Director Marc Webb's upcoming and still unnamed Spider-Man film ("The Wall-Crawler Rises?") may be looking to overcome what some might call a premature franchise reboot. Set to hit in summer 2012, it is already evident that attempts are being made to differentiate itself from Sam Raimi's recently-wrapped Spider-Man trilogy, such as casting an unknown (Andrew Garfield) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, being a 3D release, and bucking convention by casting Emma Stone as love interest Gwen Stacy as opposed to the more well-known Mary-Jane Watson. However, The Hollywood Reporter recently got a hold of a couple major casting scoops that may add to that list. It seems that high profile stars Martin Sheen and Sally Field may be set for the critical roles of Uncle Ben and Aunt May. So, is this reboot film making a statement by casting the iconic ex-fake-presidential actor and the two-time Academy Award-winning actress?
According to the report, Sheen is in "final negotiations" for the part of Peter Parker's famously-martyred Uncle/legal guardian, essentially meaning that his casting is all but imminent. So we'll more than likely see a kick-ass "power and responsibility" speech. As for Field, however, she is apparently only in "early talks" for the role of Peter's inevitably-widowed Aunt, who becomes his only living familial connection amidst his life transition from geeky teenager to costumed crime-fighter.
It seems that there is a delicate balance being followed with this production. Not that Spider-Man was the kind of film where a big-time star's name would grace the marquee in flashing lights of glory, but for all intents and purposes, Tobey Maguire was actually a bankable name during his tenure as the wall-crawler. Having the the weight of this mega-franchise put solely on the shoulders of one Andrew Garfield, even coming off the buzz from The Social Network, is not realistic, not to mention with a director relatively new to the scene in Webb. And certainly coming off only a few years after the last series of Spider-Man films, it cannot rely purely on enthusiasm for the character, as the danger of Spider-ennui, as well as huge comic-movie competition are a realistic possibilities. So, while support from a buzz-laden actress like Emma Stone, may help, perhaps the casting of Martin Sheen and Sally Field may be designed to grace the film with credibility.
At this point, it's hard to tell if this is a case of gimmick casting, or if there are some true artistic intentions with Sheen and Field in these roles. Of course, Sheen, for obvious reasons will not be in it for the long-run (unless Webb intends to get REAL creative and have May die and Ben live.) The role of Aunt May, is therefore, the more critical one, as Peter's relationship with her, while balancing the secret of Spider-Man is the true heart of the story. Having an Aunt May that's not exactly a sick and elderly woman, sounds interesting, but depending on how much it adds to the film itself, it may or may not prove itself necessary.
Let's get some feedback. How is Martin Sheen and Sally Field sounding for the Spidey Reboot?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter