A recent short-list of candidates pertaining to the starring role in Marc Webb's anticipated Spider-Man reboot put young talent like Frank Dillane, Andrew Garfield and Josh Hutcherson at the top of the order, but according to a new report from Bleeding Cool, the coveted role may already be cast.
The site suggests that Jamie Bell, who will be seen next year in Kevin MacDonald's The Eagle of the Ninth and Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, has emerged victorious and will don the red-and-blue spandex in the 3D tentpole, due July 3rd 2012.
Bell, who danced his way into Hollywood in 2000's acclaimed Billy Elliot, has worked his way around the industry quite successfully in the past decade, getting the chance to work with A-list filmmakers such as Clint Eastwood, Peter Jackson and Edward Zwick while honing his craft. At 24, he's of the right age and has displayed the charming awkwardness necessary to play Peter Parker before in films like The Chumscrubber and Dear Wendy. Of all the candidates in the running, he's got the most varied, impressive and bankable resume to back up his ability.
As a long-time fan of Spider-Man across all media, I'm happy to see the production gain an actor of Bell's caliber. In just ten years he's gone from playing nebbish, Peter Parker-like characters to larger than life roles in Jumper and King Kong and has always brought gravity and grace to his work. Based on looks alone, I'd probably have gone with Hutcherson, but given Bell's extraordinary range I think that Sony has picked a winner. The bigger question at hand would be: how could he balance two gigantic franchises (Tintin is a planned trilogy, as one would assume the new Spider-Man film(s) will be).
Columbia Pictures has neither confirmed nor denied the rumor, so as of now we'll have to wait to see how this story pans out. Should it turn out to be true, it would be the first piece of positive news to come from the world of America's favorite web-slinger since Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 4 was scrapped - a move that may or may not have cost the studio dearly.