The cinematic Spider-Man has gone through some major upheavals in the last 10 years, including the bombshell announcement in just the last few months that he would be rebooted again — this time as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing alongside Iron Man, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers.
In other words, every fan’s dream come true.
While an official announcement has yet to be made about casting, online rumors are swirling that Marvel and Sony are closing in on the new Peter Parker.
According to scoop site Latino Review, Asa Butterfield has emerged as the frontrunner to don Spidey’s blue and red spandex, with plans for him to make his debut in the Russo Bros.’ upcoming “Captain America: Civil War.”
The London-born Butterfield first gained notice in 2008’s “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” and then, in 2011, as the title character in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” where he starred alongside the likes of Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen.
A lot of movie fans, however, are perhaps more familiar with him from 2013’s Gavin Hood-directed adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game,” where he played the child military genius Andrew “Ender” Wiggin.
According to MCU mastermind Kevin Feige, casting the new Spider-Man will bring out key elements of the character that fans have yet to see adapted properly, including just how young he is compared to other superheroes.
Speaking with Collider, Feige said, “Even though there’ve been five Spider-Man films, there are so many things from the comics that haven’t been done yet. Not just characters or villains or supporting characters, but sides to his character. The most obvious being the ‘young, doesn’t quite fit in’ kid before his powers, and then the fella that puts on a mask and swings around and fights bad guys and doesn’t shut up, which is something we want to play with and we’re excited about.”
The new Peter Parker will be around 15 or 16 in the movies, said Feige.
That means Butterfield, 18, is already a touch too old, especially since the new Spider-Man movie isn’t slated to come out until summer 2017. Compared to the previous Spider-Men, Tobey Maguire, who was 27 when he first played the wall-crawler, and Andrew Garfield, who was even older at 29, that difference is pretty negligible, however.
Fans will be happy to know, however, that Feige has also been quick to mention that the new Spider-Man’s first standalone movie — which, purportedly, could bear the subtitle “The New Avenger” — will not be an origin story.
Again, Butterfield’s casting is not official yet. Marvel and Sony have reportedly been looking at several other actors for the role, including 18-year-old Tom Holland (“The Impossible”), 20-year-old Nat Wolff (“The Fault in Our Stars”), 19-year-old Timothee Chalamet (“Interstellar”) and 18-year-old Liam James (“The Way Way Back”).
Fans have also supplied plenty of names for consideration, ranging from Josh Hutcherson of the Hunger Games series to 13-year-old Ty Simpkins, who already appeared in “Iron Man 3” as Tony Stark’s kid sidekick Harley Keener. Some have even suggested Marvel and Sony just cast Maguire a second time.
As one of the more seasoned actors in his age range, though, Butterfield could be an ideal choice. One way or another, fans should expect an announcement soon as “Captain America: Civil War” already began filming last week in Atlanta for a May 2016 release.