SPIDEY UPDATE: All rumors can now cease; Sony names Andrew Garfield as new Spider-Man

 UPDATED: 9:08 PM ET – Sony has chosen the WAY TOO OLD Andrew Garfield as the new Spider-Man. I thought he was only 20, but at 26, I hope they plan on going another route than has originally been announced – there is NO WAY this guy, talented actor that he apparently is, can play 16…sorry, doesn't work for me.

I have a feeling that Sony may regret making this choice…and that Spider-Man 4 (or whatever it ends up being called) could be the next Superman Returns…and we ALL remember how THAT turned out, don't we?

JOSHHUTCHERSON ORIGINAL POST: To Hutcherson…or NOT to Hutcherson…That is the Question…

Ok, peeps…here we go…

Sony has been extremely truculent, and truth be told, downright OBNOXIOUS, in the way it's been handling the naming of it's new Spider-Man, with dozens of actors often mentioned for the role.

Yesterday, BlueSkyDisney broke a story that has been much the talk of the blogosphere since then – that Josh Hutcherson has landed the role. Hutcherson has been commenting during press for his new film  The Kids Are All Right, hitting theaters next week,  about how honored he is to be included in the consideration, and how much he'd love to play the part, but when asked by the AP this morning, he would neither confirm nor deny the rumors that he signed on the dotted line over this past weekend.

And of course, everyone is once again speculating about the role, with several sites insisting their sources are telling them that not only does Hutcherson NOT have the role yet, but that he's out of the running. Several of these sites have dubious sources at best, and cannot be considered any more than wishful thinking on the sites' writers' parts.

Here's my take on the situation. Too many people are focusing on the "comic geek" subject of looking like the comic book. Too many people are also focusing on picking their own Spider-Man 2.0 candidate. And they're also forgetting something else and the most important element – longevity.

Whomever Sony chooses as the next Spidey must be young enough to play 16-17 now, 18-19 in the sequel and no more than 21-22 in a third movie. And THAT assumes they're going to age him a little as time goes by.

Let's face facts folks – is Jamie Bell, rumored to be the favorite of some Sony execs, and without a doubt one of the favorites with the comic geeks, really going to be able to play 21-22 in six years, when he's 31 years old?

The short answer – not bloody likely.

I will tell you what the comic geeks won't. In order to get another three films out of the same actor, that actor needs to be NO MORE THAN 20 at maximum now to be able to likely look young enough in seven years to play the part as Peter Parker at 22. And ideally, to accomplish this, they should be casting someone between 16 and 18.

Of the short listed, apparently screen-tested candidates that keep being mentioned, I see only three actors that fit this criteria – Josh Hutcherson, Logan Lerman, and Aaron Johnson, with two more young actors, Andrew Garfield and Anton Yelchin, hitting the upper limit – and technically, Yelchin, for all his youthfulness, is now 21 and should probably also be dropped from the list. The aforementioned Jamie Bell, Forbidden Kingdom's Michael Angarano, and others are already too old for the part as I see it. Because no matter that they can play 16 or 17 now (and personally I don't think they can, at least not actually looking the right age), they're not likely to play 21 – or younger -  in seven years' time.

Back when the rumor mill first started really churning a few months back, I put four names on my short list of young actors I thought would be able to handle the demands of being Spider-Man for the next several years, and I have never wavered from my top three from that list – Logan Lerman was at the top, followed by Chris Massoglia, and Josh Hutcherson was third. I would personally be happy with ANY of those three. The fourth name, Michael Angarano, I dropped because I felt that at 22, he was getting too old for the role.

The haters out there must also remember – when first announced, the comic geeks HATED Tobey MacGuire…who I will point out that at the time was on my short list also. And they ended up loving his turn as Peter Parker.

And some of the fanboy suggestions truly baffle me as well. As much as I LOVE Joseph Gordon-Levitt, he's WAY too old for Parker these days. He looks his age, and the last time he successfully played a high school student – in 2006's Best Picture Poppy winner Brick – he was in his very early 20s.  And as much as I love Patrick Fugit, the same principle applies, although he still looks young enough now to pass for a young college age version of Parker, he couldn't easily pass for 17 again.

If the Sony gods decree it be Hutcherson, then I'm happy with it. If they should pass on him for Lerman, I'm happy with it. Anyone else,  and I have a feeling Sony will be shaking in their shoes for the fan backlash when the film comes out in two years…

Now…Sony, please stop jerking the chains of the fans and MAKE YOUR CHOICE KNOWN!