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Sam Claflin, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth Now Among Frontrunners For Harry Osborne In 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

by Oliver Lyttelton
November 19, 2012 7:56 PM
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Spider-Man 2 Claflin Redmayne Booth Holbrook

How quickly a studio (or a trade?) change their minds. Not even a week ago, it was reported that a trio of indie types -- Brady Corbet, Dane DeHaan and Alden Ehrenreich -- were leading the pack to take over James Franco's old part of Harry Osborne, best pal to Peter Parker, and son of Green Goblin Norman Osborne, in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," the sequel to this summer's tepidly-received superhero reboot. But it seems like either The Hollywood Reporter were acting on old info, or Marc Webb and Sony executives had a major rethink over the weekend, as the same trade now reports that the three previous names are out, and four new, and quite different actors, are now testing for the role.

Last week's report said that, having flirted with the idea of an athletic type, it had been decided to go for a dark, brooding interpretation of the role. But they've done a volte face to a casting brief of "athleticism and good looks," and four names have now emerged, in the shape of Sam Claflin, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Boyd Holbrook, all of whom will be testing in the coming days.

Clafiln's becoming an increasingly familiar face thanks to a liberal approach to taking franchise fare, having taken key roles in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Snow White & The Huntsman," with a role as fan favorite Finnick Odair in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" coming up. Redmayne's also recognizable from "My Week With Marilyn," and is soon to be even more so thanks to a major role in "Les Miserables." Booth is less familiar at present, with the BBC TV version of "Great Expectations" and the love interest in flop Miley Cyrus vehicle "LOL" his most notable credits to date, but he's about to have a good year or so, with "Romeo & Juliet," opposite Hailee Steinfeld on the way in 2013, and the part of one of Russell Crowe's sons in Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" following in 2014. Former model Boyd Holbrook is the least well-known of the quartet, but he did crop up in "Milk" and "Hatfield & McCoys" in the last few years, and has "The Host" and "Very Good Girls" coming up next year.

Anyway, it's clear what sort of look Sony are now pursuing; old money (all but Holbrook are British), Ivy Leaguish, and with excellent bone structure. So not all that different from Franco's interpretation, then. Another victory for the let's-change-some-things-but-mostly-keep-them-the-same approach of the Marc Webb "Spider-Man" era! Assuming another shortlist doesn't arrive next week including Jonah Hill, Josh Gad and that kid from "Project X," we'll likely hear which of the four will be joining Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Shailene Woodley and Jamie Foxx in the film some time after Thanksgiving, but we'd put money on it being Booth or Holbrook, who are slightly less in demand at this point, and less likely to cause scheduling conflicts with a multi-film contract (also, Redmayne in particular is a really, really good actor, and would be sort of wasted here). "The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Many Faces Of Harry Osborne" will hit theaters on May 2nd, 2014.

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  • Kim | November 20, 2012 10:17 PMReply

    This has no relevance other than I don't want him to be cast(because I really like Spiderman): Every time I see Eddie Redmayne I kinda' want to punch him in the face (and I'm not a violent person. I don't know why I have this horrible urge.). It kinda' bums me out because "Les Mis" is one of my favorite books and musicals, and I won't be able to see the movie.

    Can we cast someone who doesn't look like Andrew Garfield? It is like Hipster Spidey.

  • Porter | November 20, 2012 8:43 AMReply

    DeHaan or Corbet!

  • cinematic_high | November 20, 2012 6:12 AMReply

    DeHann would of been brilliant....too bad they fucked up and picked these guys.

  • Cody | November 20, 2012 2:15 AMReply

    This article is thick with opinion, thin with news.

  • Benci | November 19, 2012 11:42 PMReply

    Sam Claflin is wood. Drop this guy.

  • Hannity | November 19, 2012 10:46 PMReply

    Eddie Redmayne is the best choice here.

  • jingmei | November 19, 2012 8:58 PMReply

    Brady Corbet, please. Then I'm gonna do for the box office brilliantly.

  • Alan | November 19, 2012 8:40 PMReply

    If anything, this just shows that the production team haven't learnt from last time. TASM suffered from a serious identity crisis, and to jump from considering scrawny, outsider-looking guys to more athletic, good-looking actors has shown a lack of clarity in their vision. It doesn't matter who is cast: they fact the producers don't have a clear idea of what they want is more important.

  • Alan | November 20, 2012 10:42 PM

    I'm sorry, MJ, but that's such a cop-out. There is no "too much reading into this" nonsense going on. To go from a group of actors who are predominently known for their roles as outsiders to those that look like supermodels is a huge, HUGE jump in tone and characterisation. And you seriously don't think that the first film suffered from story/tonal problems? Characters completely disappear for large portions of the film. Many of Ifans' scenes were cut (did you know the character had a kid? a family?) and the film jumps from teen film, crime thriller, vigilante/revenge story, heightened sci fi, blockbuster spectacle etc. Webb wasn't able to wrangle the film and deliver what he wanted, and the fact that the producers have now pulled a complete 180 on Harry shows that they have no clue where to direct the franchise.

  • MJ | November 19, 2012 9:00 PM

    Yeah... you're reading way too much into this, and TASM didn't suffer from an identity crisis, the studio tempered how much of the secrets the first film revealed, that's all. Anyone that didn't know about the changes or the hiccups in marketing wouldn't come away thinking anything was missing. Also, the way the part is written doesn't have to hinge on the chosen actor's physicality, unlike Spider-Man himself. The story was set up from the get go by James Vanderbilt, who's certainly trustworthy. All that said I don't like any of these choices. I'm guessing Dave Franco isn't going to be called to audition though ;-)

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