In the further adventures of Marvel Comics movie casting, we’ve got two items for you — one minor, one alleged but possibly major.
First, the minor. Stanley Tucci, who is an excellent actor when he’s not paying back Vegas legbreakers by taking roles in Space Chimps (seriously, what other reason could there be?), has been cast in Captain America: The First Avenger .
[grits teeth at having to keep typing that clunky-assed and wholly inaccurate title]
Tucci will portray Dr. Abraham Erskine, the brilliant German scientist who actually invents the super soldier serum that leads to ordinary enlistee Steve Rogers becoming the hero the world will come to know as Captain America. It’s a relatively small role (depending on how much exposition they choose to do — hopefully not too much), especially because, well, shortly afterwards Erskine is assassinated, which was Marvel’s kind of weak way of explaining why no one was ever able to replicate the serum. Really? Despite the fact that there are fucking geniuses like Bruce Banner and Reed Richards who can invent all kinds of shit — no one could come up with the serum?
Anyway. I deviate once more. Shut it. It’s a solid addition that makes me anticipate Joe Johnston’s flick a little more, even though I’m still on the fence about Chris Evans. But with veteran actors like Tucci and Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, I’m a bit more optimistic.
Next, the rumor, that’s possibly a big deal. According to website Bleeding Cool, British actor Jamie Bell has been offered the role of Spider-Man in Sony’s reboot/remake/reborquel. They claim to have received multiple reports of this, although I dug around and couldn’t find any other confirmation. Doesn’t mean it’s not true — Lord knows not everyone buys it when the Cog gets a scoop (though they should, since he is pretty much batting 1.000) — but don’t get your hopes up (or down) just yet, although he was on the studio’s short list.
Bell, as some may know, has been kicking around for a little while in Hollywood. He’s likely best known for the role of Billy Elliot back when he was a wee lad, and recently co-starred in the uninspired Jumper. To his credit, after the batshit, wig-crazy performance of Samuel Jackson, he was the best part of that lackluster film.
As for the story, if it’s true, it’s interesting. At 24, he’s young enough to play the part — the new version, based on a script by James Vanderbilt, takes Peter Parker back to his high school days and focuses more on his early development. He’s obviously a solid actor. The biggest obstacle would likely be the fact that Bell has also been cast in Stephen Spielberg’s adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin.
As far as the whole idea of rebooting a franchise that’s less than 10 years old — I think it’s pretty stupid. While I do think that Raimi kind of rushed Peter Parker’s development in the first film, it’s not like anyone doesn’t know the origin story at this point. And unless he’s going to surround him with new villains, re-using villains like Venom, Doc Ock, and The Green Goblin is just going to fuck up the established continuity. It’s going to be confusing as hell. On the other hand… Spider-Man 3 was so dismally awful, so horribly, wretchedly idiotic… that maybe it’s a chance to wash its stench off. Goddamnit, I adore Sam Raimi, but that was just a terrible movie.
Anyway true believers, we’ll keep you posted on the whole story as it develops.