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Early last month, a report came out regarding Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot that reasonably upset fans of the webslinger. According to the story, Sony was in the midst of looking for a couple to play Peter Parker's parents, characters that a young Peter would both know and remember spending time with prior to moving in with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Many have crossed their fingers since hoping that the news wasn't true, but the sad news is that it is.
THR reports that Campbell Scott and Julianne Nicholson have signed on to the project to play Richard and Mary Parker. Though it is unknown how big a role the two will play or whether it will be done as a prologue or flashbacks, what is for certain is that they won't be in the movie for long. Also joining the cast are Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire) and Annie Parisse (Rubicon). In the film, Khan will play a villain named Van Atter (I'm a devoted Spider-Man fan and I've never heard of him) while Parisse will play his wife. Production on the film is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles later this month.
The whole Spider-Man's parents thing still confuses me. Richard and Mary Parker have never played a major role in any of the Spider-Man adaptations, be they movies or on television, so why make them play a role now? These are all questions that we will have to wait a long time to see answered, but are certainly pressing ones.
UPDATE: Not wanting my reputation as a Spidey fan tarnished, I did a bit of snooping to find out more about "Van Atter" and it looks as though THR's spelling might have been a little bit off. Back in 1997, a character named Nels Van Adder was introduce and appeared in a grand total of one issue. According to the character's bio, Van Adder was a "disgruntled" employee of the Osborn Corporation who turned into a red, demon looking character with blond hair called "Proto-Goblin" (a name given to him on the title of the comic and was never mentioned in the issue). In the book, he has a couple run-ins with Police Captain George Stacy (who will be played by Denis Leary in the movie) but, despite being shot multiple times, was able to escape. Here's what the character looks like: