I knew we’d hit a bump in the road, me and the Spider-Man reboot. I was vociferously against the film when it was announced way back when, but in the months since I’ve mellowed out. I’ve heard great things from behind the scenes and they’ve been matched by some terrific casting: Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Sally Fields as Aunt May, Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Connors. So it stood to reason that at some point director Marc Webb would bring on board someone I disliked. That time is now.
Webb is in negotiations with Bill Hicks aper Denis Leary to play the role of Gwen Stacy’s dad, Captain George Stacy. I don’t know how prominent a role he’ll have in the film; in the original comic Captain Stacy would often be a nice foil to J Jonah Jameson, as the police captain not only approved of his daughter dating Peter Parker, he was a supporter of Spider-Man. SPOILERS FOR A 40 YEAR OLD STORY POINT IN THE NEXT SENTENCE. When Captain Stacy finally bit it back in 1970, he told Spider-Man he knew he was Peter Parker all along.
Captain Stacy is a warm, helpful character. My vision of Leary is endlessly abrasive. In many ways Captain Stacy was the father figure Peter Parker was looking for after the death of Uncle Ben; it’s hard to imagine Denis Leary stepping in for Martin Sheen.
Who knows, maybe this will surprise me. Maybe Captain Stacy’s just a minor character in this reboot. Maybe Webb saw something in Leary that I never have. Maybe Leary will deliver a non-annoying performance for once.
Oh well, I have everybody else in the movie to be excited about.