With the recent news that Spider-Man will partially be returning to the hands of Marvel, but whose rights are still owned by Sony, also came word that the young actor, Andrew Garfield, will be taking off the mask, shedding his suit, ditching his gadgets, and will not be reprising the role of Spidey, much to the dismay of his dedicated fans.
Early reports on the recasting were making it sound like Garfield, who played the wise-cracking, sarcastic Peter Parker in [The Amazing Spider-Man](movie:45497) and [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) had be ousted by the studios largely because they wanted to go with someone younger than the 31-year-old actor. Apparently, that wasn't always the situation.
According to The Daily Beast, Andrew Garfield was in talks with Marvel-Sony to continue his work as the fan-favorite wall-crawler, but in the end things simply didn't pan out between them. Ultimately, "it didn’t make sense" for Garfield to move onto the next chapter of Spidey's tale.
It's still unsure whether it was officially his decision or the studios, and where the discussions ended, but some are beginning to speculate that it was actually Garfield who cut his time short. I know, it seems ridiculous that Garfield, who has made it abundantly clear how passionate he is about the role, would turn down playing Spider-Man, but that doesn't make it impossible.
It was likely pretty unsettling for Garfield to have his fate in the Spider-Man franchise so up in the air due to the messy custody battle between Marvel and Sony. Or, perhaps it was due to the changes Sony made to [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593), followed by the unfavorable views of the sequel that wore him down. At the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Garfield was quoted by The Daily Beast saying:
It’s interesting. I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it. For me, I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it. I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it—because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related.
Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because they’re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people.
No one can deny that Garfield is a talented, passionate actor with, I'm sure, plenty of potential roles on his plate. With this new shift in Spider-Man ownership, it might be a better move career-wise for Garfield to take this opportunity to end his role as Peter Parker and move onto other projects where he's not tied down to a multi-movie superhero franchise.
In lieu of Garfield's absence, the Marvel-Sony teams have opted to reboot Spider-Man (again!) and give him an entirely new look, with a fresh face for the role, minus the origin story. Because, honestly, who doesn't know that whole narrative already? In the wise words of head of the Fosun-backed Studio 8, Jeff Robinov:
In the next Spider-Man movies, we can’t go back to his origin story. Think of the 25 films in the James Bond franchise; just because a new creative team comes aboard, and breathes new life into a classic property, doesn’t mean the origin story has to be retold.
While Marvel’s Kevin Feige is working alongside Amy Pascal from Sony, Sony still holds majority share over Spider-Man's rights. Earlier today, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter announced that it's still true that the studio (Sony) is aiming to cast someone younger (high school age) than Garfield to next don the red and blue suit. Sorry, Tobey.
That being said, nothing it set in stone and the role is still up for grabs, so we can't be entirely sure what to expect.
When push comes to shove, I get it. Sometimes, even with all the wishing and hoping of fans like me, casting just doesn't work out. And that doesn't mean those of us who feel like Garfield's run was too short will have to feign agreement with the studios' decisions. Still, now that Marvel was able to regain some control over Spider-Man's fate, I'm sure whoever they pick to fill Garfield's suit will be the right choice for the role.
Who do you think should play the next Spider-Man? Let me know in the comments section, or check out our Spider-Man fan casting HERE.