The long search for an actor to play Peter Parker is over. Andrew Garfield is the new Spider-Man, and everyone's talking about it — especially comic book creators.
In the wake of last night's big casting news, I reached out to some of the notable writers, artists, and editors who have worked on Marvel's friendly neighborhood webslinger at one point or another to get their take on the 26-year-old actor landing the role.
What do they think of the actor's Spidey-aptitude? What will he need to bring to the role? Here's what some of our favorite Spider-Man creators had to say about the news.
I think this displays yet again Terry Gilliam's brilliant eye for casting. Garfield was excellent as Anton in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," and if he brings to "Spider-Man" even a fraction of both the intensity and vulnerability that he displayed in Gilliam's latest masterwork, then fans will be more than satisfied with the casting choice. If nothing else, I hope they'll seek out "Parnassus" to get a preview of the next Peter Parker, since "Parnassus" is a film that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible.
- Peter David ("Spider-Man: The Other," "Spider-Man 2099," "Spider-Man 1-3" movie novelizations)
I thought Garfield was great in Dr. Parnassus - he pulled off a very complicated role, was really sympathetic, and even squeaked in some physical stuff. I like that he's a relative unknown, so he can come to the role without any baggage. Could be a great fit!
- Joe Kelly ("Amazing Spider-Man," "Webspinners: Tales Of Spider-Man")
I think he's a great choice. I picture-googled him this morning, which made me feel a bit creepy, and looked at about ten consecutive pages of images, which made me seem creepier still. But in some shots he looks like a drawing of Peter Parker. From some angles, he looks like the brilliant Mike Wieringo's Parker, and from others he's like a Romita Snr. Either way, he's a great fit and I loved him in "Red Riding." As is often the best way in superhero pictures, the character is the star and the actor is hired to portray the character as brilliantly and convincingly as possible. A major movie star would have been a huge mistake. I like him and he's British, like Christian Bale in the "Batman" movies, which in my own deluded way makes me feel like we're gradually reclaiming that big country we somehow lost in 1776. Yes, I know he was born in the States, but he came here when he was four and possession is 9/10 of ownership under British law. Oh, and he was in "Doctor Who" for a couple of episodes, which is also a massive plus for any man.
- Mark Millar ("Marvel Knights: Spider-Man")
Well, although he was born in LA, Garfield's technically a Brit on his Mum's side (and has lived here since he was a small child), and so we can joyously reclaim him to our hearts in the same way we do many so called 'British sporting heroes'. Seriously though, I've kept an eye on this chap for a couple of years now, ever since he played Frank in the two-part "Daleks In Manhattan" / "Evolution Of The Daleks" episodes of the third season of "Doctor Who." His part was one of the better things of the show, and he really made an impact, especially with the girl fans of the time. David Tennant actually had a wobble moment of not being the most fancied chap. And of course he followed this by being in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," one of the most underrated films of 2009. Seriously. Go watch it. But more importantly (and it's something that fellow Brit Rich Johnston has pointed out) Garfield has the eyebrows for Peter Parker. Seriously. They look like they were drawn on by Ditko himself. We he be good in the role? I reckon so. Will the film be any good? Now, we'll just have to wait and see...
- Tony Lee ("Spider-Man Family," "Amazing Spider-Man Family")
He was great in Imaginarium, so he certainly shows talent. I'm hopeful he can pull off that balance between science nerd and superhero the way Tobey Maguire did so well under Sam Raimi.
- Darick Robertson ("Spider-Man: Sweet Charity," "Spider-Man: The Power of Terror," "Spider-Man: The Final Adventure," "Spider-Man Team-Up")
As they mentioned in the press release, it's not like Andrew Garfield is big on people's radar right now. But obviously, these are the sort of opportunities that do put you people's radar, done right or wrong. Spider-Man is a juggernaut in and of himself, so you have the luxury of getting 500 tests and picking the best talent that will make the character. That's what they're saying they did, and I'm going to take them at their word. They didn't feel pressured to put in a guy everybody knows, who's one of the sexiest guys under 25 or anything. Peter Parker has a skinny neck and isn't the biggest guy on the block. He doesn't usually get picked first when it's time to put together a baseball team at recess. As I look at images of Andrew Garfield, he sort of falls into that category. I think the interesting part of Spider-Man is that, unlike Superman and Batman and Thor and Captain America, who all have the Greek god physiques, Spider-Man was that guy who might not have gotten picked for the teams at recess but was still endowed with power and had to go out there and figure it out in sort of a backwards way, and become just as great a hero as the rest of them. It looks like he's got the physique for it. He's a little bit of a stringbean, and I think that fits the suit and character.
- Todd McFarlane ("The Amazing Spider-Man," "Spider-Man")
And there you have it, folks! Many thanks to all of the creators who responded to our survey!
Let us know what you think about the news in the comment section or on Twitter!