Casting News: Thor and Spider-Man

Published on January 11th, 2010

Here at Comic Impact we try to keep you up to date with breaking news in the comic book world. That includes comic book movies and this past week has had quite a few shakeups in big comic productions.

Yesterday  there was news of a recast in the Thor movie slated for release in 2011. Fandral, a member of the Warriors Three who was originally set to be portrayed by Stuart Townsend, who you may recall from his portrayal as Dorian Gray in the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen film, has been recast. The role will now be played by Joshua Dallas. Dallas has mostly done theatre work and for the entirely too geeky like Simon appeared in a single episode of Doctor Who.


That’s  him right there next to Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) in Silence in the Library

So big news right? A well-loved character will be played by a virtually unknown actor as apposed to the much loved Townsend who surely would have helped ticket sales.  But that’s not all the casting news continues.

malkovichvultureToday the website reported that in a recent interview John Malkovich confirmed that he was offered the role of the Vulture in highly anticipated Spider-Man 4.  The website and all those that followed made it sound like a done deal. And then the big news broke.

Rumors and articles began to pop-up earlier today that Spider-Man 4 was to be cancelled and the franchise rebooted.  There has been a lot of controversy around this film. Delays due to casting and script selection and supposed tension between the director Sam Raimi and the Sony Pictures. It seems today the studio decided to throw in the towel and is planning to reboot the franchise with an entirely new cast and director.  As far as confirmation, Sony Pictures official twitter account posted the following:

Spider-Man: Summer 2012: Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012.

Sony also issued the following press release:

Culver City, CA (January 11, 2010) — Peter Parker is going back to high school when the next Spider-Man hits theaters in the summer of 2012. Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios announced today they are moving forward with a film based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on a teenager grappling with both contemporary human problems and amazing super-human crises.

The new chapter in the Spider-Man franchise produced by Columbia, Marvel Studios and Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin, will have a new cast and filmmaking team. Spider-Man 4 was to have been released in 2011, but had not yet gone into production.

“A decade ago we set out on this journey with Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire and together we made three Spider-Man films that set a new bar for the genre. When we began, no one ever imagined that we would make history at the box-office and now we have a rare opportunity to make history once again with this franchise. Peter Parker as an ordinary young adult grappling with extraordinary powers has always been the foundation that has made this character so timeless and compelling for generations of fans. We’re very excited about the creative possibilities that come from returning to Peter’s roots and we look forward to working once again with Marvel Studios, Avi Arad and Laura Ziskin on this new beginning,” said Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“Working on the Spider-Man movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job,” said Sam Raimi.

“We have had a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration and friendship with Sam and Tobey and they have given us their best for the better part of the last decade.This is a bittersweet moment for us because while it is hard to imagine Spider-Man in anyone else’s hands, I know that this was a day that was inevitable,” said Matt Tolmach, president of Columbia Pictures, who has served as the studio’s chief production executive since the beginning of the franchise. “Now everything begins anew, and that’s got us all tremendously excited about what comes next. Under the continuing supervision of Avi and Laura, we have a clear vision for the future of Spider-Man and can’t wait to share this exciting new direction with audiences in 2012.”


“Spider-Man will always be an important franchise for Sony Pictures and a fresh start like this is a responsibility that we all take very seriously,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures. “We have always believed that story comes first and story guides the direction of these films and as we move onto the next chapter, we will stay true to that principle and will do so with the highest respect for the source material and the fans and moviegoers who deserve nothing but the best when it comes to bringing these stories and characters to life on the big screen.”

The studio will have more news about Spider-Man in 2012 in the coming weeks as it prepares for production of the film.

This is a highly controversial choice.  There is history in the franchise as it stands and frankly I doubt if anyone wants to see another Spider-man origin story so soon. Personally I really liked Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and will be upset to see him go. As for what this means for people like John Malkovich who were supposedly in Spider-Man 4 I can’t say, maybe they will be part of the reboot . That’s all for the latest comic book movie news, wanna rant about it? Comment below.

Dana Shukartsi