Like it or not, Sony Pictures is gearing up to shove an all-new rendition of the Spider-Man film franchise into theaters for Summer of 2012. With the selection of Andrew Garfield as our new Wall-Crawler made months ago, and rumors flying about the identity of the film's villain(s), it seems that things are now focused on our hero's potential love interest. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in a process similar to the one that gave us Garfield, Sony has narrowed down the field of Hollywood's young up-and-coming actresses to a slim six. If the duo of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in the previous incarnation proved anything (for better or worse,) it's that finding the right chemistry between the film's couple is a crucial science that walks the line of comic relief as an accessible path to the audience's empathy. Will any of these women have the ability to pull off such a feat with Andrew Garfield?
In what may be a bit of good news to fans worried about the direction of Marc Webb's reboot effort, this casting is seems to be calling for actresses to play, not Mary Jane Watson, but another of his love interests. However, general speculation points to Gwen Stacy. The long-martyred blonde heiress who was Peter Parker's first love in the Spider-Man comics has become an icon due to her tragic fate at the hands of the Green Goblin. It was generally seen as the moment where comics lost its innocence and signaled the unofficial end of comics' Silver Age. While her fate is pretty much known, it would be nice to see it through, unlike the last franchise which cast Bryce Dallas Howard for a somewhat anachronistic version of Gwen in the midst of a Mary Jane romance.
So, let's take a quick look at our candidates:
Mary Elizabeth Winstead: Despite Scott Pilgrim vs. The World's unfortunate box-office performance, the 25 year-old remains the most currently talked about candidate. Already established in big name hits like Live Free or Die Hard and Death Proof, WInstead undoubtedly has momentum and marketability on her side. She's the "obvious" pick, which, however, given Andrew Garfield's selection, may not help her chances.
Emma Roberts: The 19 year-old daughter of Eric Roberts, has already established herself in family-friendly films such as Aquamarine, Nancy Drew, and Hotel for Dogs. However, an upcoming role in Scream 4 as the cousin of main character Sidney (Neve Campbell) just may prove to be a big breakthrough role for her.
Teresa Palmer: The 24 year-old co-star of The Sorcerer's Apprentice also has a role lined-up in the upcoming reboot/prequel Mad Max: Fury Road. (Which has wisely decided to carry on without Mel Gibson for obvious reasons.) Besides having what seems to be the perfect look for Peter Parker's ill-fated damsel, she'll be bringing a respectable resume to the table by the time the movie hits, which could make her a good investment. This blonde Aussie may prove to be a good match for Garfield's Peter Parker.
Imogen Poots: The twenty-something Londoner may have an odd last name to American ears, but the beauty will be sharing the screen with Julie Christie in Hello Darkness, and also has a role lined-up in the remake of Fright Night. She may be the equivalent in this list to what Andrew Garfield was to the final-5 list of Spider-Man candidates. Her resume may be thin, but she's clearly bringing something to the table. Watch out, potential dark horse coming through.
Ophelia Lovibond: Besides being the clear winner in this group for classiest name, the 24 year-old Brit is set to share the screen with Natalie Portman and Kevin Kline in No Strings, Keira Knightley and Colin Farrell in London Boulevard, and she will have a starring role in next year's Turnout. Not sure if she has the right look, but from certain standpoint, neither did Garfield. Besides, with a name like Ophelia, playing a girl famous for dying may come as second nature.
Lilly Collins: Previously seen on the new 90210 and The Blind Side, this Surrey, England native has big things lined-up with a role in the upcoming Priest in which Paul Bettany stars as a vampire-hunting man of the collar in a dystopian future. Also set to star as Juliet in Carlo Carlei's upcoming rendition of Romeo and Juliet, it's clear that she may have the chops to adapt to this role. Oh, did we mention that she's the daughter of the greatest musician that the world has ever known, or ever will know in Phil Collins?
See any picks that would make you think "she'll look cool being thrown off the George Washington Bridge?"
Source: The Hollywood Reporter