Marvel and Sony's Spider-Man reboot has found its new Aunt May

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Jul 8, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

A few weeks ago, after months of speculation, Marvel and Sony finally announced that Tom Holland will play Peter Parker in their upcoming Spider-Man co-production (and, probably, Captain America: Civil War). Holland will be the face of a franchise both studios are hoping to revive after the misstep that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and he'll have the distinction of being the first Spider-Man to rub shoulders with the Avengers on the big screen. 

Of course, he can't do it alone, and Marvel and Sony are already on the hunt for the supporting cast for the film, many of whom will hopefully stick around for sequels. The Spider-Man supporting cast is an iconic one, and few characters are more essential to it than Aunt May, Peter's guardian who's left a widow after the death of Uncle Ben. In her traditional form, Aunt May is an elderly and somewhat frail woman who is unaware of Peter's superhero life and often suffers financial difficulties after the death of her husband. This version was quite faithfully portrayed by Rosemary Harris, right down to the hairystle, in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy. For the Amazing Spider-Man series, Sally Field was cast, giving the character a slightly younger and more energetic feel, and Aunt May was portrayed as more of a working woman. Now it seems we're in for another twist on the character.

Variety reports that Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (My Cousin VinnyThe Wrestler) is Sony and Marvel's choice for the character, and that "insiders" say an offer was made last week. Tomei is largely known for her indie film and theater work, and if she takes the role it would be her first real genre blockbuster experience (because this movie is kinda guaranteed to be that already), so it's a bit of a departure for her. It's also a bit of a departure for Aunt May as a character, since Tomei, at 50, will be the youngest actress by far to take on the role (Field is 18 years older, while Harris is 37 years older).

Tomei's age and energy aside, we don't really know yet if there will be any other major departures from the classic Aunt May portrayal, as Marvel and Sony haven't even completed a script. The Variety report notes that the studios are already at work on casting key roles, since those actors will be committing to multiple films, and it seems Tomei might be the first to close the deal. So, unless something falls through, the Spider-Man cast has grown to two.

The untitled new Spider-Man film will hit theaters July 28, 2017. What do you think of this casting choice?

(Via Variety)