Director Marc Webb said earlier this year that he was "casting a wide net" for an actor to play Peter Parker in the next installment of "Spider-Man", reboot of the franchise.
Already, Webb, who directed "(500) Days of Summer," has talked up the film with the star of his '09 romantic comedy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and rumors have surfaced linking Josh Hutcherson and "Percy Jackson & the Olympians" star Logan Lerman to the movie.
While reports that Lerman is in the running have been all but dismissed, a new report claims that Hutcherson and four other young actors have made Webb and Columbia Pictures' shortlist for the Spidey role. Jamie Bell, Alden Ehrenreich, Frank Dillane and Andrew Garfield round out the finalists under consideration to succeed Tobey Maguire, according The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog.
Their credits range from the lead role in "Billy Elliot" (Bell) to the young Tom Riddle in 2009's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" (Dillane). Even the lesser-known actors, however, come with big-name directors attached to their onscreen appearances: Garfield worked with Terry Gilliam for "The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus" and Ehrenreich with Francis Ford Coppola on "Tetro." The studio is reportedly taking its time in choosing among these relative unknowns, and has declined to publicly address casting rumors.
All five would fit visually with the younger incarnation of Parker that Webb is said to be conceptualizing. "Spider-Man" screenwriter Alvin Sargent recently signed on to write the script for the movie, which is expected to be shot in 3-D and bear some resemblance to Brian Michael Bendis' "Ultimate Spider-Man" comics. The would-be Peter Parkers named range in age from 17 to 27, reinforcing the old Hollywood rule that actors need only look young to play young.
If Columbia plans to begin shooting the fourth Spider-Man film by the end of the year, they still have some time to reach a decision. But with the annual Comic-Con just two months away, any surprise panel appearances by someone like Webb will undoubtedly be met by an onslaught of questions.
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