Movie Maniac

Field of potential 'Spider-Man' actors narrowed to five

Movie news —The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog reported earlier this week that the field of actors to play the lead in the new " Spider-Man" reboot has been narrowed to five candidates.

The role will be a huge career boost. Just look at what "Superman Returns" did for Brandon Routh. Oh, wait.

Alvin Sargent (who won Oscars for his scripts for "Ordinary People" and "Julia") is hard at work on the screenplay, while director Marc Webb ("500 Days of Summer") has reportedly been interviewing relative unknowns to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man, although no official screen tests have been conducted yet.

Insiders say Webb and producers are still on the lookout despite naming these candidates:

* Jamie Bell, 24, hit it big as the young titular character in "Billy Elliot," but has worked steadily since then, landing leads in such indie films as "Undertow," "The Chumscrubber" and "Mister Foe," and small roles in big-budget films such as "King Kong" and "Jumper." He already has a high-profile lead in Steven Spielberg's upcoming "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn."

* Alden Ehrenreich, 20, was reportedly discovered by Steven Spielberg at a bar mitzvah, where Spielberg saw a short film starring Ehrenreich as a cross-dressing punk. Hey, whatever works. Ehrenreich didn't get his big break, though, until Francis Ford Coppola cast him in 2009's "Tetro," a film festival favorite.

* Frank Dillane, 19, probably has the least amount of experience, getting his big break in last year's "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" as the young Tom Riddle.

* Andrew Garfield, 27, is the oldest candidate, an L.A.-born actor who nonetheless nabbed stints on a few British TV shows. He will be seen in David Fincher's upcoming movie about Facebook, "The Social Network."

* Josh Hutcherson, 17, is the youngest of the bunch, but also has the most experience, with 30 acting credits on his IMDb page. In the past few years, he's had leads in "Zathura" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth," as well as the upcoming remake of "Red Dawn." He also received raves earlier this year for his turn in the Sundance hit "The Kids Are All Right." Hutcherson just signed on for the "Journey" sequel, though, so that could present scheduling conflicts, as the new "Spider-Man" reboot is slated for a 2012 release.

The new Spidey story is said to be more of a dark, angst-ridden tale, with Parker dealing with his uncle's death even though he knows he had the power to stop it. Hey, with great power comes great responsibility.

Columbia hopes to begin production by the end of this year.

On the run, again — One of my favorite sci-fi films, " Logan's Run," has been in remake limbo for several years now.

And though I'm not usually a fan of remakes, I think an update of "Logan's Run" is actually a good idea. The 1976 original looks very '70s, even though it's supposed to be set in the future, and its special effects are almost laughable.

The film starred Michael York, Jenny Agutter and Farrah Fawcett (in a teensy role), and was based on the 1967 novel by William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson. The story follows a futuristic society that demands the death of everyone upon reaching a certain age to avoid overpopulation. Anyone who tries to escape this destiny is called a "runner," and is hunted by special officers known as Sandmen. Logan is a Sandman who is forced to go on the run.

Several directors have been attached to the project in the past, the latest being Bryan Singer ("X-Men"), but he recently bowed out. It was announced this week that a new director is now hired: Carl Erik Rinsch. Yeah, I didn't know who he was, either.

He apparently is Hollywood's most sought-after next thing, a commercial and music video director groomed for a breakout hit, but who just can't seem to get a break. He was recently attached to the upcoming "Alien" prequel until Ridley Scott came onboard. Yeah, out of the way, buddy.

Rinsch is probably best known for his short film/ad for Phillips, " The Gift," a futuristic tale set in Moscow. It's really pretty cool, and it looks like his touch would serve "Logan" well.

The new film also will stick closer to the book, with the age that everyone must die being 21 instead of 30 (ouch!), as it is in the original film.

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