Meet Your New, Talented Spider-Man: Andrew Garfield, Future Heart-Throb

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After all the rumors and night terrors, suppositions and double-questioning, Sony has finally saddled up for a new Spider-Man: Andrew Garfield.

Not sure who the dude is? He’s a 26-year-old (27 next month) thespian that’s actually done a few impressive things. Unlike all the pretty-boy rumors, here’s a boy who can hold his own on screen; an unknown with talent, who will become a known and sought after movie star. For my money, that’s a whole lot better than well-known heart-throb who will destroy the franchise.

Variety is reporting Garfield as a relative unknown, cast by director Marc Webb to fill the place of Tobey Maguire, who was unlikely a choice as Garfield back in his day. But for those of us who follow this business, we know the kid.

He did some guest spots on Doctor Who, then showed up as the student in the overtly political Lions For Lambs, learning from professor Robert Redford. I thought he held his own against some pretty major talent there. Then I saw him pop up in the tragically underseen Red Riding trilogy, before returning as the nervous nellie opposite Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Again, he had to play back and forth with A-list talent, and matched Ledger’s smooth delivery note for note.

Most of the world is probably going to get to know him in The Social Network, where he will star right across the table from Jesse Eisenberg.

I love the casting decision not only because I’ve seen the work and admire it, and because he’ll be bringing relatively little baggage to the part. but also because of the message it sends to young actors: Take good scripts, and you can work your way up.

His true masterpiece was a tiny little movie that almost no one saw. I reviewed it at the time for my newspaper. It’s called Boy A, and in it Garfield plays a young ex-con who went away for a murder he committed as a child and now struggles to move on with his life, adopting anonymity in hopes that he can be just your normal bloke. It’s a powerful film, with one hell of a closing sequence, and the fact that Garfield’s young desperate criminal, Jack Burridge, still lives on in my memory is all the proof I need. Here’s an actor who won the part through sheer talent, who deserves the big break, who will do something interesting with Peter Parker.

I am officially excited about the whole damn reboot.

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