The New Optimism: Latest SPIDER-MAN Casting Is Spectacular
I have come completely around on the reboot of Spider-Man. Once a fierce partisan against the movie (fierce enough that I got reports of director Marc Webb making note of my strident complaints), I have now come to embrace it as much as one can embrace a film that is unshot and still mostly a mystery. Once I got over the fact that a reboot of this franchise is painfully premature, I began to see that Webb was taking the movie in a strong, admirable direction.
The biggest indicator of this direction is his casting. Andrew Garfield, lately shining in The Social Network, will be a terrific Peter Parker. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey is genius casting. Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors is an interesting and bold choice. And now we have reports on two more key roles being filled by actors who make an old person like me perk up - Martin Sheen and Sally Field.
Sheen will be playing Uncle Ben, which puts me in the weird position of hoping he’s not in it too much (we’ve already had the Spider-Man origin story within the last ten years; we don’t need it again). He’s an incredible choice for the role, bringing charm and a sense of moral authority that made him the best American president of the last one hundred years.
Field, meanwhile, is in talks to play Aunt May, an intriguing choice. I’m old enough to remember Field in a bikini from Gidget, so seeing her play comicdom’s most enduring doddering old lady is weird. She’s got a great presence, though, and it’s been too long since we saw her in something.
This is all strong casting, and it makes me happy. The big question of course is whether or not the script is any good, but I keep getting the feeling that these hires mean that there’s something to the pages. We’ll see soon enough.