Spider-Man Hopefuls Screen-Test in Atlanta as Marvel Decision Nears (Exclusive)

Yes, Asa Butterfield and Tom Holland were in the mix. But who else tested?
Tom Holland and Asa Butterfield are among the hopefuls to play Spider-Man.  AP Images

After a secretive, all-day screen-testing process Saturday, Marvel is on the verge of choosing the actor who will don the red and blue suit of Spider-Man.

According to sources, six teenage boys tested for the highly sought-after role in Captain America: Civil War and the follow-up films, one of the biggest "gets" for a young actor in the film business.

Tom Holland, who appeared as one of Naomi Watts' sons in the acclaimed tsunami drama The Impossible, and Asa Butterfield, the child star from Hugo and Ender's Game, were the best known of the contenders. The other four hopefuls included: Judah Lewis (a relative newbie who will be seen in Jean Marc-Vallee's fall drama Demolition), Matthew Lintz (who will be seen with Adam Sandler in this summer's Pixels), Charlie Plummer (who had a recurring gig on Boardwalk Empire) and Charlie Rowe (a British actor who appeared on Fox's short-lived Red Band Society).

(Reports that Butterfield had been offered the role were false, as Marvel is only now in the midst of its decision.)

The tests cap off a worldwide search in which the producers looked at over 1,500 boys from around the world, narrowing them down to the final six only in the last two weeks or so.

The actors were flown to Atlanta for the tests; that is where Marvel is currently in production on Civil War, the movie in which the character will be introduced before going on to headline his own hopeful trilogy that will be made by Sony Pictures.

Present for the tests were Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige, former Sony head and now a Spider-Man producer Amy Pascal and Joe and Anthony Russo, the brothers who are directing Civil War.

Marvel and Sony must make a decision very soon due to time constraints, and one factor that could influence the decision is age. In the new movies, Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego, will be a high school student for the new trilogy, and it is important that an actor convey the character’s teenhood. Butterfield and Holland are both 18, Rowe is 19, while the others could be as young as 14.

A decision is expected to be made early in the week. One source, however, cautioned there is a slim chance that Marvel won’t like any of the choices and could keep looking.

Reps for Marvel and Sony were unavailable for comment. 

Keep your Spider-sense attuned, True Believers …!

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