Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 10 Best Films Of 2001 The 10 Best Films Of 2001 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' The 10 Best Films Of 2000 The 10 Best Films Of 2000 "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Martin Sheen To Play Uncle Ben In 'Spider-Man' Reboot

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 4, 2010 at 11:46AM

Let Bartlett Be Bartlett Ben We're going to come out and say this now -- we're in an uncharacteristically optimistic mood about the "Spider-Man" reboot. Aside from the excellent middle chapter, Sam Raimi's films were fairly disappointing, so it's not like there's room for improvement. There's a script by James Vanderbilt, who pulled off one of the toughest adaptations in recent memory in "Zodiac," and director Marc Webb is not only more talented than "(500) Days of Summer" might immediately suggest, but he also seems to be going about the project in the right way.
4

Let Bartlett Be Bartlett Ben


We're going to come out and say this now -- we're in an uncharacteristically optimistic mood about the "Spider-Man" reboot. Aside from the excellent middle chapter, Sam Raimi's films were fairly disappointing, so it's not like there's room for improvement. There's a script by James Vanderbilt, who pulled off one of the toughest adaptations in recent memory in "Zodiac," and director Marc Webb is not only more talented than "(500) Days of Summer" might immediately suggest, but he also seems to be going about the project in the right way.

And then there's the cast. Rising star Andrew Garfield is perfect casting as Peter Parker. The equally hot-right-now Emma Stone, so terrific in "Easy A" as love interest Gwen Stacy. And underrated Welsh actor Rhys Ifans as the villain, Curt Connors/The Lizard. None were the most obvious or easiest choices, but all are strong ones. And now, The Hollywood Reporter brings news of another bit of casting that wouldn't have immediately sprung to mind, but makes total sense in retrospect.

The trade reports that veteran actor Martin Sheen ("Apocalypse Now") has signed on to the project, to play the hero's Uncle Ben. In the comic's lore (and we assume the movie), Ben was the beloved guardian of hero Peter Parker, whose death in a mugging, after a questionable moral decision on his nephew's part, leads Peter to become a hero.

The role was taken by Cliff Robertson in Raimi's film, but it's Sheen who'll take over here, and he's a pretty terrific choice. Sheen started his career as something of a roguish bad boy in Terrence Malick's "Badlands" before iconically playing Captain Willard in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" (suffering a heart attack in the process). In recent years, he's gained new fans, both by being tossed off a tall building in Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," and by becoming the favorite uncle to a nation in an astonishingly good seven-year performance in "The West Wing" as President Bartlett, a man so badass he can call God a feckless thug in a church and still get away with it.

It's perfect casting, quite frankly, and it's another strong decision in a film we've got increasingly warm feelings about. With an opening on July 3rd, 2012 to hit, filming begins next month, so we imagine the rest of the cast will start to fill out soon. The campaign for Stockard Channing to play Aunt May starts here.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Actresses, Marc Webb, Genre Films, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen, Emma Stone


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates