It’s not often you hear people complaining that a three-time Oscar nominee, one-time winner has been cast in a role, and its even rarer that an actress is criticized for being too young for a part, but that is what’s happening here.
Variety is claiming sources that say that Marisa Tomei has been cast as Aunt May in the joint Sony/Marvel reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. She follows Rosemary Harris and Sally Field in the role.
What is causing a bit of a brouhaha is that Aunt May is portrayed in the comics as a frail, weak octogenarian who ran the risk of getting a heart attack if the wind blew on her too hard. Even modern comic book revamps of the character cast her in the feisty grandma role. Harris, who was 74 when she took the role fit right in. Even Field, who was 65 when she appear in the last reboot, was close enough for the fans to stay quiet. Tomei is a rather spry and fit 50-year-old who could pass for being in her 30s. This is too much for some fans to take.
Me? I like the choice. I always had a problem with a teenage Peter Parker having an aunt who was in her 70s, if not her 80s. The age gap between her and Peter’s parents in the comics was too big for my liking. However, having a 50-year-old aunt seem way more plausible.
Besides that, Tomei is an Academy Award-winning actress who has range. She won the Oscar for her work in a comedy (My Cousin Vinny) and her next two nominations were for dramas (In the Bedroom and The Wrestler). I’m 100% positive that she has what it takes to make a memorable performance as the character.