July 2nd, 2010
02:06 PM ET
Oh, what a tangled web he’ll weave! British actor Andrew Garfield has landed the coveted role of Peter Parker – aka Spider-Man – in the upcoming 3-D reinvention of the $2.5 billion movie franchise.
The relatively unknown 26-year-old replaces original “Spider-Man” star Tobey Maguire and beat out a host of equally little-known actors, including Jamie Bell of “Billy Elliot” fame, “Kick-Ass” star Aaron Johnson,” and Frank Dillane, who played a young Tom Riddle in last year’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.”
“Community” star Donald Glover hoped to audition for the role, launching a Twitter campaign and being backed by a “Donald Glover for Spider-Man” Facebook fan page. (Alas, he is no Betty White.)
Until now, Garfield hasn’t quite achieved the level of fame enjoyed by the cartoon cat of the same name. But the L.A.-born, England-raised actor isn’t exactly a newbie: Besides acting in a host of U.K. films, he starred alongside Hollywood heavyweights Heath Ledger and Johnny Depp in 2009’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” and appeared in the 2007 Tom Cruise/Meryl Streep drama “Lions for Lambs.”
In October, he’ll be seen on the big screen as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in “The Social Network,” which co-stars Justin Timberlake.
The new Spider-Man flick, due out next July and helmed by “500 Days of Summer” director Marc Webb, will return Peter Parker back to his high school roots and find him struggling to come to terms with his superpowers and his uncle’s death.
Webb said of Garfield, "Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor's work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit and humanity."
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