With all due respect to Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, it was always far easier to believe that the movie "Spider-Man" can spin a web any size and catch thieves just like flies than it was to swallow the fact that the two 20-something actors with five o’clock shadows were supposed to be high school students in the blockbuster films.
That’s why up-and-coming 17-year-old Richmond actor Devin Druid would like to offer an alternative web-slinger: Himself.
“I’m starting a Twitter campaign for it: #DevinForSpiderman,” says Devin. “I would love to be Spider-Man any day of the week!” After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s worn the red-and-blue webbed costume. As a lifelong fan of the "Spider-Man" movies and comics, he remembers being four years old and dressing up in costume as his favorite comic hero to see the first movie in theaters in 2002.
Like other Spidey fans, Devin was floored by the announcement this week that Sony Pictures Entertainment reached a deal with Marvel Studios to allow Spider-Man to appear in films alongside other Marvel super heroes such as Captain America and The Avengers. As part of the deal, Andrew Garfield will be vacating the role, which will be recast.
“When it happened last night, I started freaking out, I was so happy,” says Devin, who earned critical praise and buzz for his role in HBO’s 2014 miniseries “Olive Kitteridge” opposite Academy Award winner Frances McDormand. He recently performed in a locally filmed version of “Macbeth” written and directed by “Turn” cast member Angus Macfadyen of “Braveheart” fame and Devin will be seen later this year in the upcoming indie film “Louder Than Bombs,” the English-language debut of Norwegian director Joachim Trier.
“I got to work with amazing people like Jesse Eisenberg and Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert [on ‘Louder Than Bombs’]. Amy Ryan [played] my teacher so it was really, really cool to work with all of these people,” says Devin.
The film’s producers are hoping it will debut at the Cannes International Film Festival in May. “There’s a really high probability of it getting into Cannes,” Devin says, “so I’m very excited. I’ve never been out of the country except for going up to [the Canadian side of] Niagara Falls for three hours, so if it were to go [to Cannes] I’d be real excited if I got the opportunity to go to France.”
Devin realizes that catching the attention of Marvel’s producers and casting directors will be a long shot at best, but he adds, “There’s a part in the comics where Peter Parker says, ‘I’ve been Spider-Man since I was 15 years old,’” so Devin figures he’s still got a dog – or in this case maybe a radioactive spider – in the fight.
“Peter Parker is just a cool guy. He’s just this unassuming person but there’s more to him than just his Spider-Man powers. He’s this super-genius and he’s gone through a lot of life conflicts and he’s also very relatable. I think he was the first Marvel super hero who was just a high school kid and I think that’s what made him so relatable in the comics. … If I’m given the opportunity to read for it then I’m going to give it my all. It’s a very slim chance because they’re going to probably want somebody older, but if I am given the opportunity, I’m going to make the absolute most of it. … I think that it’s going to come down to who can be the best Peter Parker.”
May the best Webhead win.