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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

May 27, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Final candidates for new “Spider-Man”? (Hello, Billy Elliot . . .)

The Hollywood Reporter today writes that five young actors — a few of them Brits — are on the shortlist to play Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, in Marc Webb’s latest incarnation of the franchise, in which Spidey is a teen learning to cope with his new powers. (Yes, this sounds a lot like the first “Spider-Man.” Don’t shoot the messenger.) A few of these names will ring bells, a few won’t. Here’s the list:
— Jamie Bell, the British actor best known for starring in “Billy Elliot,” when he was just a wee tot. (He’s now 24. Yes, it’s been a while.)
— Alden Ehrenreich, a 20-year-old American actor who, as coincidence would have it, was in Seattle exactly a year ago with Francis Ford Coppola for the SIFF world premiere of Coppola’s “Tetro,” in which Ehrenreich played a leading role. Nice kid, as I recall; though not a lot of movie experience.
— Frank Dillane, another young Brit, best known for playing young Tom Riddle in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
— Andrew Garfield, born in the U.S. but raised in England and mostly known for British films and television. Terrific as the reporter in the “Red Riding” crime-thriller trilogy, but I can’t quite picture him slinging webs. Possibly a little old to play a teen — he’s 27 — but Tobey Maguire was about that age for the first “Spider-Man,” and was perfectly convincing.
— Josh Hutcherson, a Kentucky native still in his teens and the youngest of the bunch, best known for “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “Zathura,” and the upcoming “The Kids are All Right.”
Hmm. I like the idea of Bell, an actor who’s broken my heart (on screen, mind you) many times already, and he’s got a wiry, charmingly gawky quality that would blend well with Maguire’s portrayal. Not so sure about the others. Still wondering about Joseph Gordon-Levitt — who may be a hair too old, but he’d be great — and the oft-rumored Logan Lerman (who was disappointingly personality-free in the “Percy Jackson” movie). Any other ideas?

Bye bye, Tobey — Maguire hangs up the Spidey suit. (Photo courtesy Sony Pictures.)

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