Peter Parker gets parents and another person to punch

The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed the four latest names added to the cast of Sony’s upcoming Spider-Man reboot today.

(All my previous coverage of this movie can be found here.)

Campbell Scott and Julianne Nicholson will play Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker’s parents, whose death (or disappearance?) results in Peter being raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). The Parkers have never been portrayed on film before, and their very presence here brings even more deeply into question just how comprehensively this new series of films will redefine what we saw of Peter’s origins in Sam Raimi’s trilogy (that’s barely even a few years old, after all). Will they be part of the story, or just a pair of faces in a flashback?

Likely to play a larger role is Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire), identified by THR as a villain named “Van Atter.” Thanks to some detective work over at Badass Digest, I think we can assume (for now) they meant to say Van Adder, as in Nels Van Adder, an employee of Norman Osborn’s who served as a guinea pig for some of Osborn’s research that led to Osborn himself becoming the Green Goblin. Devin Faraci points out that Van Adder’s story involved Captain George Stacy, who’ll be played in the new movie by Dennis Leary, and whose daughter, Gwen, played by the amazing Emma Stone, was Peter’s first true love in the comics.

Annie Parisse will play “the villain’s wife,” but are they talking about Van Adder or The Lizard, who’ll be played by Rhys Ifans?

Speculation: Since Gwen is eventually killed by the Green Goblin in the comics, will this movie introduce a “Proto-Goblin” in the form of Van Adder to pave the way for Norman Osborn’s ascendancy to evil insanity (and possibly Gwen’s death) in the sequel? It seems rather likely, especially with a relatively heavy hitter being cast as Captain Stacy.

Then there’s the matter of sheer overcrowding, a point made very well by gorgeous geek goddess Elisabeth Rappe over at CHUD. We’ve got Peter’s origin, Spider-Man’s origin, Gwen, Gwen’s dad, Aunt May and Uncle Ben, Peter’s folks, Van Adder, and even Van Adder’s (or possibly The Lizard’s) wife to deal with? That’s a lot.

I was totally ambivalent about this film when it was announced, but every new bit of news makes me even more curious about what the story and tone will be like. Commencement of filming is imminent, so maybe we’ll get some fresh insights soon.

The new Spider-Man webs his way into a theater near you on July 3, 2012.