Spider-Man: Marvel branded 'sexist and ageist' for casting Marisa Tomei as Aunt May

Some fans were quick to point out that the character is sometimes middle-aged

Jess Denham
Thursday 09 July 2015 09:40 BST
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Marisa Tomei is in final negotiations to take up the role of Aunt May in Spider-Man
Marisa Tomei is in final negotiations to take up the role of Aunt May in Spider-Man (Getty Images)

Marvel's reported decision to cast Marisa Tomei as the elderly Aunt May in Spider-Man has been met with a fierce backlash from comic book fans who think she is too young and good-looking to play the character.

Previous actresses to have taken on the role include a 74-year-old Rosemary Harris and 66-year-old Sally Field, but Tomei is only 50, leading some to argue that Hollywood is ageist, particularly when it comes to women.

Aunt May has traditionally been presented as an old woman with grey or white hair...

Tomei is in final negotiations to star alongside new Spider-Man Tom Holland, who takes up the superhero baton from Andrew Garfield ad Tobey Maguire aged just 19. This younger Spider-Man suggests that Sony and Marvel are taking the story back, meaning a younger aunt would be more realistic.

Tom Holland is your new high-school age Spider-Man
Tom Holland is your new high-school age Spider-Man (Anthony Harvey/Getty Images)

Tomei could first appear as Aunt May in Captain America: Civil War next year but Marvel and Sony are yet to make an official comment on her casting.

Jon Watts is directing the as-yet-untitled Spider-Man reboot, which is not expected to reach cinemas until July 2017.

Tomei is best known for more serieous dramas like The Ides of March and romcoms such as Crazy Stupid Love. Tomei won an Oscar for her role in My Cousin Vinny and will next be seen in Trainwreck with Amy Schumer.

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