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  1. #1
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    Post Spiderman actors in the movies and matching with the comics

    Ok so we've had 3 Spidermans/men so far; Tobey Maguire/Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. So I was curious which do people think most closely resembled the Comics and which do people prefer ?

    Myself I'm gonna go with Garfield. Now before people start. I thought the Amazing Spiderman movies were terrible but Andrew Garfield was not to blame. I thought he did great with the material given.
    Iv seen reviews say he was to self confident as Peter well , yeah as Peter gets older in the comics he's a veteran Superhero whose defeated multiple foes and with his own job, of course he's more self confident. Garfield played that fine imo. Plus if always preferred older to school boy Peter.

    So what about everyone else ?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauled View Post
    Ok so we've had 3 Spidermans/men so far; Tobey Maguire/Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland. So I was curious which do people think most closely resembled the Comics and which do people prefer ?
    That's a fairly intricate question. There are two things, one is physical resemblance. Another is true-to-character.

    -- The thing about the Peter Parker of the comics is that he's a character who changes and grows over time. Certainly in the classic era. He starts out scrawny and lean and then grows more muscular and broad shouldered. Conceptually, it's not an easy part to cast because you need to cast an actor who can pull of both a character transformation and also one in body language and physique. It's somewhat like casting an actor for a biopic (where you cast for both the young and the middle-aged and older versions of the same character).
    -- I do not think that either Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland are entirely accurate to the comics on both counts. That doesn't mean that their movies are inherently bad, just that I don't think one can say that one version is the most faithful to the comics. But in their movies, what you see is one-dimensional casting. All of their takes on Peter are frozen and conceptually solid, not meant to really grow and change.

    Both Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland physically resemble Peter Parker as he appears in Amazing Fantasy #15 and the early Lee-Ditko issues. Andrew Garfield resembles, at least in facial features, John Romita Sr's Peter. Tobey and Tom both have boxy square-shaped heads, that's quite similar to Ditko's design. Garfield's face is more angular which is how Romita Sr. did it. So in terms of resemblance, the actors are a mix.

    In terms of characterization, Tobey's Peter doesn't really change or grow much after Ben dies. Garfield's Peter doesn't change or grow even when Uncle Ben dies, Tom Holland's Peter is Iron Bon Fanboy from start to finish. Neither of them show the capacity for growth that the original character did, being far more static than the character in the comics is. So on that level neither is entirely faithful. All of them capture a certain essence of the character at the expense of other aspects.

    In terms of preference, I think Tobey's Peter is better as performance and characterization (in Spider-Man 1 and 2 only), then the other two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's a fairly intricate question. There are two things, one is physical resemblance. Another is true-to-character.

    -- The thing about the Peter Parker of the comics is that he's a character who changes and grows over time. Certainly in the classic era. He starts out scrawny and lean and then grows more muscular and broad shouldered. Conceptually, it's not an easy part to cast because you need to cast an actor who can pull of both a character transformation and also one in body language and physique. It's somewhat like casting an actor for a biopic (where you cast for both the young and the middle-aged and older versions of the same character).
    -- I do not think that either Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland are entirely accurate to the comics on both counts. That doesn't mean that their movies are inherently bad, just that I don't think one can say that one version is the most faithful to the comics. But in their movies, what you see is one-dimensional casting. All of their takes on Peter are frozen and conceptually solid, not meant to really grow and change.

    Both Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland physically resemble Peter Parker as he appears in Amazing Fantasy #15 and the early Lee-Ditko issues. Andrew Garfield resembles, at least in facial features, John Romita Sr's Peter. Tobey and Tom both have boxy square-shaped heads, that's quite similar to Ditko's design. Garfield's face is more angular which is how Romita Sr. did it. So in terms of resemblance, the actors are a mix.

    In terms of characterization, Tobey's Peter doesn't really change or grow much after Ben dies. Garfield's Peter doesn't change or grow even when Uncle Ben dies, Tom Holland's Peter is Iron Bon Fanboy from start to finish. Neither of them show the capacity for growth that the original character did, being far more static than the character in the comics is. So on that level neither is entirely faithful. All of them capture a certain essence of the character at the expense of other aspects.

    In terms of preference, I think Tobey's Peter is better as performance and characterization (in Spider-Man 1 and 2 only), then the other two.
    Interesting points thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That's a fairly intricate question. There are two things, one is physical resemblance. Another is true-to-character.

    -- The thing about the Peter Parker of the comics is that he's a character who changes and grows over time. Certainly in the classic era. He starts out scrawny and lean and then grows more muscular and broad shouldered. Conceptually, it's not an easy part to cast because you need to cast an actor who can pull of both a character transformation and also one in body language and physique. It's somewhat like casting an actor for a biopic (where you cast for both the young and the middle-aged and older versions of the same character).
    -- I do not think that either Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland are entirely accurate to the comics on both counts. That doesn't mean that their movies are inherently bad, just that I don't think one can say that one version is the most faithful to the comics. But in their movies, what you see is one-dimensional casting. All of their takes on Peter are frozen and conceptually solid, not meant to really grow and change.

    Both Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland physically resemble Peter Parker as he appears in Amazing Fantasy #15 and the early Lee-Ditko issues. Andrew Garfield resembles, at least in facial features, John Romita Sr's Peter. Tobey and Tom both have boxy square-shaped heads, that's quite similar to Ditko's design. Garfield's face is more angular which is how Romita Sr. did it. So in terms of resemblance, the actors are a mix.

    In terms of characterization, Tobey's Peter doesn't really change or grow much after Ben dies. Garfield's Peter doesn't change or grow even when Uncle Ben dies, Tom Holland's Peter is Iron Bon Fanboy from start to finish. Neither of them show the capacity for growth that the original character did, being far more static than the character in the comics is. So on that level neither is entirely faithful. All of them capture a certain essence of the character at the expense of other aspects.

    In terms of preference, I think Tobey's Peter is better as performance and characterization (in Spider-Man 1 and 2 only), then the other two.
    You are correct. I really did not like Garfield as Peter. The best thing I can say is he was better then DeHaan as Harry. His Harry was close to Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl as the worst performance I ever saw in a comic book movie ( Ryan Reynolds Hal Jordan and Halle Berry’s Catwoman included 6.

  5. #5
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    In terms of physical resemblance and characterization, I think the greatest Spider-Man that was never cast is Ryan Reynolds.

    Ryan Reynolds as an actor embodies a spectrum from geeky wiseacre to serious romantic hero (as in Definitely Maybe). He's also a good physical actor, and had he been cast younger, he could have made it work. Reynolds looks a lot like Peter Parker especially in JRJR's pencils (around JMS' run) so he could have embodied the Peter Parker of the comics (the post-college grown up adult Peter who got married).

    Attachment 85492

    Attachment 85493

    Still he has Deadpool right now, and a bunch of other things.

  6. #6
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    Garfield was most definitely the closest to 616 Spider-Man. He captured both the angry loner of the Lee/Ditko run in ASM, and the more James Dean-esque Peter of Lee/Romita in ASM2. As a bonus, he arguably looks the most like Peter Parker too.

    There are some things that could have been better. The transition from the Peter in ASM1 and ASM2 doesn't feel fully natural, even if acting-wise Garfield nails both. Also like with Maguire, they're still too over-the-top with how much of an outcast he is. In Maguire's case it was turning him into a nerd caricature, in Garfield's case it was giving him a skateboard and hoodie. Both of those things all unnecessary.

    Still, even with those flaws, I think he is still the closest. I think the reception to him is similar to the reception of Timothy Dalton's Bond. Dalton's Bond at the time was the closest to the books but didn't make much of a cultural impact. Maguire's Peter is like Moore's Bond (classic but not really who the character is), and Holland's Peter is closer to Brosnan's (the most recognizable but that's about it).
    Last edited by Kaitou D. Kid; 07-02-2020 at 07:31 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    Garfield was most definitely the closest to 616 Spider-Man. He captured both the angry loner of the Lee/Ditko run in ASM, and the more James Dean-esque Peter of Lee/Romita in ASM2. As a bonus, he arguably looks the most like Peter Parker too.
    The problem is that when Peter became James Dean-esque, he stopped being the angry loner (albeit haunted by and driven by the memories of being that guy so that feeds a level of angst and insecurity and impostor syndrome which is what makes 616 Peter so interesting). So what we have is a mishmash. Likewise, TASM-1 was set entirely in high school but has an actor even older than Tobey during SM-1 (where Peter graduates midway). So we don't have any character development and growth, no character arc where we see the transformation. Garfield's Peter embodies all the neuroses and quirks from the start to the end resulting in an overly energetic performance where each scene gets too much emphasis and intensity.

    Garfield physically does resemble Romita's Spider-Man more than Tobey and Tom do (who both have baby-faced looks, making them look like L-D's Peter) but in terms of characterization he's not especially faithful or true to the character.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    The problem is that when Peter became James Dean-esque, he stopped being the angry loner (albeit haunted by and driven by the memories of being that guy so that feeds a level of angst and insecurity and impostor syndrome which is what makes 616 Peter so interesting). So what we have is a mishmash. Likewise, TASM-1 was set entirely in high school but has an actor even older than Tobey during SM-1 (where Peter graduates midway). So we don't have any character development and growth, no character arc where we see the transformation. Garfield's Peter embodies all the neuroses and quirks from the start to the end resulting in an overly energetic performance where each scene gets too much emphasis and intensity.

    Garfield physically does resemble Romita's Spider-Man more than Tobey and Tom do (who both have baby-faced looks, making them look like L-D's Peter) but in terms of characterization he's not especially faithful or true to the character.
    The execution could have been better but personality-wise he is the closest. Part of that is due to the poor writing in the ASM films, but also due to the nature of trying to squeeze in so much serialized development for Peter in just two movies.

    I actually thought Garfield and Stone looked younger than Maguire and Dunst did in SM1 and SM2. I mean, they still didn't look like 17-18 year olds (Holland looks the most age appropriate) but I didn't think it was a problem anymore than it is in American Pie and other teen films.

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    I don't think any of them have been perfect.

    Holland's the most convincing as the awkward teenager, Garfield was the most convincing as Spider-Man, and McGuire was probably the most convincing as a more introverted, nerdy, Peter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    Garfield was most definitely the closest to 616 Spider-Man. He captured both the angry loner of the Lee/Ditko run in ASM, and the more James Dean-esque Peter of Lee/Romita in ASM2. As a bonus, he arguably looks the most like Peter Parker too.

    There are some things that could have been better. The transition from the Peter in ASM1 and ASM2 doesn't feel fully natural, even if acting-wise Garfield nails both. Also like with Maguire, they're still too over-the-top with how much of an outcast he is. In Maguire's case it was turning him into a nerd caricature, in Garfield's case it was giving him a skateboard and hoodie. Both of those things all unnecessary.

    Still, even with those flaws, I think he is still the closest. I think the reception to him is similar to the reception of Timothy Dalton's Bond. Dalton's Bond at the time was the closest to the books but didn't make much of a cultural impact. Maguire's Peter is like Moore's Bond (classic but not really who the character is), and Holland's Peter is closer to Brosnan's (the most recognizable but that's about it).
    Agree with this. ASM movies have so much wrong with them but Garfield himself was not one of them. He was just given some terrible material to work with

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I don't think any of them have been perfect.

    McGuire was probably the most convincing as a more introverted, nerdy, Peter.
    That's a fair enough opinion to have, however if you're going to next say that Kirsten Dunst was a good MJ we are going to have words

    OTOH in all seriousness I won't snark on Emma Stones Gwen too much simply because I don't think comic book Gwen had much of a character to begin with. She was simply Spiderman girlfriend that died nothing more.
    She did have great chemistry with Garfield though that was because they were dating in real life at the time and it came across on screen
    Last edited by Mauled; 07-02-2020 at 07:57 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitou D. Kid View Post
    The execution could have been better but personality-wise he is the closest.
    Close to one aspect of the character at the expense of others, that much we can agree on. Just like Tobey's Peter is close to other aspects of Peter, namely as Frontier said, Peter's haunted introspective sensibility.

    Part of that is due to the poor writing in the ASM films, but also due to the nature of trying to squeeze in so much serialized development for Peter in just two movies.
    That's not realy a good excuse. Look at the character development in A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Two movies and think of how much serialized development happens there. Luke Skywalker is a different character at the start of ANH and at the end, and the start of TESB and the end of that. Likewise both TASM -1 (136mns) and TASM-2 (142 mns) are longer movies than ANH (121 mns) and TESB (124mns).

    I don't think it's significantly hard or impossible to do, it depends on the film-makers and writers involved.

    I actually thought Garfield and Stone looked younger than Maguire and Dunst did in SM1 and SM2.
    That might be because in real life both Garfield and Emma Stone are younger actors than Maguire and Dunst. Relative to production and character however:
    -- Garfield was 29 when he made TASM-1, Emma Stone was 23 years old.
    -- Tobey Maguire was 26-27 years old during SM-1, and Kirsten Dunst was 19 years old.

    Dunst is age-wise the only actress close to character's age at the time of character's introduction in comics (MJ first showed up when Peter went to college so she was 18-19 in ASM#42). So both Garfield and Emma Stone were older to their characters relative to Raimi's movies.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mauled View Post
    ...however if you're going to next say that Kirsten Dunst was a good MJ we are going to have words
    Let's have some words then. I think Kirsten Dunst's MJ was more faithful to her character than Tobey's Peter was faithful to his.

    She was also age-wise closest to the character than any of the leads.

  14. #14
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    Garfield went from being a show-boating overconfident kid to being a revenge-driven vigilante who learns what it means to be a hero.

    His character arc to me at least feels more clear then Holland's at times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Let's have some words then. I think Kirsten Dunst's MJ was more faithful to her character than Tobey's Peter was faithful to his.

    She was also age-wise closest to the character than any of the leads.
    I didn't know that. I actually thought KD was older than she was at the time

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