The Spider-Man casting extravaganza continues, and today’s rumor now narrows the choices down to exactly one. Last we heard, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures were reportedly closing in on Ender’s Game star Asa Butterfield and In the Heart of the Sea actor Tom Holland to play the new Peter Parker, after those two names first landed on a longer shortlist in April.
Now, following an earlier report that Butterfield was the frontrunner, El Mayimbe is reporting that the studios have made their decision, and the 18-year-old Butterfield is now “officially” in negotiations to play Peter Parker in the MCU and in a series of standalone films for Sony. [Update: Multiple trade reporters have taken to Twitter to say that they’re hearing a deal isn’t on the table just yet, and other actors (namely Holland) remain in the mix as Marvel and Sony continue to test.]
Butterfield first came to prominence as the young star of Martin Scorsese’s 2011 film Hugo, going on to fill the role of Ender Wiggin in 2013’s Ender’s Game. He’s a solid actor and is certainly a star on the rise (he’s currently filming Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiars), and it sounds like Marvel and Sony were impressed with his screen test as the webslinger.
If he indeed walks away with the role, Butterfield follows in the footsteps of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as the big screen incarnation of Spider-Man, but he’s considerably younger than those actors were when they first signed on. Indeed, Marvel and Sony wanted to cast a teenager all along with the intention of telling high school-set stories over the course of a series of standalone Spider-Man films. Additionally, Marvel no doubt wanted to throw a considerably different actor into the MCU to mix things up amongst the beefed up, thirtysomething superheroes that currently populate the Marvel world.
It should be noted that Marvel hasn’t officially confirmed Butterfield’s casting, and even if he is in negotiations, there’s no guarantee that will culminate in a deal—Joaquin Phoenix was in talks for Doctor Strange for months before eventually backing out. Butterfield will no doubt be signing a contract that will dictate the next 6-8 years of his life, so this is a major decision.
The new Spider-Man will make his debut appearance in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, which is currently in production in Atlanta in anticipation of a May 2016 release date. Sony will then release a standalone Spider-Man movie, produced by Marvel’s Kevin Feige, on July 28, 2017.
For a refresher on all of Marvel’s confirmed releases, see below. And for a catalog of all upcoming superhero movie release dates, click here.
- Ant-Man – July 17, 2015
- Captain America: Civil War – May 6, 2016
- Doctor Strange – November 6, 2016
- Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – May 5, 2017
- Untitled Spider-Man Reboot – July 28, 2017
- Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 – May 4, 2018
- Black Panther – July 6, 2018
- Captain Marvel – November 2, 2018
- Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 – May 3, 2019
- Inhumans – July 12, 2019