Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures had the attention of the world on them as they judiciously went through an extensive casting process for their next Spider-Man. It was crucial to have an actor cast this summer, in order to include him in the currently shooting Captain America: Civil War. The new solo Spider-Man film doesn’t have an announced screenwriter, so most were expecting news to die down until the finalized story came together. However, according to a report from THR, actress Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny) has been cast in the iconic role of Aunt May Parker. There are a variety of factors that certainly went into her casting and here are three of the most important ones.
The First Authentic Aunt May
This casting choice will certainly raise the eyebrows of long-time comic book readers accustomed to the more traditional look of the character. For most of Spider-Man’s run, Aunt May has been portrayed as Peter Parker’s elderly and gray-haired guardian, who looked after him following his parent’s death as a young child. However, in the Ultimate comics and in the Amazing Spider-Man movie series, Aunt May is significantly younger, with a more modern sensibility.
In addition, Tomei is from New York, which will hopefully ground Spidey’s world further and give a little more authenticity to this incarnation. It’s also hasn’t been determined if she will be given a gray head of hair and aged up, which is a possibility as well. In any case, this Aunt May has the opportunity to be the most relatable version of the character yet, which will broaden her appeal. Despite the great efforts of Rosemary Harris and Sally Field, it always felt as if someone was playing her role. This might be the first time that we get an Aunt May that feels like a person that actually exists, if you looked out of your window in Queens, New York.
Marvel’s Long Game
Tom Holland is expected to play Spider-Man for the next decade or more. Although Tomei is far from being viewed as elderly today at 50, she will have the opportunity to grow old along with the franchise. Marvel head Kevin Feige has explained that they are going for a John Hughes vibe. Early movies could explore his struggle to hide his secret identity from Aunt May, like Ferris Bueller fakes his sickness from his parents in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Before getting into the more dramatic turn in their relationship in later movies, when Aunt May finally discovers his secret. The heartbreak in that scene could be built up over the course of a few films. It also does not hurt to have an Academy Award winning actress in the role as well.
Aunt May is Needed on Set?
It has also been reported that Aunt May will make an appearance in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. Spider-Man is viewed as a tertiary character at best in the film, so it is a surprise from a narrative standpoint how Parker’s homelife would intersect with Steve Roger’s story. From a marketing perspective it makes a lot of sense to set up Spider-Man’s entire world so he can swing into theaters at full speed the following year. Even though she is unaware, Aunt May is very much like Alfred is to Batman, especially for Parker in his teenage years. So if you want to give a snapshot of his background and character, Aunt May would be the first person introduced. In any case, if this part of the story holds up, it would make sense that Aunt May would be needed on set very soon, since Civil War is over halfway through its shooting schedule. We should get confirmation of this very soon.
There is a lot more to come on the Spider-Man front so keep checking back. Do you like the idea of Tomei as Aunt May? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram! Share our stories by simply clicking your social media below!