If the Execs at Marvel Aren't Total Idiots They'll Pick One of These Six Actors to Be the Next Spider-Man

Marvel Studios needs a new actor to fill the Spidey suit, so let's cast him.

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Complex Original

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RIP to Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker. In a move that's ultimately bad news for the young British actor but cause to rejoice for even the most casual superhero movie fan, Marvel and Sony announced that they've finally come to terms. Spider-Man, a Marvel superhero whose rights were previously licensed to Sony, is now free to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perfect timing, considering Marvel Studios is prepping a big-screen adaptation of the popular comic storyline Civil War (it'll basically be Captain America 3), in which the web-slinger plays a pivotal role. They've also announced a Spidey solo to follow Civil War in summer 2017, and confirmed that yes, they're going in a "new direction" for the character.

No shots at Garfield, who was about as nerdy, quippy and likable as any Peter Parker iteration should be, but the Amazing Spider-Man films were, regardless, quite trash and the prospect of a creative uptick seemed slim. Is it a clusterfuck that in nine years, three different actors will have portrayed Spider-Man in three different franchises? Yes. But now that Marvel's stepped in to right the silver-screen ship, casting is of the utmost importance. Civil War is set to be released next May, so a decision has to be made soon. Here are the best choices Hollywood has to offer for a new Peter Parker.

Donald Glover

Credibility: The Internet's been caping for him to get the role for years now

Who says a superhero's film adaptation has to be white just because the source material says so? That was the original thought behind 2011's #Donald4SpiderMan campaign, which reached from its Twitter roots all the way up to Stan Lee, who agreed. Obviously the Amazing Spider-Man gig went to Andrew Garfield instead, but given how that series fared in both quality and reception while Glover's career soared, the L taken was clearly a blessing in disguise. Now that Marvel's stepped in, will they give the people what they wanted four years ago? It doesn't even have to be the since-created African-American comic-book Spidey, Miles Morales. It's 2015, the world won't explode in the advent of a, gasp, black Peter Parker. But between music, a show on FX and who knows what else, Donald Gambino's got a lot going on. But if there's anything worth re-arranging a busy schedule for, it's a lead slot in the MCU. If franchise money is the sort of thing you're into, that is.

Jaden Smith

Credibility: Makes very dope Pensive Cool Teen™ music

OK, so After Earth is pretty garbage. But thought-provoking tweeter Jaden Smith has it in him to be a hero worth rooting for (The Karate Kid remake is much better than it had any business being), and his music and overall irl persona suggest he's already floating on heavy emo, lightweight awkward teen vibes. AKA, Peter Parker's whole steez. If the studio is into the Glover wave but find him too old, Jaden is the perfect way to honor that intent while aging down.

Ansel Elgort


Credibility: rising Hollywood heartthrob thanks to The Fault in Our Stars

He's arguably the right amount of famous that Marvel likes to shoot for. People know his name, even more know his face, but he's not on the A or even B list just yet. And if we simply must suffer through Uncle Ben's death for a third time (seriously, if 2017's solo Spidey movie is an origin, then Uncle Ben is creeping up on The Wayne parents for most on-screen deaths), the kid who made theaters around the country very dusty in last year's Fault in Our Stars is a good pick to elevate the scene and all of Peter Parker's other familiar emotional beats from mere imitation.

Freddie Highmore


Credibility: Plays an endearing creep on Bates Motel

Dude's been lost to the Creep Zone for three years now portraying Yung Norman Bates, but not only does he have The Look, he's yet to really do anything with his time in between filming the A&E series. Unlike everyone else on this list, his schedule is more or less wide open, a plus considering Marvel has the film game plotted out through like 2050.

Dylan O'Brien


Credibility: Led Maze Runner; played a nerd in The Internship

Dylan paid his dues on MTV's underrated Teen Wolf, and proved to be an adept leading man in one of last year's many mediocre YA movies, Maze Runner. And while The Internship is best forgotten, O'Brien's supporting role at least proves he's got the comedic chops to hold down Peter Parker's trademark wit.

Matt McGorry

Credibility: Ace supporting roles in Orange is the New Black and How to Get Away With Murder 

If the Marvel boys want to go way left and cast a relative unknown, McGorry is where they should start. He's rising in the relevancy ranks on TV crowd pleasers like OITNB and the freshman hit, How to Get Away With Murder. But more importantly, he looks the part while still boasting something of a bold departure. He's a bit bulkier and less nerdy than your typical Peter Parker, a slight veer left that may be just what's needed to overcome the redundancy of yet another new Spider-Man in less than a decade.

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