The who’s who of Marvel and Sony has assembled, not unlike the superheroes that feature in their films, in Atlanta. That’s where the latest Marvel extravaganza Captain America: Civil War is currently in production under the direction of the Russo brothers. Their purpose: to find the next Spider-Man.
Reports of a tentative shortlist of actors has been swirling around for a while, but Deadline now confirms that the final contenders for the role have arrived for screen-tests with Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige, producer Amy Pascal, her replacement as Sony chief Tom Rothman and directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
The list includes Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Ender’s Game), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Matt Lintz (Pixels) and Charlie Rowe (David Fincher’s HBO show Video Synchronicity).
Feige has already confirmed that the latest iteration of the web-crawler will be high school student. He has also confirmed that Spider-Man will indeed be Peter Parker and not Miles Morales as some early rumours suggested, which is a loss for cultural diversity.
The studio will also be announcing the new director for the solo Spider-Man film which will be distributed by Sony. After Drew Goddard inexplicably dropped out of running, the studio turned its attention to Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, The Wackness), Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite), Ted Melfi (St. Vincent), John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Horrible Bosses, Vacation), and newcomer Jon Watts (who recently directed Kevin Bacon in Cop Car).
The announcements for both the star and director are expected in the next few days. The chosen star will probably be put to work immediately as the new Spider-Man is expected to make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, which is shaping up to be more of an Avengers sequel than a Captain America movie.
The role was previously played by Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi's trilogy and Andrew Garfield for Marc Webb's series, for which the studio had big plans which were abandoned in favour of the deal with Marvel following the disappointing returns of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. According to leaked Sony emails star Andrew Garfield was becoming increasingly difficult to work with and was reportedly removed from the project.
Captain America: Civil War is due in theatres on May 6, 2016 and is set to star Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. The film is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, who have also been chosen as replacements for Joss Whedon for the next two Avengers movies.