Recent weeks have really seen things ramp up for one of the most well-known superheroes, Spider-Man, as he prepares to make his return to the big screen, this time as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Last month saw the announcement of the young Tom Holland to take the role for a fresh take on the character, after a long process wherein both Marvel and Sony worked together to select their new red-and-blue costumed hero. Now, it has been reported from reliable sources such as Variety that a new actress has been picked to play young Peter Parker’s Aunt May in the upcoming standalone Spider-Man film. That actress is none other than Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei.
After appearing in a few bit parts starting in the 1990’s (including the underrated comedy Oscar, for which Tomei overplayed her role in a rather grating performance as Sylvester Stallone’s former gangster’s daughter) Tomei came into her own when she was cast as Joe Pesci’s love interest in the film My Cousin Vinny (1992). Her oh-so-memorable turn as the petulant Mona Lisa Vito, whose impatience and dismissive attitude, as well as her expertise in automobile repair, made for one of the most unique characters in 90’s cinema. Her performance was so spot-on and inspired that it earned her an Oscar.
Since then, Tomei has taken on many more challenging roles, proving that she had real acting chops and that her stunning turn as the put-upon girlfriend wasn’t a fluke. She took on challenging roles in Crazy, Stupid Love (2011), and The Ides of March (2011), among many others.
Before teaming with Marvel Studios, there were rumors that Sony was inexplicably considering making an Aunt May spin-off film. Those plans, much to the pleasure of just about everyone, have since been put down since Sony and Marvel are now partnering together to bring Spider-Man back, but it’s clear that Tomei would have had no trouble carrying such a project.
If the reports are confirmed by Sony and Marvel, Tomei would be following the notable performances of Rosemary Harris (Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy) and Sally Field (in the Amazing Spider-Man film series directed by Marc Webb).