Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the last four or so months, you are probably aware of the fact that there exists hella rampant rumors surrounding the future of Spider-Man and whether he will (ever) be joining the Avengers—especially in light of the massive hack that happened to Sony. In fact, the latest rumor is that he will be joining the squad in Infinity Wars.
That being said, while most of us do not know the validity of these rumors, most of us are also praying that they are true. And, you know, if I were to operate under the presumption they were in fact true, I’d probably begin fan-casting the new Peter Parker in my head or something like that…
…Which is what exactly brings me here today.
While most would agree that Andrew Garfield has been a phenomenal Spider-Man (even though he is an iffy Peter Parker), I would not fight Marvel on their hypothetical decision to recast him, especially since you don’t want to bring Sony’s baggage into the MCU.
So, without boring you with more introductory stuff, here’s what my hypothetical shortlist would look like if I were casting Peter Parker:
I know, I know. “He’s already The Flash, Lex!” Yeah, spare me the obvious facts.
The Part: Anyways, while watching Gustin on The Flash, it became increasingly clear that they were turning his character—Barry—into a Spider-Man/Superman figure….with special emphasis on Spider-Man. I mean, not only has he got the “hope” thing down, but Gustin’s Barry is exceedingly nerdy as all hell and has the clumsiness (pre-Flash transformation) to prove it. His mannerisms and way of speaking on the show—sans the awkward CW dialogue—also brings out that shyness/bashfulness/awkwardness that should totally be Peter’s shtick (yes, that was definitely shade I was throwing at Sony’s current iteration of asshole/suave Peter Parker. Like…the f*ck?)
The Look: Unlike the stupendously attractive Andrew Garfield (seriously, why did they think they could keep his attractiveness low-key?), Grant Gustin has that geeky charm that would work if he were to ever to step into the role of the Scarlet Spider. He’s tall, he’s lanky, and have you heard the dude laugh? It is wonderfully derpy.
Also, there is the added and obvious bonus that Gustin is already playing a superhero; so even though it’s kind of a longshot, he is pretty qualified (technically).
Ah, Carlos. You rascal, you.
The Part: I haven’t really seen Carlos on anything besides Big Time Rush (Yup, I used to watch it—religiously. I have no shame, whatsoever); so that’s the knowledge I’m going to be operating under. I think the best word that I can use to describe his character from BTR is probably ditzy. He wasn’t quite stupid, but he could be very far from intelligent. HOWEVER, he does play derpy and occasionally shy extremely well.
The Look: Much like Gustin (and the rest of this list), Carlos is attractive in an accessible way. He’s not too buff or too tall and he’s got a smile that would most definitely win over the Gwen Stacys and the Mary Janes of the world.
You probably know him as “Ricky” Ullman.
The Part: Ullman hasn’t really been active since the 2013 film Contest (which kind of makes this a semi- random nomination), but that doesn’t really matter as much to me as his former role as Phil Diffy in Phil of The Future does. While Phil was less awkward and less derpy than earlier contenders, what always got me about his role was his intelligence (which is not unlike Gustin’s Barry Allen). Granted, he got a boost from the various future tech that he had at his immediate disposal, but that never changed the fact that he was pretty smart without all the bells and whistles. And that is something I would like to see explored in a new Spider-Man interpretation. Garfield’s Spidey is “cool” per say, but aside from that montage of him creating his web shooters, we don’t ever get to see his genius shine and I think that’s a problem.
The Look: I’m not sure what it is about Ullman, but I am pretty sure that with that face, he could rock the sh*t out of glasses and that’s something I would be all for (and when I say rock glasses, I mean actually wear the goddamn things).
If you don’t him from Big Hero 6 (he played the ironically named Hiro Hamada) or Supah Ninjas, you’re clearly behind.
The Part: Going off his Ninja’s role, Potter can and does do painfully awkward and uncool very well, which is a problem I have had with the current slate of Spider-Man movies. Not only is Garfield technically too attractive to play Peter Parker, but he’s also just too cool—especially since they clearly went with a more Hipster Peter Parker (skateboard? Check. Occasional hipster glasses? Check. Skinny jeans, Vans, and frequent beanie combination? Check. Avicci and Phillip Phillips music? Check.) Frankly, I never believed that Garfield’s Peter Parker would be some social pariah in the real world. Like, are you kidding me? In what world would this be the case?!
But moving back to Potter, he also gets a slight edge in that he’s technically already worked with Marvel on Big Hero 6; so it’s not exactly an implausible choice. And besides that, Potter is an avid martial artist and that could be very interesting, considering the fact that Spider-Man essentially made his own martial art at one point (yes, that happened).
The Look: Though Potter is a little on the short side, (which is nothing a great camera angle and lifts could not fix), Potter also has the lean thing going for him and always used that to his advantage when making use of physical humor on Supah Ninjas.
You may know him as the titular villain Derek from Minutemen…or, you know, Vampire Diaries’ Jeremy Gilbert.
The Part: I haven’t seen him in much besides some snippets of Vampire Diaries, but I do remember him being cast as Nightwing on the CW and being thisclose to making an appearance on Arrow. That fell through for obvious reasons (WE’VE GOT TO KEEP THE BAT-FAMILY TOGETHER, GUYZZZZ), but his enthusiasm for that role did not escape my attention. Looking the part is one thing, but actually being psyched for the part is a completely different ballgame and it can go a long way. Enthusiasm means that we’ll be getting a hardworking actor.
Example: I still firmly believe that Hugh Jackman was miscast as Wolverine. I mean, he’s too tall, too attractive, and way leaner and stockier Logan than most of us are used too. But you know what? I’ve accepted him in this role and this acceptance is due largely in part to the fact that he gets so f*cking excited every time he gets to play this character (seriously. His excitement is super infectious).
So, if McQueen were to bring that same excitement to his hypothetical Peter Parker role, I would definitely be down for it.
The Look: I will be the first to admit that this is an “out there” choice, seeing as McQueen is what most would call more “conventionally attractive” than the other nominations on this list. That being said, if Marvel wanted to go the Garfield route, and were somehow able to simmer down his attractiveness and actually make him look like a freakin’ nerd, it could [possibly] work.
And finally we reach a candidate that actually has somewhat of a meaty filmography.
The Part: So, as previously alluded to, Yelchin has been around for quite some time. Yelchin got his start at age 9 in the indie film A Man Is Mostly Water and has gone on to act in and/or appear in a number of projects ever since like Star Trek (and its sequel), Only Lovers Left Alive, and etc.
Also—as a nice bonus—Yelchin starred in the movie Charlie Bartlett as its titular character and appeared alongside MCU stars Robert Downey Jr. and Kat Dennings. So, hypothetically (technically), he kind of has an in.
On a more serious note, I’m pretty convinced that Yelchin would have no problem portraying Peter Parker/Spider-Man. It’s the same way I felt about Dane Dehaan taking over the role of Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Sure, the movie itself was pretty questionable, but he was easily one of the best parts (performance-wise). To explain, both Dehaan and Yelchin have impressive range and I am sure that that same range would be an invaluable tool if Yelchin were ever to step into the role of the Scarlet Spider.
The Look: Much like I’ve discussed throughout out this piece, Yelchin isn’t a Garfield type (inaccessibly attractive is what I mean to say), which is something that would work for him. He is pretty adorable and I’m convinced that he would also be able to rock glasses—or, you know, the entire nerd get-up—pretty well.
Also, it would make his appearance in the Star Trek movies that much more hilarious.
Admittedly, Posey is my dark-horse candidate.
The Part: Besides appearing in Maid in Manhattan as J-Lo’s adorable son, Posey is most known for his role as lead character Scott in Teen Wolf. What I like about Posey’s Scott is that in the beginning, he was the nerd/geek that was super lame/closed off and wasn’t all that smart. Obviously, we want Peter Parker to be brilliant and all, but I really and truly want us to return to a time where Peter wasn’t Rico Suave (don’t worry, Urban Dictionary has got your back) and I think Posey would be able to help us get there (think 1994’s Spider-Man series).
The Look: The cool thing about Posey is that even though his features are remarkably sharp, jawline included (no shade intended and honestly, that was the nicest way I could put it), he is incredibly goofy and it totally works for him. Honestly, he reminds of a golden retriever—which would make for an endearing Peter Parker.
Also popularly known as Peeta Mallark (Katniss’s bae).
The Part: Like Yelchin, Hutcherson’s filmography isn’t that skimpy; so he’d be bringing some experience to the role. That being said, I’m way more interested in how he’d possibly channel his Peeta role into a hypothetical
Peeta Peter Parker role.
What I like about Peeta is that he’s a very type B character. He’s everything that the type A, Alpha male is not (obviously making him the beta male, but I digress), and it works for him. I mean, as much as I abhor love triangles—including the Gale-Katniss-Peeta one that The Hunger Games makes use of—I have always liked that Peeta and Gale are polar opposites, which plays to their own strengths. In addition to that, there is also a timidity that Peeta possesses that I would love to see in Peter Parker.
In essence, this is what I’d want Hutcherson to go for:
Spider-Man = Lovable asshole.
Peter Parker = Just lovable.
The Look: Like Posey, Hutcherson also has a distinct jawline, but I don’t think it would be much of a problem, especially if hypothetical costume and make-up designers model his Peter Parker somewhat after Peeta of The Hunger Games.
Also—fun fact—Hutcherson was previously in the running to play Spider-Man before Andrew Garfield was finally cast. So, there’s that.
2. Logan Lerman
If you don’t know him as Percy Jackson or as Charlie from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’re super behind.
The Part: Like the last few people on this list, Lerman is no stranger to acting and he has the filmography to prove it. From the recent Fury all the way back to a film like What Women Want, Lerman needs no help in the acting department.
In that same vein, my favorite film that I have seen him in has to be The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I don’t know how he did it, but he played brutally awkward really well. Like, almost too well. Some of the scenes where he would play off of either Emma Watson and Paul Rudd (more potential Marvel connections!) were extremely painful to watch—in the best way, of course.
If Lerman was able to channel this same awkwardness towards a potential Peter Parker/Spider-Man role, (much like Garfield brought some aspect of extreme social awkwardness to his role as Spidey—so much so that he had many, including myself, convinced that he was playing Peter Parker straight as a high functioning autistic), it would do wonders for the film and the potential sequels that followed.
The Look: There’s a saying that goes “The eyes will have it”, and boy do Lerman’s eyes have it. I’m pretty sure those soulful baby blues would augment his portrayal as Peter/Spidey, especially if he were to be be-spectacled (which, you know, he should. Peter Parker should be wearing glasses. No if ands or buts about it).
In addition to that, Lerman also has this doe-eyed quality to him that makes it nearly impossible to find him anything but affable and I would not mind that manifesting itself in his rendition of Peter Parker.
One word: Stiles.
The Part: Real talk, Dylan O’Brien’s portrayal of Stiles is EVERYTHING I want to see in an MCU Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
Let me repeat this one more time:
Stiles IS Peter Parker.
Think about it. He’s a total nerd (seriously, most of Teen Wolf’s plots wouldn’t have been solved if he wasn’t around) AND he’s witty and sarcastic. He’s also an invaluable part of Scott’s squad (because he loves his friends so much), but he is also very dangerous when crossed. Teen Wolf fans will remember that Stiles briefly repped for the dark-side when he was possessed by a Nogitsune during Season 3 and in turn went completely batsh*t…and badass.
He’s already got covered most of Peter/Spidey’s attributes covered. He’s got that sh*t locked.
On top of that, Dylan O’Brien is in a position where his star is on the rise (see: The Maze Runner), but he’s not so ultra-famous that he couldn’t get pulled into the MCU fold. And that’s the type of star that Marvel has consistently recruited—with the exception of people like Robert Downey Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch.
The Look: I’m not even going to lie. I would be all for copying and pasting Stiles into the MCU. Other than that, I would also not mind them incorporating his glasses/nerd-chic look from The Internship—baring that they don’t use this as an opportunity to revisit hipster Peter Parker again.
What about you, lovers of the Zoo? Agree? Disagree? Who do you want as Peter Parker? Let me know in the comments below!
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