey Maguire made before he played Spider-Man, other than “The Ice Storm,” “The Cider House Rules,” “Pleasantville” and “Wonder Boys”?)
The three “Spider-Man” movies that starred Mr. Maguire and were directed by Sam Raimi have sold more than $2.4 billion in tickets worldwide. But at the start of the year it was announced that Mr. Maguire and Mr. Raimi were leaving a planned “Spider-Man 4″ film due to creative differences. Instead, Sony hired Marc Webb (of “(500) Days of Summer”) to direct a new movie that will return Spidey to his modest origins. (And be released in 3-D in 2012.)
Perhaps using his director’s sense to realize that Mr. Garfield would be unfamiliar to many moviegoers, Mr. Webb told The Hollywood Reporter: “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit and humanity.”
Now the race is on to cast an actress to play Peter Parker’s beneficent and infinitely wise Aunt May. Let the feverish speculation begin!