Hollywood is famous for casting talent well out of the required age range to play teenagers, but few examples have been more noticeably disconcerting than watching Joe Manganiello try to pass himself off as a high school student in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
Not only was the actor 26 years old when the movie was released in the summer of 2002, but he stands at six feet four inches and comfortably dwarfed everybody else in the frame due to his hulking dimensions. That being said, he’s actually eighteen months younger than co-star Tobey Maguire, but at least the leading man was a lot more convincing walking the halls of Midtown High.
Spider-Man marked the first-ever feature film credit of Manganiello’s career, and during a recent interview with Variety he opined on getting to be a part of a blockbuster smash hit that definitively set the stage for the next two decades of superhero cinema after Blade and Bryan Singer’s X-Men had opened the floodgates for the early-2000s boom period.
“We all knew it was the beginning of the dawn of something different. They were spending more money on that film than had ever been spent. They had the greatest producers, the greatest special effects artists. Up until that point, it was Tim Burton’s Batman, it was The Crow, it was Blade, it was X-Men. Everybody is in black leather. They all shot at night and very dark and borderline gothic. So when you see Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, it’s bright! It’s light! It’s a kid in high school. And he was wearing a red and blue suit, not a black leather suit.”
Sadly, Manganiello hasn’t been one of the many names touted for a cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home, even though it would be equal parts hilarious and awesome to see him put his action hero credentials to good use as a ruggedly badass Flash Thompson, especially were he to get a scene with Tony Revolori’s version.