When it comes to superhero movies, I’m a Batman guy. Not a Joel Schumacher Batman guy, mind you, but a Christopher Nolan, gritty Gotham City, bad-to-the-bone Batman guy. To me, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were always a tad tame, and dramatic weight seemed secondary to the lucrative business of selling lunch-boxes to third-graders. So I was surprised and excited by Sony’s announcement that Andrew Garfield will be the new Peter Parker in the Spidey reboot scheduled for 2012.
The British actor is a marvelous talent who’s impressed directors as varied as Robert Redford, Terry Gilliam, Mark Romanek, and David Fincher. Skeptics will point out that Garfield will be 27 by the time the film begins shooting in December, and since the reboot is supposed to emphasize Parker’s high-school years, Sony should’ve opted for a younger actor.
Maybe. But Garfield could easily pass for 18, as he already has in several films. More importantly, there’s an endearing aw-shucks innocence that Garfield embodies that jibes very well with the superhero he’s now tasked with playing. In the same way that American Psycho‘s Christian Bale was the ideal Bruce Wayne, Lions for Lambs‘ Andrew Garfield is a potentially perfect Peter Parker in a presumably un-Raimi film being crafted by the screenwriter of Zodiac (James Vanderbilt) and the director of 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb). At the very least, their Spider-Man will be fresh and interesting, which, if you’re going to attempt a reboot just five years later, is an absolute must.
What do you think of the new Spider-Man? Have you seen any of Garfield’s films, and did they make you more or less inclined to imagine him web-swinging through Manhattan?
Also: Nicole Sperling: Andrew Garfield cast as the new Spider-Man