Teen Spider-Man cast, what now?
Despite the usual internet rumours flying all over the place the official announcement of who the new Spider-Man will be has arrived, and it's the British actor Andrew Garfield – surge of pride through the British fans.
While that's great casting, it still raises the question of why we are rebooting the whole series. Is it merely because they had to fit in a new actor and the way that the audience would most accept that is a restart of the franchise from the beginning? Surely if it's not that then they could have just continued the story on from Spider-Man as he was?
So Andrew Garfield is the new Spider-Man, the star of the Red Riding trilogy and soon to be appearing in The Social Network. He's a strong actor and to be honest he looks more like Topher Grace than Tobey Maguire, perhaps that's a deliberate move in the casting? Maybe they want someone who looks a little closer to a hero character than Maguire did, although I think that was some of the power of the original film.
It leads me back to the question of why it needs a restart though. Of course it needs recast because Sam Raimi wasn't going to make another one and that meant the cast were gone too, although I suspect salary expectations had something to do with that too, but why do we need the restart?
Would we have accepted a fourth Spider-Man film with a new actor? Is restarting the entire story with the new actor going to let us accept the change any more than a fourth film?
It's obviously more than that, and it's hinted at in a lot of the press releases, not that it's going to be 3D, but that the film will be a new direction for the Spider-Man character and story, or rather it'll be a different one.
What they are trying to do is make it different enough to try and attract a different and perhaps bigger audience, trying to please the original fans without making too many comparisons with the original series, for those kind of comparisons would surely result in a bit of a backlash from the fans of the Raimi films.
Imagine a fourth Spider-Man with a new actor and a different theme, you can see it being compared to Raimi's best and whatever they did fans would be critical of it, or at least critically compare it. With a restart there's not going to be that so much because it's a new direction, an entirely new version, a reboot, a remake, a re-imagining.
This brings distance to the first trilogy and allows the possibility of another one.
The casting announcement from The Hollywood Reporter Heat Vision says that this film will...
”...restart the story in a scaled-back fashion ”
Cost or scope of the plot on screen? The plot does suggest that the story might be a little smaller and more contained as it will be about Peter Parker struggling with the knowledge that his Uncle died despite his powers, and all the while he's a teenager struggling with hormones, angst and school, a superhero, and all in 3D.