June 22, 2011

Andrew Garfield as the new Peter Parker in Spiderman

The film, which is now in production and is being shot entirely in 3D, will be released on July 3, 2012. The film stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen, and Sally Field.

The film is directed by Marc Webb from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent and Steve Kloves based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, and Matt Tolmach are producing the Marvel Entertainment production for Columbia Pictures. The executive producers are Stan Lee, Kevin Feige, and Michael Grillo.

Apparently, not all good things come in threes —sometimes, they’ve just got to make room for more. Such was the success of the franchise, and its makers’ eagerness to do a reboot and join the fray of other successful movies that have benefited from the resurgence of 3D, that Sony just had to announce a release date for a new “Spider-Man” movie without even having a title, a director (Raimi had left amid rumors of creative differences with the studio after the third installment), and a new star at that.

But things move fast in the land of big bucks. Soon after, a comprehensive worldwide casting search was launched to find a replacement for its three-time Peter Parker, Tobey Maguire who, let’s face it, would be just too old to be putting on that tight suit and be swinging about from city skyscrapers.

Just this July 1, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced that they have found their new lead—a relatively unknown British heartthrob, Andrew Garfield. It seems the 3D screening date of July 3, 2010 would be realistic.

Andrew who?

It had been one of the most eagerly anticipated casting announcements, launching speculation frenzy participated in by bloggers, pop culture spectators and everyday fans who have all considered every conceivable online rumor.

Garfield has not really registered with pop culture pundits to replace Maguire —the list, at various points, has even included Logan Lerman (star of “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief”) and even Robert Pattinson of “Twilight” fame. Some even put their two cents’ worth and suggested Zac Efron.

But as for the fans, if the studio is insisting on casting a new Peter Parker, it better not be a wuss —at least that’s the concession they are hoping for.

But other fans may have hit it on the head, preferring an unknown to play the lead since the reboot the studio is embarking on is happening not even 10 years out of the franchise’s last installment.

Enter Andrew Garfield, whose acting career has spanned all of five years. But within that short time, he’s already received a Best Actor BAFTA in 2008 for playing a young ex-con in John Crowley’s “Boy A.”

Garfield most recently worked with director David Fincer in the upcoming “The Social Network.” Prior to that, he starred in Spike Jonze’s robot love story “I’m Here” that premiered in Sundance this year. He’ll also be seen opposite Keira Knightly and Carey Mulligan in Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go” due out late this year.

His other screen credits include Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus,” Robert Redford’s “Lions for Lambs” and Revolution Films’ “Red Riding Trilogy – 1974.”

Furthering the franchise:

Considered one of the most successful franchises in film history, the the “Spider-Man” movies have collectively grossed more than $2.5 billion in worldwide box office. The studio hopes to keep the dough rolling in with its sights targeted on the new audience raring to see the red-and-blue suited web-slinging superhero in 3D.

On casting Garfield, director Marc Webb said, “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. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”

Producer Avi Arad added, “I’m incredibly excited about Andrew Garfield. In the Spider-Man tradition, we were looking for a smart, sensitive, and cool new Peter Parker who can inspire us and make us laugh, cry, and cheer. We believe we have found the perfect choice to take on this role and lead us into the future.”

Well, the big brasses have made their call. And the superhero’s loyalists will just have to wait, because only July 2012 will tell if this franchise’s future will indeed continue its swinging success.

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