Virtually unknown actor Andrew Garfield to star in new Spider-Man movie

It’s been a hotly debated question for months in entertainment circles: Who would inherit the Spider-Man suit from the departing Tobey Maguire?

Columbia Pictures ended the frenzied speculation Thursday, announcing that a virtually unknown actor — Andrew Garfield — has been cast as Peter Parker for the fourth Spider-Man film, which will be directed by Marc Webb beginning late this year.

On selecting the 26-year-old Garfield, Webb said in a news release: “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”

Garfield was seen last year in Terry Gilliam’s “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”; his other work includes the upcoming David Fincher film “The Social Network.” In 2007, Variety named him one of its “10 Actors to Watch.”

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