No Stars Under 30

You'll like this one, because it means hiring unknown and thus cheaper actors: Under no circumstances should any member of the main young cast (read: Peter, MJ, Gwen Stacy, Flash Thompson, Harry Osborne, whoever) be played by a known youth/teen actor.

As a rule, geeks hate all young stars who became famous after they (the geeks) graduated high school. This is especially true if they come from MTV, Nickelodeon or any other outlet that we've violently resented since the moment we aged out of its target demographic. And it's ultra-extra-mega true in the case of young male actors considered to be hot - because you're adding the more instinctive hate of guys for men that women find more attractive than us. A hot male actor will be jealously hated by movie geeks without exception until he proves himself as a cool tough guy. See: Leonardo DiCaprio, who we hated until he started making violent Scorsese movies. Now we regard him as little jealousy as can reasonably afforded any man who was once paid to pack into an enclosed space with a naked, oil-slathered Kate Winslet. (When movie sets are cold, oil is used to make actors look like they're sweating.) If you think you need "name" stars, do what the Harry Potter movies do and cast them as parents and teachers. Which brings us to...

Stunt Casting

Fanboys will tell you that we hate stunt casting - i.e. casting an actor because they're famous regardless of whether or not they're right for the part (see: Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four, everyone in the 3rd and 4th original Batman movies.) Technically, we are half-lying about that. What we hate is stunt casting that's aimed at audiences other than us. Example: Nick Cannon as the Vice Principal? BAD. Thomas F. Wilson (Biff from Back to The Future) as the Vice Principal? GOOD.

Essentially, a quick way to a fanboy's heart is to fill your movie with stunt casting from the realm of actors geeks like. It's a pretty large list with lots of people to choose from, encompassing but not limited to: People who were iconic in the 70s and 80s but aren't seen much now, "reformed" porn stars, actors mainly known for one ironically-appreciated genre role many years ago (William Shatner, Adam West), all former cast members of The Kids In The Hall, people who were unappreciated on Saturday Night Live, supporting-players from Doctor Who, stuntmen/monster-suit performers well-known on the autograph circuit (Kane "Jason" Hodder being the best example of this), actors who played "the nerd" on some sitcom we claimed to hate but watched anyway, comedians better known for internet skits than standup, and anyone from Firefly not named Adam Baldwin. (That last one is more for your protection, because chances are at some point in production he's going to put up another insane blog about Sesame Street being communist propaganda, and you'll be stuck dealing with that fallout for, like, six months.)

Announce That the Villains Will Be Venom, Carnage, and the Kangaroo - All to Be Played by Zac Efron

Okay, yeah, this one actually won't help you at all, but it will give me plenty of material for more of these columns. In fact, y'know what? Don't take any of this advice. Hell, don't take any advice, period. Just keep making the exact same kind of decisions you've been making all along. Cast Beyonce as Gwen Stacy. Have Dane Cook turn up as Ben Reilly. Write fifty puns about Peter being a swinger into the dialogue. Have Spidey respond to someone's question about how to contact him with "I'm on the web." Stage the big final battle at a school dance where the Jonas Brothers are playing.

I mean, you got any idea how hard it is to keep coming up with material on my own?

Bob Chipman is a film critic and independent filmmaker. If you've heard of him before, you have officially been spending way too much time on the internet.


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