With the announcement that Spider-Man will be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, our minds are concocting all sorts of crossover moments (hello, Wolverine) filled with friendly neighborhood drive-by snark. But fans of Andrew Garfield, who played Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2, are a little less happy at the news. It seems that Garfield will no longer be donning the mask.
According to NerdReactor, Marvel will be looking to cast another actor.
This is disappointing news for fans of Garfield, myself included. Garfield played Peter Parker with the right notes of intensity and awkwardness, a genius who lacked all social graces. But when he donned his suit and became Spider-Man, he was electric with glee. With great power came great attitude. And Garfield's performance was a bright spot in an otherwise murky pool of problems that led to a lack of success for the Amazing series:
The scripts didn't live up to what fans wanted from Spider-Man. Specifically, Peter abandons his search for Uncle Ben's killer in favor of learning more about his parents. As fans of the comic books know, it's the love of Aunt May and the late Uncle Ben that had the most impact on our budding young hero.
Plus, in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the role of super-scientist was given to Gwen Stacey. As actress Emma Stone said in an interview, "He's the muscle, she's the brains." I'm a Gwen fan—"The Night Gwen Stacy Died" shocked me to tears when I was a child—but a script that has reduced Peter to "muscle" is one not worth bearing the title Spider-Man.
There was also the "too soon" reaction: The previous Spider-Man trilogy, starring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, had only ended in 2007 ... a mere five years before the first Amazing Spider-Man hit the theaters.
At first glance, it seemed as if The Amazing Spider Man movies were wildly successful, with budgets of $230 million/$200 million and a take of $757 million/$708 million. However, the movies earned only $262 million/$202 million domestically. And as we know, the studios earn less money on international takes.
I'm reminded of the fate of Brandon Routh, who never got to reprise his role as Superman (with godlike powers and homespun charm) after the box-office take of the 2006 movie Superman Returns was $391 million but only $200 million domestically. Because Routh—and now Garfield—were associated with movies that didn't print enough money, they are forced to permanently exit stage right.
Routh has returned to the superhero world in a role as the Atom in Arrow. Let's hope we'll be seeing more of Garfield in the future.