FAN CAST: A Spider-Man Live-Action TV Series
When I watch TV, I’m surprised by the advancements made in television…especially the effects. In the past, special effects on TV were utter crap! Now, they’ve improved to the quality we see in movies. With these improvements, I’ve been thinking it’s getting easier and easier to take a comic book and adapt it as a live-action series rather than an animated series. Personally, I would like to see a live-action series starring Spider-Man.
MCott62094 does a fan cast of a live-action TV series adaptation of the webslinging hero. Complete with fan cast, plot summary, as well as a blurb on what network(s) I think would be best to air the show.
So first, I’m going to talk about what network I would like to see it on:
The first choice is HBO. I think if the show was picked up by a pay-per-view network, HBO would be the best choice, merely because it handles the fantasy and sci-fi genres. There is also a bit of personal bias here as HBO, of all the pay-per-view networks, has the best dramas in my opinon.
The next choice is more public access. Option 2 is Syfy. The shows and miniseries on Syfy are great and have amazing special effects, but the movies are utter crap. Being Human convinced me Syfy could handle this series with amazing results.
The last choice is ABC. ABC is my personal favorite network with such shows as Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Nashville, General Hospital, the list goes on. Once Upon a Time convinced me ABC could handle a show like this, because OUAT has such great special effects.
Now a quick breakdown of the seasons. Each season has a main villain, but other villains would be recurring throughout the seasons.
Season 1: While on a field trip to Oscorp labs, Peter Parker is bitten by a mutated experimental spider, giving him superhuman abilities. Peter first uses these abilities for self-gain until his Uncle Ben is murdered. Then he becomes a force for justice. Norman Osborn takes an interest in Spider-Man, believing he could be engineered as a weapon. After failed attempts to catch him, Norman hires mercenary Herman Shultz and gives him special equipment to capture Spider-Man.
Main villain(s): Norman Osborn/ Shocker
Season 2: Peter and his friends have graduated Midtown high, and Peter is dating Gwen Stacy. Meanwhile, Oscorp scientist Otto Octavius suffers a horrific lab accident. Octavius becomes Doctor Octopus, as a means of (what he believes to be) revenge against his superiors for years of abuse he’s suffered. Peter, unable to pay for college, gets a job at the Daily Bugle, taking pictures of himself.
Main villain(s): Doctor Octopus
Season 3: Now attending college, Peter works as a lab assistant for his professor, Curtis Connors. Working on an experimental regeneration serum, Connors mutates in a vicious lizard like creature and rampages through the city. Peter must race against the clock while fighting the lizard to find a cure for Connors, before Norman catches him.
Main villain(s): Lizard
Season 4: Determined to catch Spider-Man, Norman creates a fake accident that mutates electrician Maxwell Dillon into a living lightning bolt. Norman promises to cure Dillon if he can bring Spider-Man to him. Peter struggles to find balance between his normal life and his professional one, while also fighting his growing attraction to Liz Allen. Towards the end of the season, Norman begins to develop and test a super soldier serum, codnamed “Goblin.”
Main villain(s): Electro
Season 5: Norman does a self-test of the goblin serum, yielding horrific results. Now, Peter fights the uncontrollable Green Goblin which leads to an epic final confrontation. In the shocking season finale, Peter is able to help Norman get back in control of his body, but the Goblin kills Gwen before he regains complete control. Norman vanishes, leaving Peter and company to mourn Gwen’s death.
Main villain(s): Green Goblin
Season 6: Still coping with Gwen’s death, Peter attempts to move on with Liz Allen. Blaming Spider-Man for Gwen’s death, Captain Stacy goes on a manhunt for the webslinger. Attacks similar to the Green Goblin plague New York, leaving Peter to suspect Norman has returned, and then that Harry is the new Goblin. But Peter learns it’s a fashion mogul, underworld crime lord, and former scientist, Roderick Kingsley who “perfected” the goblin serum so to remain in control. Throughout the season, Norman is seen in a jungle (presumably South America), struggling to control his goblin side.
Main villain(s): Hobgoblin
Season 7: Peter and Liz end their relationship (in the mid-season finale), and Peter starts pursuing Mary Jane. In wake of Oscorp’s ruin, its rival company, Toomes Industries plans to buy off the company and its secrets. When Harry refuses, the head of Toomes Industries, Adrian Toomes, uses his secret invention, an anti-gravity flight suit to steal its secrets. Peter fights Toomes to bring down the mogul and save Harry. A scene in the season finale shows Norman (still in South America) transform back from the goblin, showing he’s now in control.
Main villain(s): Vulture
Season 8: Peter finds a strange alien symbiote which bonds to him, enhancing his abilities and changing his suit black. Strange events plague New York such as ghosts in Times Square and a dinosaur rampaging through Queens (among others). Peter follows the incidents to former magician and special effects master Quentin Beck. In the season finale, Peter wrestles off the symbiote which bonds to Eddie Brock, and Norman Osborn returns to New York.
Main villain(s): Mysterio
Season 9: The symbiote enhances Brock’s abilities and gives him abilities similar to Peter’s. The symbiote also amplifies Brock’s long dormant jealousy toward Peter, turning it into rage. Peter struggles to fight Eddie, who reveals he knows who Peter is. Meanwhile, Norman struggles keeping the goblin under control as he revives Oscorp. In the season finale, Peter destroys the symbiote and proposes to Mary Jane. Eddie let’s go of his hatred, and Norman for the first time since his return to New York transforms into the goblin.
Main villain(s): Venom
Season 10: Season 10 is the final season. Norman, in control of the goblin, has a new resolve to capture Spider-Man. However, Octavius resurfaces, learning Norman is the goblin and vows to destroy him, believing Norman to be the source of his humiliation. The season is divided in half. In the first half, Peter fights Ock and destroys his harness, also undoing the damage to his mind.
The second half of the season focuses on Peter fighting the Green Goblin, who is even more powerful now that Norman is in control of it. Peter works with Dr. Connors who develops a cure to the goblin serum. Peter, with Captain Stacy, gets the cure to Norman which kills the goblin, exposes Norman as a criminal and arms dealer and brings him empire crumbling down. In the finale, Peter and Mary Jane are married and Peter comments on how his life, both of them, go on.
Main villain(s): Green Goblin/ Doctor Octopus
Now that the plot is out of the way, we can get to the cast.
Heroes: The main characters throughout the run of the show.
Peter Parker/ Spider-Man: Steven R. McQueen (The Vampire Diaries)
A lot of CB and CBM fans don’t like the vamp diaries and I don’t know why. Personally, I enjoy it. I think McQueen would be great as Peter and Spider-Man. He kind of sort of looks like Peter and he has the physique. But while having the look, he is also a gifted actor. Although I will admit I wasn’t fond of Piranha.
For Aunt May and Uncle Ben, I had quite a few different choices that I couldn’t decide on. So you decide what you like best.
Option 1: Ann-Margret and Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy (Silverado) is an amazing actor. Considering this is a TV series fan cast, I didn’t consider him as he’s such a big name. However that changed when I saw him as a guest star on The Good Wife. He has this commanding presence and this…power…I can’t describe it that would be great for Ben Parker.
Even though she’s 71, Ann-Margret (Tommy) can still knock ‘em dead. Another great performer, Ann-Margret’s characters come off as a combination of sweet and powerful. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that she can pull off the older version of Aunt May.
Option 2: Stockard Channing and Craig T. Nelson
One of the things I look for when casting is the age dynamic. My definitive Ben would be Craig T. Nelson (Poltergeist). I considered Brian Dennehy above for the age dynamic. Dennehy is closer to Margret’s age than Nelson. I considered Nelson for his work on the NBC drama Parenthood. In it, he plays the family patriarch who dispenses wisdom and love to his family…Ben Parker right?
I hadn’t seen Stockard Channing (Grease) in anything in a while. I recently saw her in a guest appearance on The Good Wife. Her spunkiness in that role, I thought, would be great for a slightly younger May.
Option 3: Craig T. Nelson and Kathleen Turner (Romancing the Stone)
This option was very last minute. I didn’t even think of this until I saw “The One with Chandler’s Dad” episode of Friends. A lot of you might be put off by Turner’s voice, but there is no denying she’s a great actress. I think she embodies traits of both the older and younger aunt May …best of both worlds right there.
Susan Sullivan (Castle) was also considered.
Gwen Stacy: Emma Roberts (Scream 4)
Truthfully, I didn’t think of Emma as Gwen at first. I don’t really like to use stars from Nick or Disney (there was one time). I didn’t think of Emma until Scream 4. She showed us in that movie that she’s ready to break away from her Nick roots and do other work. That’s when I saw her as Gwen.
Captain George Stacy: Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds)
For a while now, I had wanted to use Thomas Gibson in a fan cast, but in all of them I could never find a role for him. I found a role for him that I think would be a great fit. Really, this is based on Criminal Minds, but I feel he’s a great fit for the character.
Harry Osborn: Hunter Parrish (Weeds)
I’ve seen a few Spider-Man fan casts where Hunter Parrish was considered for Peter. Personally, I don’t see it. I see him more as the brooding best friend of Peter. I don’t know why, but it just fits in my opinion.
Mary Jane Watson: Jane Levy (Suburgatory)
When casting Mary Jane, I had two criteria: is hot and can actually act. Luckily, Jane has both those criteria. My only concern is, can she do drama? Her filmography is mostly comedy. I guess we’ll see when that remake of The Evil Dead comes out…because she’s in it.
Midtown High: Peter’s friends from school. Midtown high is only the first season, then everyone is off to college.
Eddie Brock: Aaron Tveit (Les Miserables)
Aaron is amazing actor…but I’m gonna say that a lot in this article…just be prepared for it. I first knew him for his work on the Broadway stage, and then I saw his work on the small screen in Gossip Girl and then on the silver screen in Les Miserables. He’s an actor who shows great potential. I think he’d perfect as Peter’s friend who is secretly jealous of him.
Mr. Lee, the English teacher: Stan Lee
This sort of serves as the Stan Lee cameo. Mr. Lee is an English teacher at Midtown High who coincidentally (and with clever writing) transfers to the same college Peter attends and works there as an English teacher. But, I have to say this idea is not original. I saw a Spider-Man fan cast where the author fan cast Toby MacGuire in a cameo as Peter’s teacher. That’s where the idea came from.
Flash Thompson: Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries)
On both this site and with my test audience, Ian Somerhalder gets pretty mixed reviews. After watching The Vampire Diaries, Somerhalder became my go to choice for casting the asshole…luckily that choice was obvious when it came to Flash Thompson
Elizabeth “Liz” Allan: Hayden Panettiere (Nashville)
Now this, I felt, was a fairly obvious choice. The hot girl as…well the hot girl. Hayden is also a great actress. There really isn’t not much more I can say. Her role on Nashville gave me the idea that Hayden could play the mean popular girl who is sweet deep down.
The Daily Bugle: The staff of the newspaper where Peter works starting in the second season.
For Jonah, I had two choices. You tell me which you like better.
Option 1: Seth MacFarlene (Family Guy)
First off, let me say that JK Simmons is irreplaceable. However, I take pride in my ability to be, or try to be, original in my choices…try to go for the choice no one else has gone for. That being said, finding someone to measure up to JK Simmons (because surpass is impossible) was a real challenge. I feel Seth would be really good in this role, especially because he’s a voice actor so he can create a voice that would be amazing for Jonah.
Option 2: Nathan Lane: (The Birdcage)
JJJ is a harsh, sarcastic, fast-talking newspaper editor. So when I thought about it, Nathan Lane plays a lot of characters who are fast-talking and sarcastic (as well as sharp-tongued). What really helped me make this decision was his guest spot on season 4 of The Good Wife (dang…I’m using that show a lot. I think I only use it once more).
Matthew Perry (Friends) was also considered.
Robbie Robertson: Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects)
When I did my The Amazing Spider-Man sequel fan cast, I considered Esposito for Robbie. There’s a reason I keep this choice…it’s a good choice. He’s a great actor. And he would pull off this role amazingly. I was convinced of this choice after I saw him play a journalist in Once Upon a Time.
Betty Brant: Miriam Shor (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
Like Esposito, I used Shor in my TASM sequel fan cast. Despite the fact it was canceled, I enjoyed the ABC dramedy GCB, and that was where I first saw Shor. I was convinced by her, you guessed it, guest spot on The Good Wife when she played a reporter. Shor is extremely beautiful to boot although a little bit older than Peter (but that’s okay…I was never a fan of the Peter Parker/ Betty Brant romance).
Ben Urich: Roger Bart (Revenge)
All I can really say is that his role in Revenge convinced me to cast him as Urich. In the show, Bart plays an author who (in the second season) relentlessly searches for the truth. It reminded me a lot of Urich.
Villains: The foes Peter faces throughout the show.
Norman Osborn/ The Green Goblin: Neal McDonough (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li)
Norman Osborn/ Green Goblin is the main villain in seasons 1, 5, and 10. In seasons 6-8 is involved in a sub plot, in which he tries to gain control of his inner goblin.
While I take pride in my originality, I don’t believe this choice is original…I think I’ve seen it somewhere before but I could be wrong. But Neal is familiar to the Marvel Universe, having voiced Bruce Banner in the Hulk cartoon series and video game The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. He is also great at villainous roles.
For this series, I borrowed a bit from the Ultimate universe. The ultimate universe receives mixed reviews. However, there’s always two portrayals of the goblin: the super soldier (which we see in the original universe and portrayed by Willem Dafoe in the Raimi movie), and the super mutant (which we see in the ultimate and noir universe). I chose to go with the super mutant goblin for two reasons, 1 because outside of the comics, it’s never been done and 2, I feel that the effects for the mutant goblin would be easier to do and cost less than the super soldier.
Herman Schultz/ The Shocker: James Van Der Beek (Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23)
Shocker is the main villain in season 1, and is a recurring villain throughout the rest of the series.
This idea came to me after seeing Van Der Beek guest star in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, in which he played a sociopath. Let me just say, he rocks playing the bad guy! And that’s saying something because I think you have to be an amazing actor to guest star on Law and Order. I don’t know what made me see him as Shocker, it was probably the stereotype of himself he played in Don’t Trust the B----, because Shocker has a bit of an ego.
Doctor Otto Octavius/ Doctor Octopus/ Doc Ock: Eddie Izzard (Mockingbird Lane)
Doctor Octopus is the main villain in seasons 2 and 10 and a recurring villain in seasons 3-9.
Doc Ock, I feel, would be the most expensive special effects in the show just because (like SM2) you’d have to balance the tentacles between puppetry and CG.
I don’t know why I thought of Izzard for this role. Although he would be amazing at it! I didn’t even think Eddie Izzard did TV shows until I saw Mockingbird Lane (I’m really mad NBC didn’t pick it up). So, I started thinking that Izzard would be great for a villain in my series, plus being British, he’d give Ock a sort of charm.
Doctor Curtis Connors/ The Lizard: John Stamos (Full House)
The Lizard is the main villain of season 3, and recurring in seasons 4-10.
I always say that the lizard is the villain, but Connors isn’t. So for Connors you want someone who is so incredibly nice, there’s no way he’s evil. For some reason, I saw John Stamos as that nice guy. Not to say he wouldn’t kill at it.
Maxwell Dillon/ Electro: Josh Holloway (Lost)
Electro is the main villain of season 4, and recurring in seasons 5-10.
Like Stamos as Connors, I don’t know why I saw Holloway as Electro, but when I thinking of actors, something just clicked. I don’t know what it was…but the more I think about it, the more I like my decision here. I know that that doesn’t really explain my casting choice here, but like I said…something in my head just clicked.
Roderick Kingsley/ The Hobgoblin: Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)
The Hobgoblin is the main villain of season 6 and a recurring villain in season 6-9.
As I said, I borrowed the idea for Green Goblin from the Ultimate universe, so Hobgoblin came from it too…with one small change. In the ultimate universe, the Hobgoblin was Harry Osborn while I keep the detail from the Amazing universe that Hobgoblin is Roderick Kingsley.
Yep, another The Good Wife actor, only this time, he’s a series regular. Cumming is semi known for some of his villainous roles. He is another great, yet underrated actor. There is also a bit of an inside joke here. When the Spider-Man musical was still in pre-production, Alan Cumming was supposed to play the Green Goblin, but he left the project later.
Adrian Toomes/ The Vulture: Terry O’Quinn (666 Park Avenue)
The Vulture is the main villain of season 7 and a recurring villain in seasons 8-10.
As I said before, one of the things I take pride in is my attempt to be original in a fan cast and go for a choice no one has thought about before. Alas, I did not do that here. I’ve seen O’Quinn considered several times before for Vulture in other Spidey fan casts. But it’s a good choice…especially for a TV series.
Quentin Beck/ Mysterio: Nathan Fillion (Castle)
Mysterio is the main villain of season 8 and a recurring villain in the final two seasons (9-10).
This was another choice that just…clicked in my head. In all the Spider-Man cartoons I’ve seen, Mysterio is cocky and arrogant. And after watching Castle Fillion’s character certainly fit those criteria. My concern; I have never seen Fillion play a villain before. I do not doubt his acting ability, I just wish there was something I would have seen him in to base it on.
Eddie Brock/ Venom: Aaron Tveit (Les Miserables)
Venom is the main villain of season 9. He does reappear as a recurring villain in the final season, and he is the last new villain introduced.
My reasons for casting Tveit are above under Midtown High. I know he isn't bulky like Eddie is in the comics, but like I said, Tveit shows so much potential.
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