Matt Lintz as Bruno Carrelli in Ms. Marvel

Every Actor Who Auditioned to be Spider-Man

It’s hard to imagine anybody besides Tom Holland as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man. Holland was just 19 years old when he made his debut as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War and instantly captured audiences’ hearts. He boasted a strong first impression with his hilarious portrayal of Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) and his bantering with Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). He only continued to impress as he headed his own solo Spider-Man trilogy.

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Holland’s iteration of Spider-Man is on point and he nearly perfectly embodies the character. To start off, he is the most age-appropriate Spider-Man and also looks the part physically. Not only that, but he perfectly embodies the young and naïve teenager persona of Peter Parker. At the same time, he can also switch to the more responsible and mature Parker who takes his powers and role as a superhero very seriously. He reminds viewers that Parker is both a superhero and also just an average, relatable teenager at the same time.

While Holland has been the MCU’s Spider-Man for over 6 years, there was a time when it wasn’t certain that he would actually be Spider-Man. When Marvel and Sony started looking to recast Spider-Man, the search encompassed over 1,500 actors. Of those 1,500, only six of them made it to the final round, which included screen tests with Downey. Obviously, Holland was one of those six, but that still means 5 other actors were extremely close to being Spider-Man, too. While those 5 made it to the last round, many others auditioned and were also in the running for the role. Here are the actors who were almost the MCU’s Spider-Man.

Asa Butterfield

Asa Butterfield as Otis in Sex Education.
(Netflix)

Asa Butterfield was, perhaps, the absolute closest to almost being cast as Spider-Man. He was among the group of six that made it to the screen testing stage. Meanwhile, of those six, the two frontrunners were Butterfield and Holland. The two were even flown out to Atlanta to audition opposite Chris Evans and Downey. There were even times when Butterfield was considered the frontrunner of the two. In reflecting on his audition, he admitted that he didn’t believe his take on Spider-Man was ultimately what the producers were looking for.

However, he has nothing but praise for Holland in the role. While he didn’t get the role of Spider-Man, he was cast as the lead in Netflix’s critically acclaimed series Sex Education.

Matt Lintz

Matt Lintz as Bruno Carrelli in Ms. Marvel
(Disney)

That’s right, before ultimately portraying Bruno Carrelli in Ms. Marvel, Matthew Lintz was almost Spider-Man. In fact, he was also among the top six who made it to screen testing. His young age might’ve been one of the reasons he wasn’t chosen, though. He is 5 years younger than Holland, which would’ve put him at just around 14 years old when he auditioned, while the producers were looking for someone who could pass for 15–16 years old. Fortunately, though, he still made his way back into the MCU at the right time and even got to meet Holland while filming Ms. Marvel.

Judah Lewis

Judah Lewis as Cole in The Babysitter Killer Queen
(Netflix)

Judah Lewis was another one of the final six considered for Spider-Man. Just like Lintz, his age was likely one of his disadvantages, as he, too, was only 14 when auditioning for the role. He has gone on to star in Netflix horror films The Babysitter and The Babysitter: Killer Queen. He also starred in the platform’s Christmas Chronicles films. While he missed out on Spider-Man, he seems to be fostering a good relationship with Netflix that has landed him several big roles.

Timothée Chalamet

Timothée Chalamet in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune angst

Before he starred in Call Me by Your Name and became one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, Timothée Chalamet was among the final six who screen tested for Spider-Man. Unfortunately, from his recollection, it sounds like he bombed his audition. Chalamet recalls reading twice and leaving the audition sweating and panicking. He even called his agent, saying that he wanted a do-over. Still, it turns out he didn’t need Spider-Man to gain international recognition. Besides Call Me by Your Name, he has gone on to star in Dune, Lady Bird, and Don’t Look Up.

Charlie Plummer

Charlie Plummer as Pudge in Looking for Alaska
(Hulu)

Charlie Plummer was another actor who made it to screen tests for Spider-Man. He gained prominence as a child actor for appearing on Boardwalk Empire as Michael Thompson. Additionally, he was actually born and raised in New York, giving him a particular closeness to Spider-Man. Although he ultimately missed out on Spider-Man, he went on to star as the main character, Pudge, in Hulu’s Looking for Alaska.

Charlie Rowe

Charlie Rowe as Peter in Neverland
(Syfy)

Charlie Rowe rounds out the group of actors who screen tested for the MCU Spider-Man. In fact, he was a frontrunner and the only actor besides Holland to screen test twice. He was also one of the fan favorites to play Spider-Man. He’s also the same age as Holland, and both of them are London natives. While Rowe thought he would’ve made a good Spider-Man, he did still reach out to congratulate Holland for getting the role.

Dylan Minnette

13 reasons why dylan pinette
(Netflix)

Dylan Minnette was another actor who auditioned for Spider-Man, though he didn’t make it to the screen testing. He has since opened up about it and admitted he didn’t quite try his hardest. Minnette didn’t think he was at a point in his life where he could commit to a role like that, so he wasn’t actively seeking it out. Even without Spider-Man, though, he boasts a pretty impressive career. He is most well known for starring in 13 Reasons Why and Scream 5.

Liam James

Liam James as Duncan in The Way Way Back
(Fox Searchlight)

Liam James is another actor who is rumored to have auditioned for Spider-Man and was believed to have been one of the frontrunners. However, he has never publicly confirmed that he did audition nor commented on his experience. Fans, though, certainly enjoyed casting him as Spider-Man. He is best known for starring in Psych; The Way, Way Back; The Killing; and The Family.

Actors rumored to have auditioned for Spider-Man

Nat Wolff as Quentin Jacobson in Paper Towns
(20th Century Fox)

The 7 actors above were either confirmed to have auditioned, or, at least, haven’t denied rumors of auditioning. In addition, there were several actors who were highly rumored to have auditioned for the role, but didn’t. Some of them were mistakenly even reported to have been frontrunners or to have screen tested for the role. These rumored auditions included Dylan O’Brien, Nat Wolff, and Logan Lerman. All three have confirmed they never auditioned, nor were they contacted by Sony or Marvel for the role of Spider-Man. Still, despite the fact that they never were contenders, they were among the fan favorites to play the role.

Across the Spider-Verse

And that’s just the actors Marvel and Sony brought in to find the perfect fit for their MCU reboot of the character. Before that, there were others for both Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, ultimately starring Tobey Maguire, and The Amazing Spider-Man, with Andrew Garfield. The list for the former included the likes of Freddie Prinze Jr. and, famously, Jake Gyllenhaal, who not only eventually found his way into Marvel’s version of the franchise as Mysterio, but almost took over the original role for the sequel when Tobey Maguire was injured.

Beyond that, even more actors have been considered for the role in the past, whether or not they actually auditioned (including a self-made audition tape from Josh Hutcherson), making for an interesting multiverse of possibilities, to say the least.

(featured image: Disney)


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Author
Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.