Josh Hutcherson

Two days ago we — along with the rest of the web — reported the overwhelming non-situation of the Spider-Man casting situation. Sony is in the home stretch of picking the next Peter Parker, we know this to be true. Whether or not it will be revealed between now and Comic-Con at the end of July seems to be a point of much contention. The list of finalists has not changed since we reported it in late May. But now there are new reports that say Josh Hutcherson has accepted the role, and I hope they’re wrong.

Today’s news comes from Blue Sky Disney, a site that I’ve never heard of but that has allegedly been dead on with some of their Disney rumor-mongering. This according to Peter Sciretta at /Film. They say that Hutcherson was decided by Sony to be “right fit for the role and an offer was made and has been accepted.” Hutcherson himself had the following to say to Super Hero Hype over the weekend:

“I think a lot of people are auditioning and talking about it, so it’s an honor to be considered on the same list with some of these actors that I’m up against. It’s really cool. To be talked about in that kind of role is very awesome.”

He continued: “I really don’t know what’s going on with everything right now. It would be an honor to play that role, it’s a big thing, it’s a total game changer. I really want to play a comic book hero. I’m not really huge into comics, but I’ve always been big into superheroes from the cartoons and the movies that have been made about them.”

He also revealed at the same press event to Cinema Blend that he’s planning to shoot the Journey to the Center of the Earth sequel this fall in Hawaii and Australia, putting a big dent in his schedule and a potentially large roadblock in his web-slinging aspirations.

So what is it? Is Josh Hutcherson the next Spider-Man or not? The truth is that I hope not. Hutcherson is a passable actor who has been present in a few mediocre movies (Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Vampire’s Assistant) and succeeded in not messing up at least one really good film (The Kids Are All Right). The problem is that with every role he seems to inject a smug attitude into his characters. That won’t work for Peter Parker. He’s not a little punk. In fact, casting Hutcherson would only signify Sony’s desire to make a hip version of Spider-Man, and I can’t get behind that. Peter Parker’s a nerdy kid who finds himself blessed with incredible power. That is precisely why Tobey Maguire worked so well, and why Hutcherson wouldn’t.

It’s that simple.

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