'Spider-Man' joins Marvel, but what will recasting the role mean?

The comic book character Spider-Man will reportedly appear in at least one Marvel movie, but reports say Andrew Garfield won't be playing the role. How will audiences react to yet another actor taking on the part?

Melissa Moseley/Columbia Pictures/AP
'The Amazing Spider-Man' stars Andrew Garfield.

Is Spider-Man in at Marvel but actor Andrew Garfield out?

As every comic book fan has now heard, Spider-Man will be joining the universe of Iron Man and Captain America for at least one film, according to Marvel. The company says that Spider-Man will appear in an unnamed Marvel movie. After another new Spider-Man movie released by Sony, the hero’s current studio, “together, [Marvel and Sony] will collaborate on a new creative direction for the web slinger,” Marvel wrote in a press release.

It’s an announcement that’s sure to have comic book fans very excited. As we previously reported, Spider-Man is at Sony because Marvel sold the company the rights to the webslinger in the ‘90s before Marvel itself became a cinematic powerhouse.

However, in comic book lore, Spider-Man is an important member of the Marvel universe – he’s often part of the Avengers, the superhero group that stormed the box office in 2012, and is part of the well-known Civil War plotline, which has superheroes fighting one another. According to IGN, the title of the upcoming third “Captain America” film is “Captain America: Civil War,” so perhaps that's the Marvel movie in which Spidey will be appearing.

But there is one part of the plan that may not please some fans. According to TheWrap, actor Andrew Garfield, who starred in the most recent “Spider-Man” movies “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” will not be returning as the webslinger.

Garfield was already the second actor to take on the role for the big screen. Actor Tobey Maguire starred in the successful movies “Spider-Man" and “Spider-Man 2” and the critically maligned “Spider-Man 3.” Recasting a famous role is dicey at any time, but Marvel seemed to have lucked out with Garfield when he came on board – the actor drew praise for his own performance and for the on-screen relationship between Spider-Man’s alter ego Peter Parker and Peter’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). “Garfield, by contrast [to Maguire], is surly and rebellious and twitchy (he reminded me a little of the young Anthony Perkins), and this contrasts smartly with his high school sweetie Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who is all smiles and wiles,” Monitor film critic Peter Rainer wrote. “Director Marc Webb… wisely keeps this duo front and center.” Many other critics agreed, even those who didn’t like the rest of the film like New York Times critic Manohla Dargis, who called Garfield “appealing… Mr. Garfield and Ms. Stone are by far the movie’s greatest assets.”

So is too much of a risk to hope that Marvel will find yet another actor that will win over audiences as Peter Parker? It may be difficult to do, but comic book fans may be so excited to see Spider-Man alongside his Marvel brethren that they won’t mind.

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