News that Marisa Tomei is in talks to play Aunt May in Sony Pictures’ “Spider-Man” reboot set social media tongues wagging on Wednesday, with many claiming the 50-year-old actress is far too young to play the hero’s traditionally more matronly caretaker.
Previous onscreen iterations of Aunt May were played the wholesome Rosemary Harris in 2002 at age 74, and longtime film and TV matriarch Sally Field in 2012 at age 66 — but many can’t see 50-year-old Tomei fitting the archetype of the comic book character: a white-haired sage in her twilight years.
“I am not okay with being sexually aroused by Peter Parker’s Aunt May,” wrote Twitter user @miniver.
Some targeted Hollywood’s standards on age, implying that producers found a woman that looked like Tomei ideal for the part.
“To be fair, Marisa Tomei is Hollywood’s idea of a GMILF. Look, these are the people who cast Winona Ryder as Zachary Quinto’s mom,” wrote @McGee_Gorgo, referring to Ryder and Quinto playing mother and son in J.J. Abrams‘ 2009 “Stark Trek” reboot.
The other half of the Parker household, Spider-Man’s father figure Uncle Ben, has not yet been cast — but that fact didn’t stop snarky online commenters from speculating on who would end up with the role.
In all fairness, the aging-back of Aunt May could simply be an effort to accommodate the casting of 19-year-old Tom Holland in the title role.
Tobey Maguire was 27 when Harris received him home from school, and Garfield was 29 when Field was waving him off to hang with Mary Jane.
“I like the idea of Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. Why can’t Aunt May be hot?” said @JedadiahLeland.
Looks aside, Tomei is hammering out final details for the part, under the direction of “Cop Car” helmer Jon Watts. She and Holland hit the big screen when “Spider-Man” opens July 28, 2017.