Spin the news wheel today and nine times out of 10, you’ll land on a “Who will play Spider-Man when he comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe?” story. Most of those stories focus on young, up-and-coming actors who fit the general physical description of a 20-something Peter Parker. Miles Teller, Donald Glover, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Taylor Lautner. All young men in their mid- to early 30s. Good looking, fit. Peter Parkerish.
According to recent reports, none fit the bill. Marvel’s Spider-Man will be young - a high school teenager - reports news outlets like Variety. If so, all those actors are out the door. It's why Andrew Garfield was asked to hang up the tights.
Also worth noting. Marvel and Sony didn't say they are casting a young Peter Parker. Just a young Spider-Man. Which leaves the door wide open for all kinds of casting possibilities. Is Marvel considering something unconventional with our Web-head? Maybe even something controversial?
What if Marvel decides to cast:
Kodi Smit-McPhee (17): The Australian actor is probably best known for his roles in The Road and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Smit-McPhee is likely the least controversial choice on this list - but he makes the list because of his gangly appearance. The actor looks like a Steve Ditko sketch in real-life. He isn't the strikingly handsome actor many bloggers are lobbying for.
Chandler Riggs (15). The Walking Dead star cleaned up and less gore covered would make an excellent Peter Parker. What makes the casting daring is the baggage Riggs carries with him from The Walking Dead. Riggs’ Carl Grimes is an emotionally hardened survivor. Far removed from Parker’s fun-loving knowledge sponge. Place Riggs in the role of Peter Parker and you almost start with some serious survivor guilt. Plus, Riggs is a great mesh of Maguire and Garfield.
Cameron Boyce (16): A solid actor with a Disney background (Good Luck Charlie, Jessie), Boyce could easily pull off the nerdy teenage Parker. He can also play wide-eyed and innocent. The trick for Marvel? Boyce doesn’t look like the traditional Peter Parker. But should that be a showstopper? We don’t think so.
Tyrel Jackson Williams (17). Star of Disney’s Lab Rats, Williams’ sensibilities fit the part perfectly. He’s witty, he can play serious and he has an everyman quality. Casting Williams as Miles Morales - and forgoing Peter Parker altogether - would be a brave, but popular, move by Marvel. Casting Williams as Parker would be monumental - and terribly exciting.
Bella Thorne (17). Wait? A female Spider-Man? Here me out. What if we’re introduced to a 40-something Peter Parker played by Maguire who occasionally puts on the spandex, but has really handed that work down to his daughter, May Parker (better known as Mayday Parker, Spider-Girl). You could bring Maguire back to pass the torch in the stand-alone film and Thorne can take over from there.