With their Peter Parker (finally) cast and a director set, Marvel and Sony have turned their attention towards filling out the rest of the ensemble for the upcoming Spider-Man reboot. 19-year-old Tom Holland won the titular role of the webslinging superhero, and now Variety reports that Academy Award-winning actress Marisa Tomei has an offer to fill the crucial role of Aunt May. In the comics, May is the one who ends up raising Peter (alongside Uncle Ben) when his parents are killed, and she’ll no doubt be a cornerstone of this rebooted franchise.
The character was played by Rosemary Harris in director Sam Raimi’s initial film trilogy, and then Sally Field took over the role in Marc Webb’s subsequent reboots. Harris was 75 when she first played Aunt May and Field was 66, so at 50 years of age, Tomei fits in with Marvel and Sony’s focus on portraying a younger version of Peter Parker than previous film incarnations.
Variety cautions that Tomei is simply the top choice to play the character, and while she reportedly has an offer, she has not signed on. It’s possible someone else could being cast, but this report gives us an idea of the age range and type of actress Marvel and Sony are looking for.
Marvel’s Kevin Feige previously said that this new Spider-Man will not be an origin story, so with the inclusion of Aunt May the question now is, will Uncle Ben be a part of the film, or will he already be dead when the movie begins? If they’re (wisely) eschewing Spidey’s origin, that could mean the Ben subplot is gone as well.
Jon Watts, who most recently helmed the Sundance indie Cop Car, is directing the Spider-Man pic, and Marvel and Sony are aiming to tell high school stories with this new version of the franchise, delving into Parker’s life as a teenager. The young age range also provides a nice foil for the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as Holland’s Parker will pop up in various Marvel movies as part of the deal between Sony Pictures—the distributor of the standalone films—and Marvel Studios.
Click here to catch up on all of our Spider-Man coverage thus far. The untitled reboot is slated to begin filming next June and will open in theaters on July 28, 2017.