Friday, October 12, 2012

What Would Two Tickets For... Do?: Casting "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

Andrew: Hello readers! Earlier this year we saw the release of The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot of the Spider-Man franchise that was directed by Marc Webb ((500) Days of Summer) and starred Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) as Peter Parker and Emma Stone (The Help) as Gwen Stacy. We didn't get a chance to post about this just yet, but it was confirmed earlier this year that Garfield and Stone will definitely reprise their roles in the sequel and it was recently announced that Webb will indeed return as director despite the first film's disappointing box-office performance.

That said, another story about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has hit the web this week and it really piqued my interest. Variety reported earlier this week that The Secret Life of The American Teenager star Shailene Woodley is in negotiations to join the franchise as Peter Parker's famous red-headed love interest Mary Jane Watson. It's a choice that, at first glance, I was a fan of because I really liked Woodley in The Descendants and I feel like she fits the role of Mary Jane perfectly (especially in contrast to Kirsten Dunst's MJ in the Sam Raimi versions). But Sarah, you had a different reaction to the news when I told you, didn't you?

Sarah: I did! I wasn't impressed. I will give Woodley this, she was awesome in The Descendants but her other works have been less than awesome. I guess I am little concerned that she will play the same character that she plays in The Secret Life of The American Teenager.  I don't think that Mary Jane is supposed to be this sullen teenager. She's not who I would have cast. Especially if they have to turn her hair red to put her in the part.

Shailene Woodley is in talks to play Mary Jane Watson in
Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but is
she who we think would be the best fit?

A: Well to be fair we've seen that Woodley herself can be pretty perky when she went on talk-shows to promote The Descendants and when she was getting award buzz. And her hair sort of already fits the part. 

But enough of my defending her! This is a perfect opportunity for us to do another What Would Two Tickets For.. Do? Last time we talked about who we would cast in some roles for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, so why not talk about who we would cast for Mary Jane? In the same Variety article they say that not only is MJ going to be in it, but they're bringing Harry Osborne back as well. Harry was played by James Franco in the original trilogy, but since this reboot is obviously going with a younger, high school story-line we need to figure out someone younger (or younger looking) to play a high-school Harry.

So let's get to it. Sarah, who do you think should play Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 instead of Shailene Woodley?

S: I think that Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) would be perfect for the role. I know you have said that she is too big of a name but Garfield and Stone are HUGE names! Kendrick would fit the role as the iconic Mary Jane perfectly. She would bring the character up to date while still fitting into the comic book world. She is bubbly but has also shown that she can be serious and moody like normal teenagers. I think that Woodley would be like casting Dunst all over again, a one-dimensional actor. I know I am being tough on Woodley but I want to point out that I believe it was a fluke that she did so well and got an Oscar nom.

Sarah's choice for Mary Jane: Anna Kendrick (End of  Watch),
who certainly fits the quirky/cute feel that Andrew Garfield and
Emma Stone gave off in The Amazing Spider-Man

A: I love the choice of Anna Kendrick. And now that you've said her name, she's the only candidate I can think of. But I had a couple of names written down prior to us sitting down to write this, so I'm going to throw them out there and see what you and our readers think.

The first name I have written down and was the first one that popped into my head when I started thinking of alternate actresses to play Mary Jane is Blake Lively (Savages). She's only 25 so she can still play young (heck, she's only a year older than Emma Stone and 4 years younger than Andrew Garfield!). Yes she's blonde so she'd have to dye her hair, but so did Dunst and it looked fine. She can play bubbly but serious at the same time, but honestly a big part of the role that I know a lot of comic book fans might give Lively an edge over Woodley is that Lively is a little more...buxom. Sounds a little piggish, but it's true!

Andrew's choice for Mary Jane: Blake Lively (The Green Lantern),
 who fits the attractive girl-next-door look but
would definitely have to dye her hair.

S: Yeah I definitely think that Lively would be too sexy for the role, but I could still see it. But I think they have a nice little "nerdy chic" thing going on with the characters they already have cast so I like the idea of them still sticking with that. 

A: Ok, then I think the other name I had written down my fit into that a little bit better - Emma Roberts (Celeste & Jesse Forever). She's also blonde and would have to dye her hair, but she's only 21 and she fits more into that nerdy chic look Webb has created (at least more so than Lively).

S: Yea but she's got too much of a Disney look. I'm sticking with Kendrick. If not Kendrick, then maybe Emma Watson (Harry Potter)? She's starting to prove her chops, although I don't think she would ever go for being in another franchise.

A: I was actually thinking Emma Watson for a while there but decided not to nominate her for the exact reason you just mentioned - she was already in one huge franchise, she probably wouldn't want to take on another. I like your pick of Kendrick and I think she'd make a fine choice, and honestly I really like the Woodley decision by Sony, too. But in the end I think the best candidate for Mary Jane would have been Emma Stone, but she's already Gwen Stacy. Womp womp.

Let's be honest: as great as Emma Stone was
as Gwen Stacy (plus she's a natural blonde), she
would've been the perfect choice to play Mary Jane.

S: Super lame on their part. Kinda wish they would leave MJ out all together. She's kind of a wimpy character to begin with, but maybe that was just Dunst.

Ok. let's move on to Harry. In the previous movies, James Franco played the sexy rich friend of Peter Parker and it worked for the Raimi movies. But for this one, I think they need to stick with my nerdy chic belief. There are several names being thrown around and one really stuck out to me: Anton Yelchin (Star Trek). Now I understand that he is already a huge part of the Star Trek reboot, but I really like the idea of him playing Harry.

Sarah's choice for Harry Osborn: Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy),
who fits the nerdy-chic feel Sarah got from the reboot.

A: I like Anton Yelchin and I think he's done a fine job in Star Trek, Like Crazy and Fright Night, but I just can't see him as Harry Osborne. If Webb takes his franchise in the direction that Harry will eventually fall from grace and become a villain like Raimi's did, then I have a tough time seeing Yelchin as a bad guy.

Personally we just saw a movie that starred an actor I think would be perfect for the role. I think Ezra Miller, who does a phenomenal job in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, fits your nerdy chic look for Harry's high-school years and by all accounts he can do evil because of his great turn in We Need To Talk About Kevin (a film we definitely need to see now). We know he can play a high schooler and we know he can play dark when he needs to. I just think he'd be perfect as the rich but unhappy son of Norman Osborne.

S: Here's the thing, he also has to be a guy that has an interest in MJ. Since we have seen him play a gay man, I'm not sure if I will be able to find him believable in that role. He's kind of goth looking too so I could see him a straight up bad guy instead of a sexy rich guy. 

I also like Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper). I know that he is older and can't really pass for a teenager anymore but he's just so good! He's also in everything under the sun these days so I know it's an over-exposure issue too. I just still like the idea. 

A: Yeah, I feel like as much as we love JGL he's a little too old to be playing a high school student. Plus I think he has enough on his plate now (or he will) after having such a successful 2012 that he wouldn't want to play the role. 

Andrew's choice for Harry Osborn: Ezra Miller
(We Need To Talk About Kevin), who also fits the nerdy-chic
vibe but Andrew feels might fit the darker undertones of Harry

And that's an interesting point on Ezra Miller, that he might be hard to believe in a straight-role. Miller is gay, but that shouldn't necessarily keep him from playing a straight-role. One of our absolute favorite actors is Neil Patrick Harris and he plays the straightest of straight guys on How I Met Your Mother. I don't think sexual orientation or playing a different sexual orientation would have any effect on it, personally.

S: True. I would just need to see him in something where he plays the straight guy. I am still going to stick with my Yelchin pick though.

A: Fair enough! Ok, so let's do one more quick one. The Variety article also says the producers are probably going to make Electro the big bad guy in the second movie, but I'm not very familiar with that character so we're going to cast a different villain - one who wasn't directly in The Amazing Spider-Man but whose presence was certainly felt, and that's Harry's dad, Norman Osborn. He's only mentioned (many times) in the reboot but it's obvious he's going to have a big role once he finally shows up. So let's throw out who we think would be best for him.

In the original trilogy Norman Osborn was played by Willem Dafoe (The Boondock Saints), and while I liked him as "Norman" I did NOT like him as The Green Goblin. The costume didn't help matters, but I just wasn't buying it. So we need to find someone who can either pull off the dual roles well or pick someone who can play Norman while a stunt actor plays the masked villain. Any ideas?

S: Josh Brolin (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). He's got the suave debonair thing going on that makes him perfect as a rich guy, but we also know that he is great as a bad guy. He could play any of the Harry's we've talked about Dad and I just think he would be an easy add to the cast. But on the downside, is he a little too "Hollywood?" Do we need someone a little more eclectic?

Sarah's choice for Norman Osborn: Josh Brolin
(Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps), who would be
perfect for playing an industrial tycoon with a
darker side and could probably do Green Goblin stunts.

A: Oh damn girl, that's a great pick! I never would have thought of him! You're absolutely right, he'd be pretty good at playing the dual role. Well played.

There are two names that pop into my head, one who I think could do the dual role and one I think would play a great Norman Osborne if someone else could do the stunt work. The dual role candidate I would try to get is Hugo Weaving (The Matrix). He can play a savvy businessman, he can play a scientist, I think he'd fit as the father for any of the Harry Osborn candidates we've mentioned, and he can certainly do the physical action required of the role in costume. Plus his voice is just killer.

Andrew's choice for Norman Osborn: Hugo Weaving
(V for Vendetta), who fits the scientist/business man look
but could also do the stunt work for the Green Goblin.

The other candidate I'd try to get if they used someone else for stunts would be Jon Hamm (Mad Men). He's debonair, can certainly play the president of a huge corporation, he's a man's man and I think he'd be a great presence for the role. Plus I'd like to see him in more stuff. But if they went with him, I don't think I'd like to see him as the Green Goblin, they could use his voice but not have him do the stunts.

S: Not sure how I feel about Jon Hamm but I do like Hugo Weaving. He might be a little old for the role but his voice is amazeballs so I would agree with you on that point. I think that it will be an interesting role to fill. 

As far as the Spider-Man franchise goes, I do think they need to be very careful about who they cast in these new roles. They should want the cast to feel cohesive. So far, so good, but when the next one comes out I think a lot of people could get very critical if one person is cast wrong.

A: Couldn't have said it better. Webb has done a great job of casting the classic roles with Garfield as Peter, Stone as Gwen, Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben, Sally Field as Aunt May, and now Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane; plus I liked his choices of Denis Leary as Captain Stacy and Rhys Ifans as Curt Connors. So I'm sure they'll fill the roles pretty well.

Ok! That'll do it for this edition of What Would Two Tickets For.. Do? What do you think of our choices, readers? I'm sure there are some of you out there who might know comics better than us and can think of even better choices for these roles and we'd love to hear them! So hit us up in the comments section, and as always, thanks for reading!


  1. Great casting choices, guys. I agree about Hugo Weaving and especially Anton Yelchin.

    The first movie made over 750 million dollars worldwide. Granted that it is well short of over the billion dollar grosses of TDKR and The Avengers...Still I do not think that amount can be termed as "disappointing" ;)

    1. Good call B2B. I was looking at the domestic grosses when I meant to look at the worldwide grosses. When you subtract that $230 million budget from the $262 million domestic box office, that's where I got "disappointing" from. My mistake looking at the wrong box office, lol

  2. Mary Jane: Emma Stone... the redhead. I don't want Gwen going anywhere...

    But if I had to pick, I love me some Anna Kendricks. Sorry, Andrew, but Blake Lively is a disgustingly bad choice lol. She can't act worth a damn and her constant lip-poofing or whatever you want to call it is so annoying. (I also hate the idea of Woodley in the role)

    I love, love, love, Anton as Harry. It's a perfect idea and I would love to see him eventually descend into darkness, if he has to.

    Norman is trickier. If I had to pick, it'd be someone along the lines of Brolin. You want a nice guy that becomes bad, not someone like Weaving wh you think of as evil almost right away. He also has to look smart. I'd love to see Sean Bean tackle a superhero movie. Or even Richard Gere, it'd be nothing like you'd see him in before.

    As for the rumored Electro as the villain, Sam Rockwell, please.

    Other villains:
    The Vulture- John Hawkes
    Mysterio- Jude Law or Matt Smith (the Doctor) you need someone who's a fan of theatrics
    Kraven- Ray Stevenson
    Venom- Joseph Gordon Levitt
    Carnage- Kevin Bacon
    Doc Oc- Viggo Mortensen or Christopher Eccleston

  3. Nope.. change my mind. Norman = David Tenant. Sorry for all the Doctor Who's lol.