In the wake of the thrilling announcement that everyone's favorite Webslinger is back with Marvel, there have been two major topics of interest blazing through the fandom (for lack of a better term):
1) Who will play Peter Parker/ (possibly) Miles Morales?
2 (This has been hotly debated since ASM came out) Of the two previous actors, who was the better Spider-Man?
Like the political spectrum, there are diehards on each side who will ultimately never allow the other an inch of gain, but I think its time to look past that, especially since Andrew Garfield is for sure out and Tobey Maguire, well, I highly and sincerely doubt he's actually being considered. Logan Lerman and Dylan O'Brien have both been rumored to be in consideration (as well as Donald Glover to perhaps play Miles Morales), but O'Brien has already refuted that claim. Lerman has not (to my knowledge) made any comment.
Here's the deal:
From my perspective, sure It ultimately doesn't matter which previous actor was better, but I'd still like to bring the debate to a resolution and see where we go from there. Each actor, Tobey and Andrew, had good and bad qualities when it came to the role. I personally enjoyed the Amazing Spider-Man movies, and I loved the two originals (third one doesn't exist for me). So, without further ado... lets find out WHO WAS THE BETTER SPIDER?!
Let's start with Sam Raimi's Spiderman series. Staring Tobey Maguire, who is best known for his God- awful "cry face", the first installment was not only visionary and cutting- edge, but very entertaining as well. Tobey was a great choice for the role, because when it comes to badass, spider-powered crime fighters, he wouldn't be the first person to pop into your head. That seems contradictory, but in reality, it holds true to the comics pretty well. Peter Parker was that stereotypical nerd with the big glasses, lots of books, little to no physical ability and even less athletic aptitude.
The point I'm getting at is one that any Marvel fan, whether of the comics or movies, knows pretty well. Spiderman is about as unlikely of a hero as can be. The whole point of the character was to prove that anyone -no matter how much of a "nobody" they appear- can be more, can be greater, even a superhero!Tobey Maguire nailed that part for sure. His Peter Parker was constantly picked on or, on a good day, just plain ignored. He did well in class sure, but that doesn't always score many social points.
On the other hand, Spiderman is loved by (most) of the NYC populace, even Parker's polar opposite and primary tormentor, Eugene "Flash" Thompson (who becomes, like, his number one fan). Spderman is ripped, and his skin-tight suit ain't afraid to show it. He's fast, skilled, caring and charismatic. Spiderman can easily goad his enemies into acting recklessly, and he does his work with a light and witty persona (for the most part- he is serious when he needs to be). The only person who can out smart- mouth Spidey is one Merc- with- a -Mouth himself ;)
Butas we can see from the movies, Tobey Maguire's Spiderman is pretty down to earth. He makes a few wisecracks here and there, but for the most part he spends his time brooding on his personal life to the point of literally losing his powers! So while Peter was portrayed fairly accurately, Spidey turned out to be a not- so- friendly neighborhood.
Granted, such losses of power did occur in the comics, but it still doesn't tally well for Toby. Moving on...
As I said before, I thought that ASM 1 and 2 were pretty good. I know that a lot of other fans were highly disappointed and even enraged at some of the discrepancies and plot holes, but c'mon, its a comic movie for Odin's sake!
Anywhoo, when it comes to Andrew Garfield, I think that Screen Junkies Honest Trailer got things down pretty accurately. Here's the quote:
"Peter Parker was just an attractive, intelligent, likeable, athletic, well- dressed, teenage, LOSER"
If you haven't seen it, I'll put it down below, it's worth a watch. And I'm sure there's some raging going on right now, but before you leave any hate, stop and think about it for a sec. Yeah, it makes sense. Garfield's Peter Parker doesn't exactly strike me as the kind of Peter Parker we're used to seeing. He wasn't exactly a social outcast, just a bit introverted and awkward (The incessant stuttering was more than enough to make up for a not so horrendous cry face).
Now, Spiderman on the other hand, sporting an initial outfit hipster enough to give Dan Dehaan a run for his money (or just mutate into a pretty- cool- actually- Green Goblin), is a fast-talking, sarcastic jokester with a very forced New York accent. Sound more like our friendly neighborhood? I agree. Garfield was amazing (pun intended) at being Spiderman. He had all the wit and sarcasm coupled with the various antics Spidey is known for, he had it down!
Not to mention the suit in the second one was far more reminiscent of the comics, even than Maguire's to some degree. Again, for all the faults, I thought ASM (especially 2) was a great portrayal of the character (if not of his alter ego)
So... what's the point of this again?
My point is this: Neither of the previous actors was better than the other. That being said, neither of them really got the entire essence of the character either. In order for the next Spider- Man to be the best he possibly can be, we need an actor who can portray both sides of his character, and not just by looks. Whether its Logan Lerman or otherwise (I admit, I know nothing about the character of Miles Morales), that actor will have to be able to pull of the nerd part, and preferably not the "sexy nerd" which is just code for "hipster", because that's not who Peter Parker was. He was the awkward bookworm type, and that needs to show through to some degree, even though the movie isn't an origin. On the other hand, they'll also need to be witty and goofy enough to pull off Spiderman.
I don't know much about the director who's been set to helm the next Spider-Man movie, but from what I have heard, fans are satisfied with the choice. At the end of the day, it may not matter who was better cast for the previous incarnations of our friendly neighborhood, but there are definitely things to learn from them going forward, and if heeded, will allow us a truly spectacular Spider- Man!
Link to Honest Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2KSPiTOMR8